Friday, July 6, 2012

Ride Day 66

I was out of my hotel room at the crack of light to explore the Cedar Island area. Five minutes later I had seen it all. I decided to eat breakfast instead. I pigged out on bagels with cream cheese, apples, bananas, cereal, coffee and muffins. Then I took a few apples for later. the ferry was right on time as expected. I enjoyed talking to a couple of other bikers that were just going out to the banks for a short look around. There were also a couple of families that were quizzing me about my ride. The ferry took 2 hours and 15 minutes so we had plenty of time to talk. Once off the ferry I was off to Kittyhawk 85 miles away. I started out riding strong but there was absolutely no shade and the sun was beating down all day in the upper 90s. I was disappointed that the famous light house was covered up with scaffolding. I started to overheat right after the second ferry that took me to Hatteras Island. I stopped for yet another breakfast at an air conditioned cafe. The food was soso and the price was high but the company of the staff was nice and friendly. I rode for another couple of hours and stopped for lunch this time. I had a philly cheese steak which tasted great and the staff again was very friendly and talkative. I enjoyed their company. Then I rode for several hours straight. To keep cool I went swimming in the ocean a few times or I would stop any time I saw a beach shower and just stand under the shower with all my riding clothes on until I was cooled down then I would jump on my bike all wet and ride on. A few people laughed at the sight of me doing that but could not have cared less if they thought I was weird.  I made the mistake of stopping for an apple break along the road and I was eaten alive by mosquitoes and no-see-ums. Did I say I hate no-see-ums? I was seriously slowing down from the heat when I suddenly picked up a nice tailwind. Don't think I would have made it to Kittyhawk without the wind at my back. When I arrived at Kittyhawk I stopped at a cafe called Chilli's and had a shrimp stir fry that tasted great. I washed it down with some beer and then headed off to the campgrounds. It was dark when I finally put up the tent. I sat around and talked to a couple of young guys that were originally from the Chicago area. It was fun talking to them but I was passing out from my ride so I went to bed.

Ride Day 65

I got up early and left the fire station before any of the fire fighters were out of bed. It was a long ride I had planned for the day and the temps were going over the century mark again so I wanted to ride as far as possible in the cooler morning air. I rode hard for a short while but the heat climbed quickly into the 90s and kept climbing until it hit 114!!. The road was terrible for bikes. There was generally enough room on the shoulder but it was covered in glass and debris from recent strong thundershowers. The debris made me focus on the space right in front of me so that I could not get in much looking around at the scenery. There really was not much to see other than the usual longleaf pines as I passed the military bases. In the afternoon I had to stop at every store I passed to buy drinks or food and cool off in their air conditioning. I finally made it to Beaufort NC where I had planned to spend the night. I had ridden 98 miles and was exhausted. I spent a few hours looking around town and had a couple of beers. I talked to the locals about where to stay or camp and the options were terrible for my wallet. I just could not afford the place. One of the guys I talked to told me I could camp at his parents house about halfway to the ferry. I told him ok and headed in that direction. The heat was brutal. I rode slow and drank copious amounts of drinks. In the end, I decided to make the whole 42 mile run to the ferry and camp there for the night so that I could catch the 7AM ferry to the Outer Banks. It was getting dark when I pulled into Cedar Island where the ferry leaves from. 140 miles for the day and I was beat up. I had to check into the hotel and pay the extra money so that I could soak in a hot tub for a while to help me recover. I slept well and planned out my ride for tomorrow on the Outer Banks. This was my longest ride so far on my journey and my second day of grueling heat. Tomorrow would be even sunnier I am told.