Today was our longest day both in distance at 83 miles and in elapsed time at about 10 hours. Three flat tires contributed to our lengthy day, as did lousy road surfaces with an over abundance of gravel. I counted 15 armadillo road kill victims and countless dead snakes. 

Beth was a sweetheart and did our laundry while we were riding – what a really nice thing to do!

Tonight we went to dinner at Sullivan’s Fish Camp on Sullivan’s Island and had a really nice meal.

Here are today’s photos.

One of the many roads google bike maps wants us to take, which we do not.

Photo of Tim at the top of the US17 bridge to Mount Pleasant, SC

Photo of the USS Yorktown berthed in the Charleston harbor. (Taken from another source because my photo was blurry.)

Picture of our dinner menu tonight.

Dinner plate for our appetizer tonight.

Our clothes drying in Beth’s room today.

It was a long ride today and taking a ferry across the Savannah River broke up the ride nicely. Being in downtown Savannah was really fun, since I had never been there before. We saw a couple of Phillies fans and took a picture of them. Then coming out of Savannah on US 17, we passed by an alligator that was roadkill, something we had never seen before. I would have liked to take a photo of it, but really couldn’t stop. During the ride today it was hot and humid and I consumed almost all of my fluids.

After watching the Phillies game on Beth’s laptop last night, we went to a bar in Richmond Hill for some local flavor, which it had in abundance. Tonight we went to the Saltus River Grill in Beaufort on the water, and it was probably the best restaurant we have been to on any of our trips. We’re watching their game tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays, which they are currently winning 8 to 0. 

I’m headed to bed now and will blog again after tomorrow’s long ride.

Here are my photos from last night and today.

Day Four

This day was a challenge. Sometimes we had a great bike lane sometimes, we had almost no lane. It was our longest ride so far, approximately 60 miles, but we felt pretty strong and finished with no problems. Tomorrow is a challenge. It is our longest ride of the trip.

We were in downtown Savannah waiting for the ferry so I was able to take a bunch of pictures that will be part of this blog. Last night we ate in a bar with a pool tournament about to start. I took a picture of the icebox next to me. It had old Smokies moonshine. Tonight we ate in a very nice restaurant in Beaufort, South Carolina looking out over the water. Brian said our bill tonight was about $200 more than last night.

Today’s ride was supposed to be 67 miles, according to Google bike maps, but ended up only being 55 miles, since we decided again to stay on the main roads instead of taking all the off roads that google bike maps wanted us to. Saving 12 miles is quite a lot, and hopefully this continues for the rest of the trip.

Last night after dinner at an ale house within walking distance from our hotel, we went back to my room to watch the Phillies game. They were playing the SF Giants in game 3 of a four game series. Fortunately they won! They’re on a really hot streak and have even pulled into 1st place ahead of the Braves. When we were at dinner at the ale house, the Braves were in the process of getting swept by the Dodgers, and we were enjoying listening to all the Braves fans complaining about how badly the Braves have been playing. Anyway, I took this photo of the TV screen in my room during the Phillies versus Giants game. 

On our ride today we were coming through Darien, GA when a few police cars were escorting a group of bicyclists the town. We asked the riders where they were headed and they told us Savannah. They also gave us both a patch made expressly for their ride. Here is a picture of the patch they gave us.

We continued riding to Richmond Hills and made our 2nd and last stop about 21 miles outside of Richmond Hill on a bridge passing over some railroad tracks. Tim took this picture there.

We finished up just after 1 pm and were able to check in and shower. I plan to take a nice nap shortly.


Day Three

Day three so far so good. We have been blessed with a very nice tailwind. Maybe it’s payback karma from our trip from Jacksonville to Key West when we had headwinds every day. I like the payback. We are semi sticking to Google bike maps. Our mileage is a little less than Google bike maps which is a good thing. The roads have been smooth and flat the only elevation changes are the overpasses. For the most part drivers are very courteous. Tomorrow we have to go through Savannah. Cities tend to be challenging with lots of stops and cars and trucks turning. I’m sure it will be a breeze compared to Phoenix. We are now finished three of our 12 days of biking. I feel well rested and in shape to do this ride. Our mileage days are about to ramp up. Here are a few pictures:

Day Two

Day two was pretty easy. We had smooth roads very little Sunday morning traffic and a tailwind. We got to our destination early enough that we could go out to lunch. It would be nice if every day was that easy but I know it won’t be. Here are a few pictures I took of Southeast Georgia

Today’s ride was supposed to be 51 miles but ended up only being about 45 miles. Google bike maps tried really hard to get us to get off of US 17, but every time we would get off of US 17, it would put us on a road that was not better and would take longer. At one point it directed us to take the GA rail trail, which sounded great, but then turned out to be a gravel road and since road bikes don’t do well on gravel surfaces, we immediately got right back onto US 17 North. 

We had left at about 8 am, stopped really only once, and made it to our hotel just before noon. Beth had made it there a few minutes before we did and took pictures of Tim and me as we rode to the hotel entrance. We were able to check into one of the rooms to shower and change, and then we went to lunch for some real Southern barbecue! It was really really good! After lunch we all took naps! 

Here are a few pictures I took on the ride today.

Today’s ride was only 34 miles and it was basically a shake-down ride to test out the bike lights, water intake, phone charging, and phone directions. We worked out some of the bugs and should be able to figure out the rest during our 51 mile ride tomorrow. We took a picture when we crossed into Georgia from Florida near the end of the ride, and here it is. 

When we got to our hotel, we showered and took a short nap and then went to the 5 pm mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in St. Mary’s, GA. It was an interesting mass with a homogeneous congregation, and too few babbling babies for entertainment. At 70 minutes, it will hopefully help keep our time in purgatory to a minimum. Beth coming with us should also help with that cause.

Then we all went to dinner at an Irish Pub in St. Mary’s, bought beer, wine and some snacks at a Publix grocery store in Kingsland, GA, returned to our hotel, called home, and went to bed. 

Today was what we call a shakedown ride. We were only going 37 miles so we were able to get up the leisurely breakfast and leave for our bike ride around 10 o’clock. It brought back very pleasant memories of our trip cross country in the sense that Florida roads were the best on that ride. Most of the day we had dedicated bike line lane or a white line with a decent shoulder.

Brian and I have changed over the years. When we took our first ride from San Diego to Phoenix, I was the only one who had any lights at all on our bikes. On this ride, Brian has about six lights on the rear of his bike and two lights on the front. I have three lights on the back and very powerful strobe in the front. I guess when we started out on these rides, we were adventuresome and dumb; now I think we’re older and wiser. We need today’s ride to get the bugs out before the Big bike rides happen later this trip.

One boo-boo on my account: I forgot Adventure Cycling bicycle maps. We are relying on our phones and Google bike maps for navigating. So far so good. Hopefully we have nice tail wins for the rest of our trip. I’m looking forward to passing through some more neat places and towns like Catfish Creek, Georgia and Saint Mary’s, Georgia. That’s all for now.

This morning, I took a picture of my two charging towers and most of the lights being charged over night, along with the battery pack being charged last night, which will keep my phone charged during the ride. We need that for the directions it will speak to us to get us to our destination today and every day. My approach in biking these days is to be as lit up as a Christmas tree, so that motorists actually notice us and we’re not invisible. When Mark, Tim and I started biking across the U.S. in February of 2012, Tim was the only one of us who had any lights on his bike. 

The photo also shows my backpack containing a bag inside it full of water. Mark was smart enough to know to bring one of these even back in 2012. Later on our cross country rides, Tim and I would buy them and bring them along with us. They work great for keeping us hydrated. 

I took another photo this morning of the book I brought with me to read at the end of the day. It’s about the first explorers from Denmark who went to northeastern Greenland. Since we’re going to be hot and sweaty by the end of each day’s ride, I thought reading this book would help me to cool off at the end of the day. Mind over matter? We’ll see. 

More to come. Thanks!