What you should expect from a long bicycle journey
Bicycle touring for a sustained period of time is a…
Day 12: Greenville – Greenville (Odomoter: 10 miles)
Really not much to report about Day 12. I ended up just cycling from the stealth camp at the football pitch a few miles east of Greenville, into the town, did emails, bought some food in preparation for Thanksgiving, and rode back so thought it best to add to a post with other more productive days.
Day 13: Greenville – Jacksonville (66 miles)
Thanksgiving. Everything was super quiet with people celebrating the holiday and eating turkey. Nothing much was open, and the roads were very clear so a perfect time to enjoy the sun and get pedalling.
Leaving Greenville, Kinston was the next town on the route, and was a prime example of how the recession is affecting huge communities. Whole streets boarded up and empty. There was an awesome thrift store though, selling a jet ski on the patio at the front. Decided it might add too much weight, so continued. The rest of the day was spent riding through mainly farmland. Cows and goats mainly.
Like the day of the mechanical, today was a day of firsts. And one that I hadn’t particularly been looking forward to. Getting chased by dogs. It happened twice in the space of about half an hour. Damn they’re fast. At first it’s terrifying, as you only hear them. That terror quickly became amusement on both occasions, as luckily they were both friendly dogs (a tiny little thing and a labrador). Happy days.
I arrived on the outskirts of Jacksonville at about 7pm, with the thought that on Thanksgiving stealth camping should be easily achieved. There was a park wedged in between a church and a street, hidden from the road so it made a great place to pitch the tent. It was all going so well, until cooking up a couple of tins for dinner. Can’t have been that discreet as about 5 minutes later a car with full beam headlights slowly approached the tent. They’d seen the flame from the stove.
Amazingly though it was the pastor of the nearby church and his son, a Jacksonville police officer. They were totally fine with the camping, and had just wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to burn anything down. After explaining the situation, they even offered to bring some left over turkey. The pastor continued to give some valuable advice:
“Here’s good, but you really don’t want to go any further down the park. There’s dogs. Rottweilers. Try not to disturb them.” Noted. Thank you sir.
Day 14: Jacksonville – Wilmington (52 miles)
Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving, when a large chunk of America go holiday shopping. Shops open at midnight, people fight, and try to get some reduced-price swag.
Today was rare, in that I knew the destination was Wilmington. Having a quick look at the GPS told me that it was 52 miles away. So after a fairly leisurely morning, it was time to hit the road at around 11am.
The Black Friday traffic wasn’t particularly noticeable, not until arriving in Wilmington later on anyway. It was another glorious day, perhaps the hottest so far. The first half of the day was uphill all the way, and was the first sustained up hill I’ve encountered. It wasn’t steep by any means but it seemed to go on and on at a gradual incline, at obviously a much slower pace than on flat. Hard work with a flat battery in your music / audio device. Oh and the roadkill, so much roadkill today. You name it – foxes, deer, birds, cats. Grim and not photo-worthy.
Pulled in to Wilmington relatively early, at around 6.30pm, which made a pleasant change. Looking forward to checking out the coast between here and Charleston over the next couple of days.
Not particularly accurate G-maps: