Back to Day 37

Before I begin… if you understand the meaning of this title, you are a geek. If you don’t, congratulations! You are not a geek. It was Dana’s idea, and a reference to an old computer game called Adventure (although some people called it Colossal Cave). We used to play it at Wang, in the late 70’s and early 80’s. You can Google it if you want, although I’m thinking that’s not gonna happen.

11 AM

We had a lovely breakfast at the B&B with the other couple staying there. We discussed kids, grandkids, retirement, and why you really should never bike in South Carolina. After our fresh blueberry pancakes, fresh orange juice, and multiple cups of coffee, I watched the cat eat his breakfast, then we hit the road.
Our destination for the day was Myrtle Beach. On the way, we crossed the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway AGAIN

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but mostly we were on fairly ugly roads with no shoulders. Here’s what I was saying yesterday about the rumble strips obliterating the shoulders:

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So, our true destination today was the Myrtle Beach Airport, because… drum roll please… we are RENTING A CAR!!! A beautiful, fast, modern car that is not afraid of shoulderless bridges and roads in SC.

I have mixed feelings about this. Fact is, I have failed. We are not riding every hot, terrifying mile between Westford and Key West, primarily because I don’t ride fast enough. Bottom line: your bottom can only spend so many hours a day on a bike seat. And that number is about 5 or 6. More than that, day after day, and everything hurts – knees, backs, shoulders, quads, etc. So while it is clear that I could make it to Florida in 57 days, we would have no time left for anything else.

Meanwhile, everyone is saying we should go to Charleston and Savannah. And what takes a day on the bike takes an hour in the car. So we will drive for a while, see what we want to see, relax and vacation, and get back on the bikes in St Augustine, FL.

Here’s our new mode of bike touring. Isn’t it awesome?

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6:30 PM

After we got the car, we figured we’d drive around Myrtle Beach. We were both really excited, like little kids on a big ride. Our first stop was the post office, where we mailed this home:

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[No, we didn’t bring a re-chargeable 18V battery and a utility flashlight on our trip. We found it on the side if the road yesterday, and when I saw it I screamed “Hey, that matches our set!” And to my surprise, Dana said “Yeah, I want that.” And now it’s on it’s way home.] [Turns out that the bulb was dead, but that was fixed for $1.00 and it now works just fine!]

Then we went to a schlocky beach store and bought some new clothes. We didn’t have much in the way of non-biking clothes. For about $100, we doubled our wardrobes. Then we drove through miles and miles of mini-golf places, ice cream stands, seafood shacks, trailer parks, sports bars, etc. Then through about 20 miles of shacks and closed stores and abandoned houses – and a surprising number of people on the side of the road selling sweet grass baskets.

Someone, somewhere, told Dana that there is a hotel in Charleston with birds in the lobby. We found it.

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When we checked into our hotel we couldn’t decide what to do, so we went out to explore the city on our bikes. But look how much better and lighter they look without the panniers!

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We rode down Meeting St. to the old section of the city, then we asked a pair of cyclists what we should do. They told us to follow them across a 3 mile bridge to Mt. Pleasant. And the bridge has a fairly steep incline, so once again I got to totally suck on hills. The bridge crosses the Cooper River:

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(that’s the USS Yorktown, if you care)

The bridge looks like the Zakim Brdge, and everyone calls it the Cooper River Bridge, but it’s actually named for this guy:

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So even without riding, we had more than a 30-mile day.

We have determined that it is lame to take pictures from the car. Lucky for you, we saw this while we were riding:

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Tomorrow we will find a bike shop, since Dana’s bike is squeaky. And I need new cleats for my shoes, as my right foot keeps slipping out. While the bike is in the shop, we will go to the Charleston Museum.

On to Day 39

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