Day 13 – 74 Miles

Point South, SC to Statesboro, GA

I woke up today feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the long day ahead. I stayed at a KOA campground last night so there were no terrifying night beasts to worry about. I polished off the rest of the pizza I had eaten last night, packed up my bags and headed out. The weather was the usual cool and clammy southern USA morning, it’s going to take me a while to get used to the crushing humidity again. The first few miles I was feeling pretty lazy and lethargic. It normally takes me about 5 miles at the beginning of the day for my body to wake up and get into that sweet, cycling groove but this morning it was persisting. I had a long day ahead of me so there was nothing for me to do but keep on pushing.

At about mile 22 I’m finally feeling my body start to relax into the cycling, It’s like a switch gets flipped in my brain and my legs don’t really feel as if they’re straining for every mile, they just settle into a rut of practiced motion. But then tragedy strikes! Like a scaly thief in the night the Almighty Lizard Trickster himself makes his move. I hear a metallic SCREEEWAAKK followed by the SHHHSSSSSSS of pressurized air escaping from my rear tire. It’s finally happened, after over 700 miles of intense pedaling, I get my first flat.

Ugh. That’s all I have to say. Ugh.

I pull over to the side of the road, remove all of my gear, flip Forrest over and take off my back wheel. When I get the tube out I see that it’s not just one puncture but two! Rather than use on of my spare tubes I utilize the my handy, dandy patch kit and make quick work of the Lizard bites. I get the tube and tire back on the wheel but I’m having some serious issues getting the whole thing back onto my bike. Now I’ve had many a flats on my road bike but they always seemed to be on the front tire. Getting the rear one back on and threading the chain back through the gears is really messing me up (My Dad can attest to this, he was the one that got it on right when I first put Forrest together). But like he is wont to do in my time of need the Great Turtle Himself provided aid. Enter a pack of awesome cyclists, stage left. They all pulled up on their slick carbon fiber speedsters and, seeing that I was in dire need of assistance, made quick work of my tire problem These guys were awesome! I met up with them again at the next gas station about a mile up the road. I’d probably still be back there, frustrated and covered with bicycle grease, if it wasn’t for them. Thanks guys!!!

Not all heroes wear masks. Form fitting Lycra, maybe, but not always a mask.

I ate an orange and downed a gatorade at the gas station and then set off for the next leg of the day. The road was quiet but had a lot of exhausting up and downs. Two things happened that stuck in my mind. The first was, about 5 miles up the road from the gas station, a guy threw a couple of firecrackers out of his car window onto the road ahead of me. I’m just cycling along, minding my own business when I here a double CRACK CRACK. Maybe I’ve got nerves of steel ever since the night beast attack but it really didn’t startle me as much as it should have. Most people are good but there are always gonna be some jackasses in the mix. The next was a pack of motorcycles that passed me. They all had their bikes loaded down with the same kind of setup that Forrest and I had! Front and rear bags with tents resting in the rear. I wish they would’ve stopped so I could have talked to them a bit and find out where they were going, but, alas no such luck.

New state!! Watch out, Georgia, James and his Bike are coming to town! I stop for lunch at an abandoned gas station after another hour or so of pedaling. My map said that it was still open for business and I had been counting on that to fill my water bottles up but it was not to be. Luckily for me the water was still turned on in the building and I was able to fill them up regardless. I set off after that for the last 25 miles and man was I dragging! The wind had picked up and, of course, it was blowing right at me. By the time I reached the next gas station I was totally spent. I walked into the store, bought an energy drink and a snickers and rested up a bit. Miraculously this infusion of sugar gave me the boost I needed to pedal the home stretch.

State number 4. GEORGIA!!!!

So last night I was stressing about where I was going to stay today. The one camping spot in the city was all booked up for the weekend. I had almost resigned myself to another unwanted night at a dingy motel when inspiration struck. There’s an app I heard about that is similar to the cycling hospitality network, Warmshowers. It’s called Couchsurfing and it is built along the same lines. People open up their homes to traveller’s and the expectation is that said traveller will return the favor to the community when they are in a position to do so. I fire up the app and find a host that is currently accepting people. Her name is Jenny and she is awesome! Not even 30 minutes after I had contacted her she accepted my request! She is in Savannah, GA for the day but gave me instructions on how to find and get into her place. Amazing! So that’s where I currently reside. Showered, happy and hanging out with her awesome dog, Boba.

Boba and I getting acquainted 🙂

That’s all for now, folks. Stay tuned for the next edition of James and his Bike.

12 Replies to “Day 13 – 74 Miles”

  1. I love southern accents..I’m an absolute sucker!! I love you safe travels

  2. Oh man I bet Boba doesn’t each farm poo. That means clean sugars.For how tired you sounded 70+ miles tells me you had a pretty good day. Awesome you got the help of other cyclists. I was wondering when you’d meet up with some others on a similar path. Enjoy your day with your new friends.?❤?

  3. James, glad to hear your safe and sound. The little trick I did by disconnecting and reconnecting your rear brake when re-installing the wheel. You do not have to do that. Fix your flat and pump the tire up to make sure it’s holding air. If it’s good, let the air back out so it deflates. It will now pass through your rear brake pads without having to disconnect. Once you have the wheel seated and retightened…pump that baby back up and be on your merry way. Have a safe journey! Billy

    1. Thanks for the advice! I’ll definitely be using it next time. Hopefully it’ll be another 700 miles before that happens though ???. Seriously, you guys were awesome and showed up just in the nick of time. We cyclists gotta stick together ?

      1. My rear tire change tip: before you remove the wheel, shift both the front and rear gears so the chain rests on the smallest cog in both front and rear. As you remount the wheel, push on the flat part of the derailleur so the arm moves down. Set the chain on the proper cog (smallest) and release. Hope this helps.

  4. We have not ridden that stretch of road in a very long time, so I am glad we took that route this morning and were able to help. Billy is very good with repairs on the road. He has helped me on several occasions. Sorry to hear about the jackasses with the firecrackers. Good luck and safe travels!

  5. James, I discovered your blog through a Reddit link and have enjoyed reading about your adventures, I’m so glad I found your blog early in your travels. Ride Safe!

  6. James,
    Only you could do this epic journey and meet all these amazing people. That damned lizard luck got you today, but The One True Turtle himself already had a back up plan! (Enter awesome cyclist group on their own epic journey-thanks Billy and Ken!)
    Take Georgia by storm and stay safe my dear!

  7. HAHA someone clicked my reddit post ^_^ (or i hope it was mine so i can steal credit)

    I love the future. And Look at you always makin friends! Today as you ride your trusty steed through georgia, i leave you with the eternal words of a georgia native… Ludicrous

    I’m from the home of the neck bones, black eyed peas, turnip and collard greens
    We the children on the corn dirtier than Bob Marley’s pee pee
    GA the peach state where we stay
    My small city’s called Albany… Georgia
    Pecan country like catfish with grits
    Candy yams and chitlins
    Gram’s homemade baked biscuits
    The land of classical Caprices and Impala super sports
    Ingredients in the peach cobbler called… Georgia
    I love the women out in L.A.
    And the shopping stores in New York
    The beaches in MIA
    But they ain’t nothin like that GA red clay
    Look on your map, we right above Florida
    Next to Bama
    Under the Carolinas and Tennesse you’ll see… Georgia
    Where Gladys Knights and the Midnight Train
    The birthplace of Martin Luther King
    Where ass so plump and hips are thick
    Where Lac trucks sit on 26’s
    Know where your going or your get lost
    Found on these plum trees in the south
    These choppas will tomahawk your top down here in… Georgia
    We on the grind in… Georgia
    All the time, it ain’t
    Nothin on my mind but… Georgia

    1. God I love you, David. Thanks for this ??

  8. I am very envious of you and wish that I had done something similar when I was younger. Who knows maybe one day I will do just that. I’ve been accused of having a wondering soul and maybe a cycling tour across the country might be just what I need.
    As Ken noted we had not made that ride in a long time, but maybe thru divine intervention we were there when you needed. Glad to know that you made it to yesterday’s destination safely. We will keep you in our prayers for a safe journey wherever it takes you.
    Look forward to reading your blog and following your progress. Grady

  9. To make installing the rear wheel a little easier . . . Before removing the wheel, shift to your smallest rear cog. It makes it easier to remove the wheel and it is far more easier putting it back on. Just hook your chain into the smallest cog to push derailleur down and the wheel will slide right into place. Enjoying your journey!

    P.S. – When it is time for new tires, you might give Schwalbe Marathon Plus a hard look. They are nearly indestructible.

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