a result of doing sprints in the parking lot of the holiday inn the night before the ride started.
i am actually on day 17… ? today. i’ve been taking notes and going though my pictures to try and remember what i did each day and then put it up here. it’s just tough because when i get to the hotel or campsite i’m pretty tired and dont really want to look at a computer. so, today is day one of major organization. what i currently have up has been organized, added to, and refined a bit. so dont give up on me and my blogging skills.. or lack there of.. yet. i’ll update when i can. also trying to batch upload stuff to flickr… some of the better pics will be refined later as well. thanks!<3
started with brian, chris, crystal and alexander. stopped at a waffle house 13 miles in and then rode with a larger group after breakfast. we pace lined it for about 30 miles – lost a few people – chad got a flat. we stopped at a gas station and after that katie and i broke off to go a bit slower. (it’s always so hard to get going again once you stop, it’s like your legs don’t want to go and you have to warm up all over again.) we were chased by multiple dogs and 20 miles away from the end point we saw the fast group again, stopped at an ice cream shop. and i was sipping on my chocolate malt crystal busts out her harmonica and starts playing ‘oh susanna.’ a few minutes later nick pulls up and dan steps out of the car with an ice pack on his shoulder. he was drafting off of dade and accidently clipped his back wheel and fell on his shoulder and side. it didnt look bad and he could still move it certain ways so we didnt think it was broken. i left for the hotel – 20 miles away and left everyone behind. i got there at 1:15 – i was the third person there after chris and bennett, but the first girl so i got the championship ring for the day. the others didnt show up for awhile later and when they got back i found out i had missed some awesome food and thrift stores 😦 dan went to the hospital and had x-rays taken – he had broken his collarbone and they told him it would take 6-8 weeks for it to heal. today seemed like the the day for disasters… crystal had a close encounter with a pick-up truck driver. he pulled up next to her while she was riding and started yelling things at her and told her to pull over. she slowed down so he could pass her… and as soon as she did he lost control and his car veered to the left… swerving 4 feet in front of her and then going off the road into a ditch. he blew all his tires and his airbags went off. she stayed for a second to make sure he was still alive. he got out of the car and immediately started apologizing saying that he was a cyclist and that he was just telling her what a good job she was doing ect. she didnt buy it and started yelling at him. at least she didnt get hurt and that jerk got what he deserved.
couldn’t sleep all night because red and judy’s tent was right next to ours and someone was snoring super loud. got a few hours of rest, had a doughnut for breakfast that doug gave me. bayla and i were sweeping so we had to wait till everyone left before we could go. allison got a flat before we even left the campsite and we started about an hour later than everyone else. allison and crystal rode with balya and i. i pulled for 25 miles and then we stopped at a lame consignment shop. started riding a few minutes later and as we were coming to the top of a hill, we looked over and the sky was completely black. we got on the ‘highway’ and the headwind was unbelievable. we got to the waffle house on the route which marked the little over halfway point. judy was sitting in the parking lot with brianne. all of us threw our bikes in the car right before it started to torrential downpour. got lunch at waffle house and then got a ride to the hotel (holiday inn) with judy. that night we had a party at taco macs – it was not a very exciting bar but the food was good and they had a large beer selection. ben – my friend/old neighbor from ohio came to visit – and we went out with some of his friends to little 5 points and to a coffee shop called ‘octane’ where we ran into nick. and then we went to another bar called earls ( being in a car is super disorienting.. everything goes by so quickly). got back to the hotel around 12 or so and passed out.
it was cloudy for most of the day, i left with doug, tyler, matt and bayla… lost most of them and and then rode with tyler. saw a sign that said ‘god answers knee mail.’ we stopped at johnny’s cafe for food and johnny was there… sittin in the corner by the juke box. after lunch we rode though Gaffeney – where a serial killer was on the loose. it was a sunday, but the town looked abandoned – all the stores were closed and there was not a car on the street. there were some interesting signs and old buildings but i didn’t really feel like hanging around there. while later the sun came out so i decided to pick up the pace (being a red-head, the sun and i are not too friendly with each other). the last 10 miles were the roughest part of the ride: hills, headwind, traffic, malls and chain restaurants. got to the holiday inn at 2:20 and went to the mexican restaurant next door. it is there where i found out that one cannot buy alcohol in south carolina on sundays – – extremely lame.
later that night i was sitting in the hallway with alexander and nick. a man named joe came up to us and was asking for an old hat or bandanna. earlier that day i found a blue bandanna on the side of the road (washed it) so i gave it to him. he started to talk about how his hair was ruined because it was half burnt off, so he was going to shave it – about 12 hours ago he had been sitting in his apartment building on his recliner, watching television and smoking a cigarette. his cat (that he found and adopted about 6 months ago) was rubbing against his legs, asking for attention. he put his cigarette in the ashtray, the cat jumped onto his lap, but in the processed it knocked the ashtray over and the contents went under his couch. in seconds the whole thing was ablaze. joe jumped up and tried to pull the couch out of the door, but it was too late, the flames were spreading quickly and he had to get the rest of the people out of the building. luckily no one was badly hurt, joe even carried one of his elderly neighbors out of the building on his back. after he was finished with the story he just kept talking about how everything he had ever owned was gone, and that he hoped his cat was alright – which he seemed to care about more than all his material possessions.
rode with doug and crystal who were the sweeps for the day. got off to a late start because we were camping the night before. in the beginning everyone stopped to eat breakfast at arby’s so we had to stop as well – because when you are sweeping you have to stay behind everyone else – so we went down another road and found the golden waffle (pretty sweet joint, it topped waffle house and definitely huddle house). next stop was at a gas station down the road, there we met a man who said it was flat all the way to charlotte – i have no clue where he got that idea. road for awhile and caught up to the geezers so we stopped at this building that was surrounded by rusting cars, farm equipment and old soda machines. the man inside the shop said he bought old machines and fixed them up. he didn’t have a hose but offered us bottles of water. rode some more… saw the geezers again, so we stopped at a fruit stand, ate some and then fell asleep against the sign, letting our white feet tan in the sun. we woke up an hour and a half later and started riding. it was hot and we were pretty far behind the rest, so when we got to judy we just hopped in the van and went to the hotel.
it was the fourth of july so we got our red white and blue on and headed out to ‘the epicenter’ where there was a free concert, expensive bad beer, gussied up rednecks, and hundreds of cops. i was on the wrong side of the building when the fire works were going off and didn’t see any but the very last burst – kind of a let down. after the roof we got pizza and walked to another bar – dixie’s tavern. the music was better and so was the beer, but didn’t stay too long. when you have to wake up at 445 in the morning it really ruins your evenings. so dade, crystal, bennett, alexander and i split a cab ride back – and it was bumpin. the indian driver turned up the dance music as we flew down the highway – the cab ride was probably the highlight of the evening.
that night cali and crihs went to the wrong hotel and crihs passed out in the hallway shirtless. alexander tried to climb the fence and go to the pool (failed).. that morning waking up was a little rough to say the least.