Wow! A lot has happened since I posted about arriving “home” Georgia! It seems like weeks, rather than a few days. Here’s the scoop on my ride through Georgia.
When I last posted, we had finished our ride from Amelia Island to Folkston, Georgia. That day was best characterized by the starting downpour, early busy four lane roads, but finished up with enjoying some country cooking and meeting the locals at the train watching station.
Our remaining ride through Georgia was beautiful – lovely country roads, great weather, good pavement for the most part and friendly people.
Folkston to Blackshear (55 Miles)
This ride was blissfully the shortest ride of our trip to date, with great weather. Upon arrival in Blackshear, the Comfort Inn and Suites was a welcome sight – with an elevator, a laundry and large rooms! (With no elevator, we carry our bikes and luggage upstairs.) We were in heaven! We arrived early enough to be first on the laundry list and grab lunch before heading out to explore the town. An extra bonus was a CVS across the street from the hotel to stock up on necessities! Simple pleasures are the best!
Like Folkston, trains seemed to feature prominently in the history of Blackshear. A lovely little town!
Blackshear to Glennville (63 miles planned, 66 miles actual)
This ride was marred by the accident of our friend Peg. As we followed the route, a local told us we would not be able to cross a washed out bridge. She advised turning around and taking a detour, a little more than a mile back. We called the SAG and guides, headed back, looking for other riders to warn. As we came up to the turn, we unexpectedly encountered rumble strips. BIG ONES. Peg hit them, turned right into the grass, and before she could stop, fell into a ditch. She could not remember the year, the president, or where we were. So we called for someone to pick her up and get her to an emergency room.
It turned out that the bridge was closed to cars, but bikers could walk over it. The accident would not have happened but for a good samaritan with bad information. What a bummer!
While a scan didn’t not indicate a concussion, Peg’s shoulder was pretty sore. (Ultimately, on the advise of her doctor, she withdrew from the trip. So sad!)
It was a long, hot day. Once we made it to the Cheerio Inn in Blackshear, we had a great time relaxing on the wide, sweeping lawn, then dinner and sleep.
Glennville to Statesboro (47 miles planned, 20 miles actual)
A short ride, we took our time and enjoyed the scenery on rural Georgia roads. It was a magically beautiful morning!
Close to mile 20, five of us were cruising along with low headwinds at 16-17 mph, when we came up unexpectedly on the dreaded rumble strips. There was an open patch to the right, and I veered over quickly. I decided that I had too much speed for the maneuver. I simultaneously slammed on brakes and tried to clip out. Only problem was that I clip out inward, and with adrenaline, I clipped out inward too much. And slammed on disc brakes. My heel caught in the wheel, and I left a couple of feet of tire tracks on the road. Just as I was about to announce that I was falling over, the stop let go of my foot, and I safely clipped out without falling.
Whew! Except that this mayhem broke two spokes on my rear wheel. So my ride was done for the day. We called the SAG, and I called Atlanta Cycling. Mike W. called a local bike shop in Stateboro and talked through the repair I’d need. We only had a 50/50 chance of making the repair, so I called Bob and asked if he would be willing to drive down a day early and bring my spare set of wheels in case the repair didn’t work. He is a sweetheart, and jumped into action.
I waited for the SAG, then helped her finish sagging the route. SUCH BEAUTIFUL ROUTES and old houses. I hated I didn’t bike it. But by 1:30 pm, my bike was in the shop. The shop was able to make the repair, and Bob arrived about the time the bike was ready. The ladies of Woman Tours welcomed Bob and Sadie to dinner. Everyone got their “puppy fix”! And many of them actually thought Sadie was a good dog!
Right after I got to the hotel, my iPhone 6 turned blue then shutdown. Into a bag of rice for 24 hours. With my new retainer splitting, I hoped that I had experienced my three unlucky events – if not more!
Statesboro to Point South, SC (71 miles planned, 73 miles actual)
I got my bike and luggage downstairs, but before I rode, I discovered my front wheel was not spinning freely. A couple of checks from Bob and Patty (one of our guides), and I decided to give it a go. Last one out of the hotel. No working phone.
My pal Susan Gishi learned of my dilemma and turned back to ride with me. How great is that?! We caught folks at the first SAG stop and found my wheel was still not spinning freely. Susan and Patty adjusted the front brakes to loosen the wheel a bit. Much better, but I was still working at extra effort to ride.
We crossed the South Carolina border, but without a welcome sign. And the roads were initially FAR from welcoming. Denoted a scenic cycling route, it was clear whoever made that designation was no cyclist! The roads were terrible. But when we crossed the county line, the roads improved, and we were soon in Robertsville. Robertsville is the home of John Roberts, none other than the creator of Roberts Rules of Order. It is also home to a beautiful church, and those who arrived earlier were invited into church, bike clothes and all. They reported that the organist, who was blind, was amazingly good.
A pretty, but uneventful ride into Point South, the Best Western and a day off! Woohoo! And the added bonus that Bob and Sadie were there waiting.
The wheel was not yet spinning freely, so I called Atlanta Cycling, and they talked Bob through how to reset the front disc brakes. Much better!
The Tour View of Georgia
I am glad to say that in general, the roads in Georgia were good, the weather was great, the locals friendly, the routes lovely and the drivers mostly polite. I think the group will remember fondly their time in my adopted home state.
Now, South Carolina is another story. For tomorrow.