5/31/19

Bike Journal Day 2

Route for day 2, approximately

So I woke up with a start after not sleeping much or well on the ground. A sleeping bag was a bit much, as far as warmth goes. I choked down a granola bar from earlier, drank a bit of gatorade and water, and packed up. Unpacking and packing the bike by this time was still a work in progress. Only change I'd make to the setup is next time to have a bit of a command center bag on the handlebars for stuff like camera, sunscreen, a small snack, stuff like that. I wound up wearing a camera around my neck for much of the trip and that was a little too swinging. The Nashville Diner delivered for ambiance but the food unsurprisingly was heavy and disgusting. Their coffee was on point though.


My plan was to get back onto NC Bike route 2, I guess at Elm City. The NC Bike routes are nice, but finding a good map for them online was a constant difficulty. The signage for them in the real world does exist, but I don't think completely. I tried following them the night before, for example, and wound up 20 miles or so off track.

MIL had given me some contact info for some folks there, and I did stop in to chat for a few, sweating and apprehensive. Elm City also had a disgusting gas station, where I got some hot coffee (after the first sip my only thought was WHY)
View from the Elm City gas station. At least she didn't charge me for ice.


At a certain stretch like this I began to overheat. My water bottles were all melted and by this time hot. I spied a pretty nice looking pond beyond some short pine trees planted to farm, and scurried down the bank to dip my hat and handkerchief. The water was much cooler and clearer than I expected. Then I heard someone shouting. Adjacent to the pond was a big Spanish styled house, and out of no where like a fly on shit this clean country dumbass came driving up in a shining black golf cart to chase me off. I complimented his pond and house and asked where the next ice water could be found, explaining that I was merely suffering from the heat. I showed him my dripping handkerchief. He told me at the next corner, about a mile that-a-way. So off I trudged. Got an ice cream sandwich and an icee imitation and some more ice for the water bottles.


Lots of abandoned homes on the back country roads.


CRISP NAILED YOUR ASS AGAIN


This was near the imitation icee shop. Lots of flies in there! They did have a beer city styled walk in cooler though, which I steamed up a bit.
So after kind of eyeballing how far I could get I figured Greenville would be a good resting spot. I'd get a hotel with a bed and a shower and cut the ride kind of short. My plan was always to get to little Washington (Washington NC), but at this point I was too beat to go on. So I got to the bike shop in Greenville, oiled my chain (a bike thing I hadn't packed for) and tried to book a hotel from my phone. UNFORTUNATELY it was the weekend of graduation at ECU, so there were like 8,000 families in town from far and wide and not a hotel room to be had. I thought Washington was 30 miles further but after looking again it was only 20. Funny how distances are so relative - on a normal day biking 20 miles after already doing 50 would be a back breaker. By this time 20 additional miles was going to be very very doable, especially since I didn't really have any other options. Washington it is! The route there included six miles of hell on a 4 lane highway with no shoulder, which led to a very zen mindstate and an absolute sprint, biking wise. Otherwise the entire trip was marked by great roads and mostly civil and courteous drivers. The notable exceptions almost always were big trucks with hunting bumper stickers.
Once in Washington I got to my hotel (last room in town, not featuring a great odor to be honest), showered, chugged some water, and set out to see the town. It was fine, though the river was a little less wide than I had hoped/envisioned. I got an 8 piece of fried chicken and some beer and settled in to watch the Blazers in the playoffs. Unfortunately the game went to 4OT and like 3 AM or something stupid. I was so tired. I really wanted to check out the town more but the verticality required was too much to overcome.
 King Chicken. Good fried chicken. I got the 8 piece meal which turned out to be a full fried chicken. Unfortunately I am not a competitive eater so some of this went to waste. I did my best. When faced with an unfamiliar restaurant situation I often don't make the best choices.

One of the last rolls of Acros

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