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Day 4: Cherry Hill, NJ to Carneys Point, NJ.

panomaric_mt_royal

Another light day today. 35 miles. Not intentionally, just the start of the day took ages.

Getting out of Cherry Hill, combined with finding a place that sold batteries, took a fair while. It’s funny really when you have everything you need strapped to your bike, it becomes something that you don’t want to leave if you can’t see it. Even if you lock it up, it’s still a potentially easy target so selecting where you stop is quite important. I.e. somewhere with a big window out front, railings etc.

After the faff of leaving Cherry Hill, and passing on the outskirts of Camden, I had a bad feeling today might be a look-out-for-traffic-urban-day. But it turned out great a couple of hours later.

I ended up on an awesome road called Kings Highway / New Jersey Route 41, through Clarksboro (Gloucester County). Wow. By this point it was magic hour, and the weather as good as it gets – the sun was dropping and the light was brilliant. The autumn colours and low sun turning everything purple was pretty striking. The houses immense and classic – something like you’d see in The Addams Family. The fields vast and sparse. Probably one of the biggest reasons today wasn’t very mile-heavy was the constant stopping to take photos.

Click the image below to open the full panoramic:

It was awesome to watch a group of about 10 deer jump out of some woods and run across an adjacent field.

Today was also the first time the roads have been suitable for listening to music and audiobooks which is something I’ve been looking forward to. Really makes it easier to pedal for longer stints and increases motivation. Album of the day was Passenger – All The Little Lights. Check it out.

Barked at a few times today (by dogs, not people). Made me think of the stories of people on tour being chased / attacked by dogs. If you’ve done anything similar and have any tricks in managing dog attacks, it’d be great to hear in the comments below. Any states coming up that it’d be worth getting spray for? What’s your avoidance strategy?

Got ‘in the zone’ for the first time, maybe it was the amazing scenery and the cals from last nights dinner, or perhaps it was just getting in to the swing of things, but the cycling was totally enjoyable, the pain non-existent, and there was a strong wish for the light to remain. It was ace. A full day of that would be incredible. This distance-cycling thing’s something special, huh?!

As for the bike and gear, it’s all going pretty well really. Bike’s running smoothly. Still no punctures which is surprising considering the amount of glass in the shoulders over the last couple of days. Saddle pain, after yesterdays light day, was much improved, ready for a full day’s push in the morning. Gotta be due a stint of bad weather soon surely? Seems too good to be true for the last few days.

Ended up in Carneys Point, which is the town on the Delaware River which means tomorrow will be a new state – Delaware, and Maryland in a couple of days. Didn’t ever plan on going down that strip of land but it’s had a lot of recommendations so have adjusted the route a little bit. It was always a Vague Direction anyway. Looking forward to finally joining the ACA route in Virginia most likely.

Kept the main camera in the bag today but was snapping away on the iPhone. Here’s a few snaps that mainly involve a lot of sky.



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

  1. Julie Lovegrove says:

    Hi Dave

    Great postings, really enjoying your blog makes me wish I was there!

    By the way what camera are you using, your photos are fab?

    Best wishes

    Julie

    • Dave says:

      Hi Julie, thanks for that.

      As for cameras, I generally mix it up between a Canon 5D mark ii and an iPhone 4S. This post was all done on the iPhone including the panorama.

      It’s true what they say: The best camera is the one that’s with you!

  2. Vicki says:

    HI Dave Enjoying your blogs. Re earlier blogs, it hadn’t occurred to me the distance required just to get out of a city. NZ is a wee bit smaller. The countryside looks amazing and I agree the audio books are great company and help pass time when the scenery can be the same for so long. Good luck for next few days. I shall be following closely using Google maps.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Vicki, wow you’re from NZ, that’s awesome, thanks for reading!

      Glad you’re enjoying it. Any recc’s for good audio books?

  3. Phi O'Rourke says:

    Hi Dave,great pics.Watch for dogs in Kentucky,better get some spray,have a great ride.

  4. Deborah says:

    My husband and I share breakfast each morning and read your blog. I’m pleased by your desire to take in each day. Have done long rides where it is all about the miles. Pics so fun. We are mapping your route too. Thank you for keeping our biking passion alive. Planning trip for spring. Maybe see you on the road.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Deborah,

      Wow thanks for that message! Glad you’re enjoying the journey, and hope that you have a great trip wherever it may take you!

  5. Tony Smith says:

    Dave only thing I can suggest to fend off the dogs is a water bottle or spay and I have not use the spray, not much help here. I have not had much experience with dogs at this point but I will be interested to read the feed back from your fan club.

    Tony

  6. boab says:

    Dave…dogs in some bits of Virginia were an issue…not as much as Kentucky and.Missouri though. Had several pinball encounters, one latched onto a front planner until my boot asked it to leave. I found the best thing to do went they charge at you is to shout violently at them…pepperspray is available over there..but an attack.happens in split seconds so keep it handy. You usually hear them barking as you approach…just be bigger and more scary than them to frighten them away. It’s the little.mutts that get in your spokes that are more dangerous I think. Mostly dogs are just fronting up to you…they back down pretty quick.

  7. Pat Batteson says:

    Hi Dave

    Really enjoying the blog, pics amazing!! Sent a note to Wessie gazette asking them to take a look at your web site, might get a bit of PR.

    Take Care

  8. Doug says:

    Wow those are some stunning pics mate. Sometimes its nice to “stop and smell the roses.” Its not like you have to get to the office by a certain time anyway, right? Can’t wait to what tomorrow brings you. Cheers.

  9. Ed Young says:

    Dave,

    What happened to Ambler, PA??? Had I completed the sign up form the blog, I would have met you form lunch or dinner. I did a combination ride from Hatfield, PA (where I live) to Morehead City, NC. I was to go to Key West, FL but got stopped by mechanical problems and a bit of low motivation.

    As for dog spray, there are two schools. one add an additional water bottle with ammonia and water, squirt this towards the aggressive dog (not on to). It should deter them. If for some reason, they don;t get the hint, then squirt them. I brought pepper spray, mostly for self general defense. I was chased several times. Once I stopped to look at my map when I realized they were in route.. too late. Btu they didn’t know what to do once the got to me and just mulled around a bit. Another one came form behind as I was riding slow as a break from my regular pace. I sped up to add distance then slowed down to offer chase again. I think I got him to run form about two miles.. I almost felt bad form him/her.

    Good luck on the road

    -cheers

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