Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Not many pictures today, I'm afraid. We had 75 miles to cover, and we expected they would be very hilly, so we were pushing to get through them. It was just short of miraculous that we finished the day at 10 and 1/2 hours clock time (7 and 1/2 hours bike time). The next 2 days will be shorter, so as long as we haven't totally worn ourselves out today, we should be ok. The weather was gorgeous again - a little chilly to start, but then sunny and warm with a cool breeze that kept it from being too hot. The breeze, though, was working against us as we made our way up and over the hills along the route.
We left Roxboro, NC at 7:30 this morning, just after it got light. We planned to bike about 10 miles and then stop for breakfast, but it was 17 miles before we found a restaurant after we left town. There were no towns and few houses or other buildings all that time. Maybe it was just being low on "fuel", but the riding seemed unusually slow and difficult, which seemed a bad sign for the long day ahead. We finally found a very nice diner but it was a long time for Pat to put up with my pre-coffee grumpiness. Having a good breakfast made a big difference and the ride was a lot easier going after that. It was very hilly, though, and the biggest hills were saved for the end. To top it off, our hotel was at the top of a steep driveway!
We've been forgetting to mention how nice it's been seeing all the spring flowers beginning to come out down here. We see daffodils, forsythia, lots of pear trees, a few cherry trees in bloom, even a couple of magnolias starting to bud, and some pretty little purple flowers I can't remember the name of. Pear trees seem to be especially prevalent. Seeing a building with some giant flowers in front of it reminded us to mention it. The building had no sign except for a logo - a leaf with a B on it. We've also been seeing a lot of dogs. Seems like almost everyone has one or more in their yard. Many are behind fences or on leashes, but many are not and a bike moving by on the road seems irresistible to them. I've learned that shouting "NO" or "STAY" works wonders with many of them, much to my surprise. The rest eventually give up and trot back home. We have pepper spray too, but I would hate to use it on a dog.
We tried to take some representative pictures of the houses and other buildings along the way. There were few towns at first, just a few houses here and there. Some houses were very nice and tidy, some even palatial looking, some were mobile homes that had been "planted", others were very run-down, looking like they might fall over in a strong wind. Some places had a nice house but run-down sheds, equipment, cars and/or trucks in the yard. We saw a lot of little log cabin sheds at the beginning of the day. All these places were mixed together randomly; no zoning laws here, obviously!
North Carolina drivers get the prize so far for being the most considerate. We spent most of the day on Route 49, a 2-lane, no-shoulder road for the most part. Every car and truck that came up behind us gave us a wide berth when they passed and were invariably patient when they had to slow down to a crawl before it was safe for them to pass. We had a lot of logging trucks pass us too, and even they were very careful and courteous. As we got closer to Asheboro, the road got wider and more hectic, but we still didn't have any problems from the cars.