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Day 11: Ahoskie, NC to Greenville, NC

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58 miles today. Late start leaving Ahoskie. Loaded up on Granola bars and soon got in to a rhythm, heading for the North Carolina 11 S route.

Today was the first day of really long straight roads, where you don’t have to do any navigation for basically most of the day. There was a point when I just had to ride down a single straight road for 38 miles. In many ways it’s quite enjoyable as you can turn on the music and audio books and it becomes very simple and almost meditative. ‘We Are Augustines – Rise Ye Sunken Ships’ was the highlight of todays music selection.

Click the images to open the full panoramic.

That state didn’t last too long. Had to do some obligatory mountain biking when, slightly ahead, one lorry was overtaking another. The overtaker pulled out in to the oncoming lane which was clear of cars, just not cyclists. No way was he going to stop the procedure so I promptly diverted to the grassy verge to avoid them.

Mind games have started to kick in too. Here’s one for you to try: How long can you ride whilst balancing on the white line on the side of the road? Oh the thrill! Another one is cat eye slalom. How long is this trip again?!

The ride was really great, passing through Martin County & Pitt County. Through a lot more cotton fields, and swamp land. Over the amazing Roanoke river, too. Via some awesomely aesthetic abandoned houses.

Stealth camped at a football complex 3 miles east of Greenville, near a place called Bradford Creek. Once again, not the stealthiest of spots but it seemed to work, hiding from road-visibility by bivying behind a platform.

Looking forward to riding to Wilmington, NC, arriving on most likely Saturday now. At the time of writing it’s 4pm and I’ve probably cycled about 3 miles today, so it’s not boding well for a big mileage day! It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow (Happy Thanksgiving Americans!), so best get some food as everything closes later on today.

Oh, it was a really clear night whilst stealthing-it last night, here’s the sky:



Vague Direction: A 12,000 mile bicycle ride, and the meaning of life.
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12 comments on this post

  1. Sarah (in Seattle) says:

    Hey Dave~

    I came across your website through Adventure Cycling. I love what you are doing, and so I have been following your blog religiously! :-)

    Like you, I’ve struggled with a lot of questions. About the future. About life. About goals. About commitments. While I don’t by any means have my life figured out, I do know that my two passions (at least at this point in my life) are tiny living and bike touring. I’m just now beginning my own journey to focus on these passions.

    Up until my mid-20s (I’m in mid-30s now), I very much followed the path that society told me to follow. I got a good degree at a good university. I got a good job at one of the top five consulting firms. I got married and got a house in the suburbs. La-de-da-de-da. And then, after a few years, I started to question whether this was really what I wanted from life. Shortly thereafter, I got divorced. I started thinking for myself, setting goals, and bringing those goals to fruition. Although the goals have evolved over time, I’m becoming more and more comfortable in doing what it takes to chase my dreams. After all, we’re here on earth for a very short while. And when I lay on my deathbed, I want to look back at my life and be please with the life I chose to live.

    Passion #1: Tiny Living
    We are very much a consumer society. We spend so much money buying so many things–big houses, big cars, lots of gadgets. To support this habit, we work long hours at jobs that consume our health, our happiness, and our lives. I’ve been diligently working to downsize, save money, and put myself in a situation where I can enter early “semi-retirement”–not having to working, but rather choosing to work if/when I want. I’ve been simplifying my life and getting rid of the clutter, commitments, and things that aren’t necessary–it’s been very freeing! I’m in the early stages of designing a “tiny home” (a mini cabin on wheels) that will enable me to significantly reduce my living expenditures and to spend more of my life energies pursuing the things I want to pursue.

    Passion #2: Bike Touring
    I’ve always loved bike riding, but I’ve really fallen in love with bike touring the last two or so years. Bike touring is a great way to travel. It’s slow enough that you can absorb the surroundings and the people, but fast enough that you can make decent progress. Plus, it’s so wonderful to carry everything you need under your own power. I’ve done two self-supported tours, and I’m looking forward to many, many more!

    A week ago I left my job to spend more time pursuing my passions. I’m going to spend this winter working on my tiny house and scheming up a multi-month bike tour for next spring/summer. I certainly hope you’ll look me up when you’re in the Seattle area–I’d love to meet you in person, to share a meal, and to offer you a place to stay.

    Enjoy your journey~
    Sarah

  2. Kevin says:

    It may be thanksgiving but find yourself some eastern north Carolina BBQ today tomorrow and whenever you can. BBQ is a noun in these parts.

  3. Phil O'Rourke says:

    Great pics,stealth camping rules!

  4. george foster says:

    dave man, been reading your blog since day one. awesome effort bud! you’ll be out there next april/may right?? bit in advance but i’ll get over to see you. keep on keeping on!

  5. Tony Norris says:

    Great pics. Again thanks. We look forward to your post each day. I predict that you may reach Wilmington by Friday night. Notice that you seem to be doing about 4+ hrs night riding. How are your lights/batteries holding up? Stay safe.
    Tony

    • Dave says:

      Hi Tony,

      You were right. Wilmington on Friday evening!

      The lights are awesome and I’m having no issues. Generally I’ll get a full two days of night riding out of a single charge using Gemini Lights Olympia LED light. Put it on full power and it’s like having full beam car lights!

  6. Pat Batteson says:

    Great pictures David – keep safe and Happy Thanksgiving x

  7. James Clark says:

    Man! This is inspiring… I love the daily updates. Somehow it’s making my daily bicycle commute a little more meaningful.

  8. Chris D says:

    Been following you Dave since you were diverted to DC – but never heard how you got to NYC. Anyways – I love your honesty and pragmatism and your sense of adventure. Looking forward to following wherever the vague direction takes you.

  9. Tom Barnett says:

    Dave,
    I have been following your adventure since you arrived in America. I am 65 and started riding 3 years ago after a running injury. I have been increasing my milege each year. I have been a member of Adventure Cycling for 1 year and am motivated to try a tour. Since reading your accounts of your adventure to tour the whole of our country, I am making plans to, albeit small in comparison to your objective, ride the perimeter of the state Michigan next summer. If all goes well and my health stays with me I will try a TransAmerica the spring and summer of 2014. Thanks for your motivation. Good luck on your adventure.
    Tom

  10. JohnBagge says:

    Great looking adventure. Read about you in Westmorland Gazette. Looking forward to the documentary film at the end, but I guess ther is a lot of cycling, fun and adventure to behad before that can happen..Happy cycling and looking forward to checking your progress and blog. John

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