Hearing some amazing stories from the great travelers, Peter and Anna, who traveled the country from the Pacific Northwest almost diagonally south east to Florida and then north up the coast for two years, inspired me to ride a bit more slowly.
They had their Surly Long Haul Truckers, trailers, and a well traveled puppy, and decided to settle down at Wilmington, North Carolina just a few months ago. I was happy to hear that the east coast did prove to be quite a challenge, not necessarily in terms of cycling itself, but mentally challenging after time and time again looking over your shoulder for passing traffic. That by the time they got halfway up the east coast, they turned back.
This leaves me excited a bit not only for the remainder of the trip, since it might be a bit more quiet than the megalopolis that is New York City-Philadelphia-Baltimore-DC-Richmond-Norfolk which contains mega city-suburb-commuters-mega city-suburb- and so on, but it also leaves me excited for a future trip that may be in the works – the Southern Tier from Florida to California. Coast to coast. The big ride. Where miles and miles of road lie ahead of you in straight lines with prevailing winds and not a single car in sight. Oh yea.
After burritos and beers, I took off the next morning and bid farewell to my gracious hosts and boarded the Southport ferry to dine at Locals Diner and pick up some little croissants at Burney’s Bakery. I had what I thought was a casual ride to Myrtle Beach after Peter and Anna hooked me up with a friend of theirs that was able to lend a hand and couch, so I took the ride super slow and casual, astounded by the infinite amount of shops and chain restaurants that lined route 17. The sidewalk took me all the way across Myrtle Beach, where it would at certain points die without a ramp, or contain trees or light posts in the middle of it, but it allowed for casual, happy riding. So distracted by the scenes, I lost track of time and rushed to Steven’s house, where I got my salty sweat licked off by the happiest dogs in the entire universe.