Saturday, June 26, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
On Wednesday night, we rolled into Dothan, Alabama to stay at Warren and June's house. Arriving tired, we both got a warm shower and laundry done while June prepared a great dinner for the both of us while we both talked bikes with Warren. June is very big on health food and knowing what you put into your body so we got try plenty of new dishes and found out that the rabbits on the back porch weren't just pets which is awesome! Using their back porch as our camp ground, we got some early rest to ride into Georgia the next day.
This morning came early and we headed for the first McDonald's we could find to plan out our day. The original plan was to meet Mrs. Christoff in Bainbridge, Georgia but we just couldn't swing it. Noticing how close we were to the Florida boarder, we opted to take the southern route following the Chattahoochee into Florida. We did run into some trouble when Evan picked up a large nail in his puncture resistant back tire. One thing we did notice is that people won't get over for bikers when they're stopped. They're move over when a car is stopped but love to buzz bikers changing tires. We quickly fixed that by Evan changing the tire and me spitting on the wind shields of economy cars, keeping it classy.
After a short Gatorade rest stop, we headed down highway 95 into the Chattahoochee State Park and we finally hit the state line. Feels a little weird being back in Florida already but it's good to be home. The road coming in was amazing. We had little to no traffic so we could actually talk on the bikes and the sky stated overcast all day, blocking out that famous Florida UV index.
Our plan from here was to find a KOA close so that we didn't go over 60 miles, wanting to save our legs a little. Also, the heat is ridiculous out here when the sun is out so we needed to stop before it got too late in the day. For lunch we hit Patty's Diner when we got a call from Mrs. Christoff saying that she could meet us closer to Tallahassee if we wanted a hotel with A/C. That sealed the deal. With what started out to be a short off day ending at a KOA turned into a longer day ending in A/C and pizza...a pretty good trade off for us.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Thankfully, the skies remained overcast for the better part of the afternoon giving us nice cloud cover as we headed down Taylor Road. At first we had a nice average with a slight uphill, but because we were cycling in the afternoon, the winds started to pick up. The headwind from the Gulf held us up a bit but brought some cool air (smelled like BP).
In pretty good time, we rolled into town and hunkered down in a DQ for some Blizzards (can't forget the top part of the food triangle). It was here that we started to go through how much food we had left in our packs. After much debate and ever growing hunger, we found that we'd been stocking up non-perishables like it's hurricane season. Every time we go into a store, we go into survival mode, thinking that it will be days without food like it was out west. Predicting that we could shed a couple of pounds off the bikes by eating up, we hurried out the DQ an found our campsite down the road.
We quickly set up our tent and started cooking a feast full of noodles, protein bars, string cheese and trail mix in this open barn on the lot.
Today was pretty uneventful bit we're one step closer to home. Tomorrow is another 50+ day into Dothan where we have a warmshower set up and then into Georgia the next morning where we will meet up with Mama Christoff.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Sure enough, a SUV swung around back and Brother Scott jumped out, ready to take us to his place where two empty beds awaited. After unloading our gear, we went over to a couple of other Kappa Sigs houses to hang out and do laundry. They were all pretty interested in our trip and we exchanged stories of parties and socials until we couldn't stay awake anymore. Knowing that our ride would start early we got to bed late for a few hours sleep.
Waking before the sun, Evan and I snuck out of Scott's house and made our game plan over hotcakes and sausage at McDonalds. Our original plan was to make it as far as possible to Montgomery, stealth camp, then bike into town the next day. We set up a warmshower in Montgomery with a couple, Dick and Anita. Dick offered to get us at our stopping point between Tuscaloosa and Montgomery. We made it to a small peach town named Maplesville and holed up in a Subway as we got our first rain shower of the trip. Thankfully, Dick got there soon and we chatted about touring while the wind and rain rattled the double pane next to us. The photo below doesn't really do it justice, it was raining pretty hard.
We soon found out that Dick and Anita were real cyclist, doing many cross country trips together. Dick had done eight himself and is planning to do the TransAmerica trip soon. We got to Dick's house while the rain continued and found that we had our own beds and a fridge full of more Gatorades than we could ever finish! We couldn't believe how nice this couple was, inviting us to dinner with their son-in-law Jack and his kids and giving us the keys to his house, van, and lake house for the next day.
Saving us a night in a hotel and a car rental, we took Anita and Dick's car offer and drove to Auburn to check out the campus and my apartment for next year. The campus had grown up since the last time I was there but the lemonade at Toomer's drug store was still amazing. Next year should be fun!
We got the van back to the house and we made Dick and Anita (mostly Evan) dinner. It was the first time we had cooked since home and had a real sit down meal, talking touring the whole time. That night, we checked out some of Dick's favorite cycling blogs and he gave us a good route out of town towards Troy.
Today, we found out the if we delayed one day, we could meet up with Evan's mom in Georgia so we got a hotel for tonight. Wanting to relax one more day, we cycled down to the movie theater and saw "The A-Team" and snuck into "Getting Him To Greek" for a movie marathon. The A-Team is definitely a must see.
Coming home we found some sporting stores to replace some tires. Coming out of Mississippi and into Alabama, I popped the front tire and slashed the back tire with a sharp metal plate on the road so we found some extra tubes on the way back. Tonight we packed up and are waiting for our ride tomorrow. We're heading down 231 to Troy which is only 51 miles. The shoulder looks pretty good here so tomorrow should be smooth riding. Only a couple more days until the Georgia boarder!