Vroom Vroom

09Dec11

We decided to take a little detour from the biking and let most of South Carolina and all of Georgia fade in the rear view mirror.  We  rented a car on Sunday December 4th and drove about 300 miles south to avoid some grueling biking on narrow, dog infested, heavy trafficked roads. This was an odd decision for us as we have been typically thinking about other cyclists who use mass transit with their bikes to get around.  We are not anti-car but are more the pro-bike sort.  Laura of The Path Less Pedaled wrote a blog post regarding this topic and her experience.  Bus and train travel is expensive and often quite an ordeal with bicycles as we have heard from countless other cyclists we have met.

After leaving  Kim and Eric’s on Saturday we crossed the NC – SC state line and headed toward Myrtle Beach. The ride was sunny and flat and we caught our first glimpse of alligators sunning themselves by some water on a golf course. Our route took us off road through Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve. It was a six mile shortcut to the Myrtle Beach area. It was sandy and muddy in parts but it was quiet, beautiful and a welcomed break from the pavement. That night we camped in a quiet part of the woods bordering the preserve.

Sand and mud + orange vest for visibilty to hunters = good times

The preserve

The next morning we headed out and picked up a nice paved bike path that led us all the way to the Myrtle Beach airport. Within minutes of arriving at the airport we were handed keys and we loaded the bikes and got in and drove off in a mid-size SUV. No problems or hassles in a car centric country. With Debi at the wheel and Bryan on navigation and radio duty we found an odd sense of anonymity which was hard to describe.  In our research of biking in Florida we found an interesting article describing this phenomenon.

All gassed up, pedal to the metal

The miles flew by and we laughed at each day they equaled if we were pedaling.  With our new wheels we took a trip into Charleston, SC for a quick look around and a picnic lunch. We paid a dollar to park in a city parking garage and wound up leaving before dark.  That night we hit a drive thru at a Dairy Queen and wound up parking at the Florida Welcome Center off I-95 for the evening.  We locked the bikes to the outside of the car and spread out our sleeping pads and bags for an uneventful night inside the car. The next morning we got up,  got our free orange juice and drove the last few miles to the Jacksonville airport. We easily returned the car and resumed our Adventure Cycling route from there.

It’s unfortunate that it’s easier to rent a car to transport ourselves and our bikes than it is to ride a bus, take a train or fly.  We spent time talking with our friend Shane about this.  He said in Europe and other parts of the world he’s traveled in it’s completely encouraged to ride a bicycle and people wouldn’t event second guess taking a bicycle on public transit.

We’ll pick up in Florida in the next post.

Bryan and Debi

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