Day 5. 317 Miles. No Picnics ‘Til Charleston.

This site is simply a training ground for my creative writing. I way to get better at the words. So I say to myself, “I should really practice writing more dialog”. No one answers, thus I have to utter, “yeah, and I’d like to keep that thread of the subject of the topic of the science of “Confirmational Bias”. You know, like if the whole right and wrong lesson learned as a child ended up being just pre-k and now we’ve pre-phd leveled up. Boss boss boss boss boss boss boss shit. Maybe some of you know more than me about it? Did you watch the YouTube TED thing yet? Yeah, me neither. I laugh at myself for thinking any of this is dialog. If you know more on the subject or science of anything, write a message, put that message in a bottle, and send it up along the Atlantic Coast to Washington, DC. When I get there I’ll be sure to get it and get back you right away — because I hear that’s what they’re really know for in that town.

Started in Jacksonville and now we’re here… in Jacksonboro. Twenty dolla holla. No coffee machine here in the Edisto Motel, so i’m finna set up the Jetboil press out front, pop the lid and realize that the rattling and riding somehow got the stove settled into the uncapped fuel and let er all out. Farted on me. I lose some brain cells upon my discovery. Luckily I have a microwave and coffee happens, for there’s not a drop of it outside of gas stations for 25 miles. I’m tolerant of that if I have to be, but what I brought with me is superior.

Back on my nemesis 17, just in time for the morning commute. Assholes overcompensate for something by passing me way too close. Some Dick lays on the horn. Im startled and nearly fall off my ride. He looks like a goddamn Richard too. I can hear your dumb car, dumb ass. Truckers are my peoples though. They know how to drive. They will use the brake if needed. And they know how to blow the supportive horn. I wave at them.

Finally some quiet roads and an upcoming rail trail gives me space to breath. There’s a nice headwind straight out of the east thigh and it’s picking up momentum. Forecasted to be five miles per hour, it’s definitely up to 10-15 now. I’m able to get back into my drops a little and it aids some tightness in my right hip. Days 3-6 are reliably the break in period of any long ride. Im feeling that in most places. Stops and stretches.

I love me some picnic table table naps. Right on top of the tabletop of it. I’ll do it anywhere on any kinda travel — on a solo long ride, they are clutch, especially when covered from rain or sun. I have got no picnic tables naps in yet. Worse and far more unbelievably tragic: I have not seen a single picnic table since entering South Carolina. Not on a rail trail. Not at a Food Lion. Not at a park. Not next to a fire station. And believe you me. I been looking. Not a one. Strange things afoot — though no picnic tables — at the circle K.

Still not a goddamn picnic table in sight.

Rolling down a rural road, i hear a loud pop! Thinking I blew a tire until… pop pop pop! Hmm fireworks? Nope, as I pedal up, soem old dude is literally out in his front yard letting off hand guns rounds. I don’t even know what her shooting at. It’s not immediately apparent, which I feel like it should be. Hopefully not me. He’s maybe 20 feet away. I survive. I pedal on, into the wind. I stop to take a break at an an abandoned gas station stretching and snacking. An older woman just stands there and stares at me. I mean for a few minutes. I say hello. Nothing. Just stares. For another few minutes. She looks like a Gertrude. Maybe she’s goes by Gerty, but she can’t spell Gertrude without rude.

Actual fact. I wrote the Gertrude shit as that woman was staring at me. I did not ask her name and she didn’t give it. I came upon this sign 45 minutes later.

Still no picnic tables! I don’t even wanna picnic, I just wanna stretch out and nap.

I’m back on 17 and the experience is wild different. Vehicular traffic is back up hard. At a standstill. I fly by at 11 mph. It’s bawesome. Straight up the best moment of the ride to this point. Check it out:

25 miles in or so and the wind has picked back up. Headwinds again. Manageable at least. I make it to a small park which doubles as a trailhead for the West Ashley rail trail. Fuck yeah. Not only do I get non motorized riding for a bit, but Rick has come out to do ride with me. Originally outta Olean, Rick is an official member of the Western New York diaspora. He’s definitely Bills Mafia. And he’s putting me up for the night just past Charleston. Rick is involved in all things cycling down here and is also planning a ride from LA to Maine. He plans to do it fully loaded and 100 miles per day. I get exhausted just hearing him talk about it. We ride and talk. Talk and we ride. The miles go by easier.

He navigates me through Charleston with ease. I like this city but it’s not a stop on this trip so we’re cruising right through, when — oh shit — South Carolinas first picnic table!!

Unfortunately it’s beyond nap time. I don’t even drink anymore coffee. I eat some beef jerky and a banana. We push another 25 miles to beat the rain. Getting into Mount Pleasant requires another tall long bridge and headwinds. The Arthur Ravenal Jr Bridge. Whoever he is, I ain’t got time to look him up, I’m trying to stay dry. Luckily this one has separated bike and pedestrian facilities. I get into the lowest gear i have and give it my all, Rick graciously purposely moving slowly so we don’t separate, he could probably hit 25 on the bike he’s riding.

I get a shower and some food in me and plan out my next couple of days. I get too tired to do that so instead I just pass out. Really excited endings I have to these adventure journals huh?

About tonycaferro

Entrepreneur, Citizen, Marketeer, Fire Fighter / EMT, Bicycle-Tourist, Booking Agent, Youth Mentor, Activist, Agitator, Coffee Addict, Foodie, Social Media Nerd, Amateur Film Critic, Son, Brother, Uncle & Rust Belt Representative. Follow me on Twitter @dtr45
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