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Tuesday
May312011

News Flash-Steve Exercises Judgment

Okay...so that is not true.  Actually Michelle made Steve exercise good judgment.  We left Kenansville, NC very early and was pedaling by 6 a.m.  It was warm from the very beginning, but I had no idea what I was in for.  With the heat, the goal was to go just over 80 miles and finish by noon.   Lots of dogs (again) and some road kill.  The roads we traveled today were pretty good-a smooth road can add over 2 mph.  However, the wind had shifted and it was more frequently a factor.  Also, there are these hills...we don't have them in Florida.  While I like the hills, it does slow me down.  

I hydrated, hydrated, hydrated and kept eating those power gels at every stop.  By 9:30 it was over 90 degrees and the rest of the day was just HOT.  I eventually got to where we wanted to go-Oak City, NC.  It was 12:15 p.m and it was about 100 degrees.  Michelee said we had gone far enough..just about 80 miles.

We drove from Oak City to Greenville, about 20+ miles south, and we will have dinner with our niece who is working in Greenville for the summer.

Tomorrow we will go back to Oak City and then head to Portsmouth, VA...about 85 miles...then over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, and then I hope to put 15 miles in on the other side.  We will see how hot it is.

Starting to get into a real routine.  I get up, get ready, start pedaling and Michelle does all the rest.

Starting to feel a little like Forest Gump when he is running as says, "I'm tired..I think I'll go home"

The end is in sight, but I do not want to get too far out ahead of myself.

Thanks for all the support and comments

Monday
May302011

Day Five-Over the Hump

Another good day.  I left Loris SC a little earlier than normal hoping to avoid the heat.  The first 55 miles were pleasant.  By mid-morning it was really hot so slow and steady was the call.  I arrived in Kenansville NC at about 1 pm.  Just over 95 miles from the start.  The ride today was thru beautiful farm land.  There were also lots of different kinds of livestock...all smelly.  While all of the livestock trucks stunk, the chicken trucks are the worst...you get the smell plus flying feathers.  What a mess.  Today was also the day when all the dogs along the route decided to chase me.  I am not a match for the short speed of a dog.

When we arrived we had trouble finding a hotel.  Kenansville is not as big as it looked on the map.  The closest hotel, a Days Inn ($60) was 12 miles away.  I rested this afternoon after getting a shower and having lunch.  Michelle is out scouting tomorrow's route.  We hope to get somewhere aroung Bethel or Tarboro, NC...about 90 miles.  The heat is increasing (likely 100 degrees) so another early start will be needed.  By noon, it is too hot to get much done so the work has to be done early.

I am realizing that this trip is  more a personal journey than I had thought.  I realize how lucky I am and how thankful I am to have great kids, great friends and a great family. I am thankful for the folks at Nemours who cared for Katie.  Certainly, the strenght of Nemours is its people.   I am especially thankful for Michelle.  I would not want to be going through my life with anyone else.  Thanks Mi!

We are still lagging on our fund-raising.  If you know anyone who may be interested in supporting me, please let them know about this site.

Thanks for all the support and nice comments

Sunday
May292011

Day Four-A Rebound Day

Today I felt much better and had a good day.  I left Monck's Corner at 6:25 a.m. and finished riding at 1:30 p.m. in Loris, SC...just south of the NC border and about 15 miles further than our target of Conway, SC.  (just shy of 100 miles) The ride today was similar to the past days in that I generally rode from one swamp to another.  A big difference was the road-kill...instead of armidillos, it was almost always opposum.  It was still hot and humid, but much of the early ride was in the shade.  I passed thru Chubby Checkers home town...at least that is what they claimed.

The choices of accomodations in Loris is pretty limited...The Loris Motel or the Carolina Inn.  We opted for the Carolina Inn.  We had pasta for lunch at a pizza place.  The choices for eating are very limited.

As for tomorrows ride I think we are "freestyling".  We know we would like to go about 90 miles.  We are thinking Magnolia, NC may be our place.  Michelle will work the maps tonight and tell me where to go (as she always does).  

I had a short nap.  Am finishing up with the compression pants.  May ice my right knee...it is pretty sore.  Also, my butt is getting a little sore.  I will but some aniseptic on it and then lots of Bag Balm tomorrow.

Keep the warm wishes flowing.  If you can do anything to turn down the tempurature, that would be great.  Supposed to be a scorcher tomorrow.

Saturday
May282011

Day Three-A Needed New Game Plan

Wow...what a day.  While we made it to Monck's Corner, South Carolina (which is where we wanted to be), it wasn't easy.  It was supposed to be an easier day of about 85 miles.  It did not turn out that way.  I left at day-break and within the first 15 minutes I was sweating a ridiculous amount.  I was riding through The Great Swamp (which I would for most of the day) and the humidity was overwhelming.  By mid-morning, I was taking breaks less than ever hour.  Every ten miles felt like it should be twenty.  Michelle was great and she would meet me at every turn to tell me where to turn and how long to go until the next turn.  I certainly could not remember route numbers, turns etc. Her relaxing journey has turned into a lot of work...navigator, nurse, food server, and cheerleader.  I got lost a little today, but probably rode less than an extra couple miles.

We got checked in to our hotel (staying in a suite at the Holiday Inn Express...it happens to be handicap equipped...does that tell you how I must have looked), a quick shower and some lunch (I think I need to make sure I eat more than one meal a day (which is what I did yesterday)).  While I am hungry, my stomach is really sour and I am more tired than hungry.  When we got back to the hotel, I put my compression pants on and took a nap.  We will go to dinner in about an hour.  Anyone with nutrition advice, I would appreciate it.

Tomorrow is supposed to be crazy hot and humid--AGAIN.  I need to make sure I take my time and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Instead of heading all of the way to Tabor City (which would be over 110 miles), I think we will just shoot for Conway, South Carolina (about 95 miles).  With the heat and humidity, I think I need to not push too much.  I passed a couple of cemetaries today, and thought there was probably a space for me in each of them.  Also, the turkey buzzards are no longer looking for road-kill.  Instead, they just follow me.  Not sure how this strategy will impact my arrival time, but I do know that I am giving all that this old body and mind has.

I appreciate all of your support.  Sorry no pictures.  Michelle is spending all of her time trying to take care of me.

Friday
May272011

Day Two-All is Well

Day two was unexpectedly uneventful-like day one.  I like that trend (but know not to count on it).  We are at a Best Western on the outskirts of Yemassee South Carolina.  It was a hot day with little shade.  By 10 oclock it was 90 degrees.  I went just 100 miles and called it quits.  I feel pretty good.  We drove tomorrow's alternative drives and decided on the longer-but safer route.  It is 7-8 miles longer, but the roads are a lot less traveled.

Michelle, has been a big help (as always)  She is really a great partner.  We ate lunch/dinner at Waffle House and she has promised to treat me to dessert at Denney's.  Every guy needs a sugar-momma like Michelle.

We had lots of rain and storms late today.  Hopefully, these storms will stay out of my way.

Looking to head just north of Monck's Corner tomorrow.  I am sure our lodging and dining experiences will be similar to what we have experienced in Darien and Yemassee.

Keep your fingers crossed for us