Wednesday June 4, 2008
More photos from the trip, this time hopefully in contrast to the previous “nature” shots. To answer some of the practical questions I’ve been getting: I took the train up to Savannah last Friday. Upon getting to the train station at 8 pm (just as the sun was setting) I had to put my bike back together (it was boxed for the trip) and search for a camping spot for the night. I began pedaling the next morning, and arrived back in Miami the next Sunday. That’s nine days on the bike, including three night stays in motels and five nights of camping. My speedometer was once again on the fritz during this trip, but my daily mileage averaged over 80 miles, with at least a couple of 100 mile days. Other then an almost-constant headwind, the weather was cooperative, with no rain to speak of, and comfortable days and cool nights (at least until the last few days in South Florida, where the sun laughed at my SPF 30 and cooked me to a crisp).
As a bicycle tourist, I was able to tap into an abundance of goodwill from motorists, truckers, pedestrians, convenience store clerks, waitresses, other cyclists, bike shop workers, park rangers, law enforcement officials, and just plain everyone I ran across. There is a whole taxonomy of friendly waves that I discovered which unfortunately I cannot express in a text format (but ask me if you run into me).
One story I can share is the thing about the dogs. Folks in rural Georgia sometimes have loose dogs hanging around outside their homes, and a cyclists is exactly what these dogs love to chase. In fact, for the first few days of the trip, I’d be chased by dogs several times a day. Usually, a little adrenaline would kick in and I’d hustle a bit and soon pass out of the dogs’ territory, at which point they quickly give up chase. Two occasions stand out. Once, two dogs ran after me and straight into the path of an oncoming minivan, which came to a screeching (and honking) halt, within a hair’s breath of death. The other time, two good sized dogs saw me coming, and ran out to meet me, barking, growling, and blocking my path of escape. I got off the bike and tried to use it as a shield between myself and the animals, but they wisely spilt, each circling me from one side. I fended them off for a bit by yelling and squirting my water bottle in a wide arc, and walked down the left side of the road, my bike a sort of shield. They escorted me, and whenever they got too close I again squirted water and yelled at them (my yelling got gradually friendlier as the threat seemed to subside). Once I was passed their territory I was allowed to get back on my bike and ride on.
So. Anyway, here’s the slideshow of photos of man-made stuff from the trip.comments powered by Disqus