Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ride Day 58 Georgia

Well I rested up in Florida for less time than I thought I needed. My weight went back up about five pounds. More weight gain would have been better but I will take the five lbs. I hit the road this morning leaving St Johns, near Jacksonville Florida, and riding North across the border into Georgia. Tonight I am camping in Folkston Georgia at the Okefenokee RV Park. The RV park is almost deserted with only two RVs in the camp. My ride today was almost all flat. I started out with about 40 miles of urban riding to get through and out of Jacksonville. Jacksonville Florida is the largest city in the world as measured in area, 896 sq miles. I crossed the river to get into downtown and that was my biggest climb of the day. Good view from the top of the bridge. All the traffic and stop and go lights were a bit irritating and the roads have a shoulder to ride on one minute and the next minute the shoulder disappears and you are in a busy lane of traffic. It made for a rather dangerous ride but all the drivers played nicely today so it was all ok. The first thing I had to do today was to replace my brake pads. I ordered the parts a few days ago and was at the bike shop first thing in the morning to pick them up and put them on. The shop was Champion Bikes on San Jose in Jacksonville and they were great to work with. The help was friendly and competent and they accommodated my time constraints without any problems. I was on the road right after they finished. My route took me through some sketchy areas of town. There were people sleeping on the streets and some people were calling out at me to sell drugs and stuff but I had no problems riding through even with all the rundown buildings and boarded up businesses. I have lots of experience in tough parts of towns after living in Oakland California for so long. The roads got better as I left the more populated central area of town. There was a nice wide shoulder for most of the way out of town but it sometimes just disappeared without warning. Bikes are the lowest priority in road safety. I navigated all the areas easily and the drivers were good today. Unfortunately it only takes one bad driver to ruin your day. My luck held out today. After leaving the urban sprawl the traffic thinned out and the shoulder was more consistent. I just rode along at about 17-18 mph and sang to myself as I went. I took a break at a McDs to use their wifi for a minute but then was back on the road. I did not take many pics today. After crossing the border into Georgia there was a nice wide shoulder BUT BUT BUT it was impossible to ride on because the entire shoulder was rumble strips which just jarred my entire body and bike to bits. I would need a bike mechanic and a dentist if I had to ride on that shoulder. Instead I rode on the right edge of the main lane. It went ok because all the drivers were polite today. A couple vehicles came a bit too close to me but I never felt like I was close to being hit. I took the long route to go through the Okefenokee Swamp and that road was fine. I did not take a single pic of the road there or the swamp. I just forgot to. I have ridden through so many swamps now that I don't notice their beauty anymore unless I make myself think about it. I will try to do better tomorrow. Folkston is a railroad funnel. There are about 70 trains going through here everyday. There is a rail museum which I went to and there are picnic tables and things lined up so people can sit and watch the trains go by. There were about 15 people doing just that today and the lady in the museum told me they get huge crowds on some days. I am sleeping close to the tracks so I hope I can sleep with all the noise. More later...

No comments:

Post a Comment