Twice now I have done the Southern Tier. The roads of west Texas are so poor you get used to riding a jackhammer for three weeks instead of a bike.
South Carolina has now gone one better.
The day starts in Georgia and as the sun rises I enter the fairytale city of Savanah. I feel like I have gone back in time with its massive Churches, homes, parks and clean streets. By the time I leave the parks have become full of walkers runners, carriages, bikers and people just sitting on the grass. For the first time on the ride I just want to stop…for a day, a week, a month, a year, a lifetime.
But I must move on…
Suddenly I see a small sign that says I have entered South Carolina and the road proves that to be the case. Potholes , hundreds of repairs ,glass and debris line the road. Shoulders shrink to 6 inches and are overgrown with weeds.
My bike starts to rattle and shake sharing the jarrings with me. It is beyond belief. Cars rush by oblivious to bike riders and for the first time I get taunts from passing pickup trucks. What a difference a few yards make.
I start to worry about the fillings in my head and see ahead someone who might have helpful advice.
Standing alone in the middle of a swamp he looks so regal and wise.
With Flossie as a go between I ask for help.
After some long moos and even longer creaks and groans in response Brown Eyes turns to me…
“ There’s a dentist down the road and some alternative transportation waiting for you next door”
Curious I ride on through pristine wetlands.
Suddenly in the distance I see the office I seek but as I approach I realize it’s Sunday and closed.
Next door a pasture with potential mounts for me but these mother Clydesdales are busy tending their young and have no interest in me.
What is one to do but rattle on.
I finally arrive in Beaufort after 7 1/2 hours of tortured hot riding and reach a bike path which will take me to the nights resting place.
Suddenly above me mechanical shrieks that raise the hairs on my arms and neck…across my bow not 200 feet above me… 6 Blue Angels appear.
Flossie and Angel cheer as I nearly wet my pants.
Regaining my composure I watch them from a bridge in a swamp, on the bike path…They are here practicing at Parrish Island where boys become men. I start again but in the wrong direction and get lost…
And yet for all these happenings the White Rabbit still arrives an hour before anyone else.
I will sleep well tonight.