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A Day of Ups and Downs

Sorry for the late update...we had quite a day.  We left from just outside Bethel, NC and had a pretty easy to remember route planned.  Route 11 North to 13 North.  It was a little cooler-which was nice.  The wind was blowing the right direction and the roads were very smooth so I was able to make good time.  I had sixty miles under my belt in 3 1/4 hours....and we were at the outside of Suffolk Virginia, by 11 a.m.  The next section was very urban...right then left then right...ugh.  Lots of traffic, railroad tracks and not very nice sections of town.  As we moved to Portsmouth, it didn't get better.  So when we hit the expressway, we loaded the bike on the care and off over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel.  On the other side of the Bridge/Tunnel, after the traffic spread out, I was back on the road.  I wanted to put another 18 miles under my belt.  It was hot by that time of day and Route 13 is a 4 lane divided road with traffic going about 70 miles per hour.  There was lots of traffic...dangerous but as the semi-trucks pass, they really pull you along.  After 18 miles, it was 95 degrees and time to quit.   The good news was that we made the mileage that we wanted...the bad news is that Route 13 is just not acceptable for biking. 

So after lunch Michelle and I had to find how we were would travel tomorrow.  Not so many choices.  Eventually, we found a route starting about 10 miles from where we are that looks like it will work...lots of really back roads..some gravel portions, but no traffic issues.  Got back at 8-no rest, a pizza for dinner and now its time for bed.

We hope to reach Seaford DE will depend how the roads are.  It will be slower going than it has been.  The good news is that physically, I am getting use to this.  I still get very bored after 60 miles and when it gets hot, I get grumpy.

Now I need your help...ANY BIKER IN DELAWARE, please send me a good safe route from Seaford to Wilmington...the more details the better.

We are getting close and appreciate your interest and support

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Reader Comments (17)

Steve and Michelle, I was worried but feel much better now that you've posted! I will reach out to BJ and Dick because they might know a safe right. I'll also ask Doug Tynan. Hang in there! We're pulling for you both!

June 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Oops! I mean safe route.

June 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Steve - I googled bike trails in Delaware and a couple of good resources came up. One was wikipedia, with a cite to a DelDot project which maps bike routes through Delaware. I've posted the link here.

June 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaryanne

Steve -- I hate it when I'm right in situations like this. As Rick & I drove south on Rte 13 on Friday enroute to Elizabeth City, NC, we felt like your BAT -- Backward Advanced Team. We looked at every shoulder as we headed to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and declared that we were worried about Rte 13 for you. Our break was a stop in Onancock VA (adorable, if you're looking for sights - yeah right!) at the Deep River Marina (not!) where we spotted the Freedom 40 that may soon be ours. More about that at the Gala.... Anyway, my money's on Michelle who's probably got Plan B and C figured out by now. We await your arrival with such excitement. Be safe... AJW

June 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Wright

I searched the web and couldn't find anything good. I'll call the bike shops in the morning and the Delaware Council of Biking - 302-760-2453.

Your ride calls to mind one of my favorite quotes from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe -

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have believed would have come his way. Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it! - Goethe

We'll find you an amazing route to enjoy the homestretch!

You rock!

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Steve I wish I had something to add to help. But you've got Brian delivering a fav Goethe piece and practical advice from Maryanne and others and the power of the Internet and good old fashioned phone number to call, so all I can add is continued good karma and ever increasing vision of the end of your journey in sight. Here is hoping that the perfect country road with only occasional roadkill finds you and all the semi's can barrel along somewhere else.

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternancy

Woof! Rrrrruf, Woof!

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAddy

You're almost there! One more day after today? Hang in there - we're all pulling for you (not like a semi, though...).

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

Hey Steve and Michelle,
Check your e-mail. I have been in conversation with Dick and he is dropping off a bike map that includes the "Bike to the Bay" route. I'll send this to you via e-mail.

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarylynn

Seaford to Wilmington Route
These directions go with the maps Marylynn sent you. The first set of directions is for the Sussex County Map:
1. N. Pine St to Wilson's Farm Road
2. Right onto Market and zig zag through town to Fawn Rd.
3. Fawn Rd to Sugar Hill Rd
4. Sugar Hill Rd. to Shawnee Rd
5. Shawnee Rd to Greenhurst Farm Rd
6. Greenhurst Farm Rd to Woodyard Rd

Kent County Map
7. Woodyard Rd. to Gun & Rod Club Rd.
8. Gun & Rod Club Rd. to Corn Crib Rd.
9. Corn Crib Rd. across Route 13 to Fairground Rd.
10. Fairground Rd. to West St.
11. West St. to Little Masters Corner Rd. (once you get to Felton on this road you should begin to see signs for DE Bike Route 1 - continue to follow the signs)
12. Little Masters Corner Rd. turns into Turkey Point Rd.
13. Turkey Point Rd. to Dundee Rd.
14. Dundee Rd. to Moose Lodge Rd. and then right onto Westville Rd.
15. Westville Rd. runs into Wyoming Mill Rd. (at some point Wyoming Mill Road splits into a Y, you want to stay right onto New Burton Rd. taking this into Dover.
16. Right onto Water St
17. Left onto N. State St. continue on this over Silver Lake, across Route 13 and across Route 1 until you reach Persimmon Tree Lane.
18. Left onto Bayside Road, which is Route 9 stay on this until you reach Wilmington's train station (I'll list out the roads into Wilmington below)
18. Bayside Road to Smyrna Leipsic Rd.
19. Smyrna Leipsic Rd. to Hay Point Landing Rd.

New Castle County Map
20. Hay Point Landing Rd. to New Castle Ave and then left onto A St
20. Right onto Walnut
21. Left onto 12th St.
22. 12th St. to Delaware Ave. continue on Delaware Ave. and then right onto Augustine Cut Off
23. Left onto Rockland Road - and you know your way from here!

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRide For Nemours

Steve and Michelle,There are a few route options between Seaford and Dover.One of my bicycle training partners,Dave Power lived in the area for a couple of years.He is going to e-mail me a couple of routes.I requested that he also post to the comment section of this blog.It is possible that I could meet you and ride to Wilmington.Let me know.My cell phone and E-mail are in my prev. E-mails.I will be @ AIDIHC this evening until 11:00 pm.You are almost there! Congratulations , Ken Wilson

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKen Wilson AIDIHC

OK Our fearless leader...Feel the power of all the energy from suite 205 at Rockland II. Can you feel it yet? It is coming your way as you do this last part of the leg. Hey we even ordered up some cooler weather for you so you don't get grumpy when you arrive tomorrow! This is your goal and your story and all of us stand behind you and the difference Nemours makes in children's lives. Be Safe See you tomorrow!

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPenny

Keep up the good work, reading through the blogs is a lot of fun and very inpiring. I thought the 60 mile katie ride was a lot...

Home stretch life is easy now... :)


June 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBryan Oxendale

Way to go Steve! Your journey is almost complete....Here's hoping the last leg of your trip is smooth and uneventful :)

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarianne L

I am friend and training partner of Ken Wilson. I have ridden/raced a lot and I know what I am doing. It sounds like you are doing quite well and you have accomplished a lot in riding over a week of centuries.
As for route from Seaford to up here, I read a very detailed route above that sounds pretty good to me. I would give an alternative way to get to route 9 from Dover ( the listed one is okay.. this one I am more familiar with). If you go north on DE bike route 1 on McKee rd (also DE route 15), you will hit state route 42 in Cheswold.(called Main st). Make a right on 42 and cross US13 at the light. Royal Farms convenience store on the left after crossing 13. riding east on 42 you hit route 9 in Leipsic after 4 or 5 miles.

As for new castle county and getting back to the hospital, that kinda stinks. I will look at a map and see if there is an alternative to going thru Wilmington as was posted above. Myself, I stay away from riding thru the city.

If I knew earlier you were doing this trip, I woiuld have loved to come along for a few days. Alas, I found out too late. At least I can help with these suggestions.


June 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdave power

Okay, I have an alternate route from DE City to the hospital. Got to and search for nemours. The ride is called "Ride for Nemours- New Castle County" It goes up rt 72 and cuts over to pike creek area then goes to rt 82, then 52, and 141. It avoids the traffic and bad areas of the city. There still is some traffic of course ( we have too much around here) but in my opinion, this is the best bet without going way west and north of newark in a wide arc.

My e-mail is Let me know what you think and what route you are taking tomorrow morning. A few of us may try to meet you somewhere in southern NCC ( if you say how are you going, we will ride in reverse).

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdave power


How incredibly proud we are of you and your remarkable journey! The end is in sight and we are anxiously waiting to welcome you home!!! Have even ordered some incredible weather to help you during your final stage. One more day, God speed!!!!!!!!!

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTK

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