Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chesapeake Virginia

Well today I rested. I can't even walk around the block and I am having a hard time believing that I have already ridden 5000 miles around the country on my bike. My body believes it though and it is telling me loud and clear. I am very stiff and sore today after my 435 miles in the last four days riding. I have been trying to gently stretch and move to try to loosen up but I think it is going to take me a few days to recover. I ate well today. A friend of Wendy's and her family came over for lunch today and we had home made spaghetti with meatballs and also crawfish gravy over fresh mahi mahi that Wendy caught the other day. It was a great meal with great people. I need to learn how to make both of those dishes like they made them today. After the lunch I have mostly been catching up on all my internet stuff like sorting my pics and things and reading all my backed up messages. I have been getting some questions about my plans again. Well here is a surprise twist in my plans. On Tuesday I am flying back to California to visit with my grandson and the rest of my family and friends. I just booked the ticket to San Francisco International Airport. I will ship my bike back through the bike store. That will leave me with a few days of not having any wheels but I think my body could use the rest. I will either fly back and continue my ride or maybe go north from San Francisco to restart my ride. No promises about anything though because I live for today as tomorrow may never come. Enjoy life. more later...PURAVIDA

Ride Day 67

I left Kittyhawk before it was light this morning. Crossing the bridge back to the mainland was fine with no traffic on it. Then I rode on and on and on with very little to see or else I am just too jaded by now. I finally stopped at a small store and had some breakfast which was soso, but the staff was friendly and entertaining to talk to. The road had been fine to this point with wide smooth shoulders that were relatively clean of glass and debris. the traffic was also light on the four lane road so most cars and trucks moved over to the middle lane for me. Then the road sign I dread appeared and it was not a detour sign, it said simply "UNEVEN ROAD SURFACE AHEAD". It was not joking. They were resurfacing the road into the nice smooth road I had been riding on and they roughed up the surface of the old road first. For about twenty miles I had a bone jarring, teeth shattering, tire eating ride in the high heat and humidity. The shoulder had also been reduced by more than half its width and sometimes disappeared entirely. I was almost at the Virginia state line when my first tire blew out. I looked at the tire when I stopped and got ready to fix my flat and the tire was shredded to almost nothing left. I was a long way from anywhere and I am too disabled to walk so I replaced the tube and tried to gingerly ride on to a safer place to figure out where to get a new tire from. I made it less than a mile before my new tube was also history and I was again stranded. There was no choice but to hitch hike my way down the road. There was about nine or ten miles to go to get to Chesapeake Virginia where I was spending the night. I figured I could buy a new tire to get me going at a Walmart until I could find a real bike shop to get a quality tire at. I stood there with my thumb out for about ten minutes when a bright red pickup truck stopped. The driver jumped out and helped me put my bike in the back. He told me he would give me a ride up the road to a service station where I would not be so in the middle of nowhere. He told me that was as far as he could take me but that I would be better off there. I had to agree with him. He was a roofer that was staying home being the house husband while his wife worked because she made better steady money than he did as a roofer. We crossed the state line and then stopped at a service station. I was unloading my bike and putting my bags back on it when I had to stop to go wash the grease off my hands from changing the tire. On the way I met and started talking to a woman called Beth that offered to give me a ride to the Walmart just up the road. I had to wait a few minutes while her car was serviced and then she gave me a ride to Walmart. They did not have my tire but told me where to go to get one at a real bike shop and it was only a mile and a half away. Beth offered to give me a ride there so we were off to Fat Frog bike store. Beth dropped me off and I thanked her for her help. The bike store was just as I had been told, run by a nice friendly helpful man that knew bikes well. They did not have my desired tires in stock but I did buy one for my rear that would get me back on the road again. I replaced it right there in their shop and after a short conversation I left the bike in his shop while I went next door to a Starbucks for a cup of coffee and to look at a map of where my friend's house was here in Chesapeake. I was only a few miles away from their house so after my coffee I headed in their direction. A half mile up the road my new tire blew out. I grumbled and took it off to look at the tube. It had blown out along the seam on the inside of the inner tube which is a factory flaw. I had another tube and put it on to get me to my friend's house. I was again covered in grease with nothing to clean up my hands with so I rubbed them on the dry grass as best as I could. I then made a wrong turn on my directions as I had trusted the directions to my failing memory and the time spent changing the tire was just long enough to forget the exact turns. In other words I got lost. I asked directions a few times from the rare person out in the extremely hot afternoon. From putting all their directions into a general direction I finally got close enough to where someone actually knew where I was going. I pulled up to their house after pedaling 5000 miles from where I had started plus a few short rides with helpful good samaritans when I needed them. I was tired, hot, sweaty, dirty and very thirsty for a cold glass of water. Today was slightly less than 85 miles of riding so in the last four days I had ridden 435 miles and I certainly felt like I had ridden that far. I looked forward to a short rest in Chesapeake Virginia. More later...