Posted by: twistsoffeet | May 12, 2011

Day 3 and Getting Stronger

My new friends, Phil and Elaine, woke me early this morning.

I had slept in their yard last night and slept wonderfully. Phil invited me to breakfast before I started my ride and it was delicious. I cannot say enough about the kindness of these people and how they treated, no, spoiled me.  It was so kind of them to assist me, and I thoroughly enjoyed their company.

I woke this morning to a flat tire.  Apparently I missed a hole last night, but I have not been able to locate the current hole.  I checked the stem and valve as well as for tread punctures sidewall punctures and rim punctures all with no success.

It was very cool this morning and pleasant to ride, at least up until about noon.  I am currently spending the night in a park behind the mayor’s office/police station/fire station in Graham, Georgia near Hazelhurst, Georgia.

I did ask for permission from the city clerk, Maya Mayes.  She checked and found there is no ordinance prohibiting my stay here, but said there is very little police presence in the park so my safety is up to me. I responded that I try to always be responsible for myself and my own safety.

Maya was very friendly and professional and I don’t think she was not really concerned something would happen. She probably just felt it was her responsibility to let me know that I will have to take care of myself.

My ride started a little later than I wanted due to my flat tire, but it was still fairly early. It began with long, gradual climbs that were a little demanding but overall not too challenging. I had to take a longer route than desired but Hwy 23 was just a two lane, undivided highway with virtually no shoulder and lots of logging trucks screaming past.

So, I compensated by taking Highway 1 and was able to ride about 10 miles on an unopened section of highway, still under construction and that was really comforting. The unfortunate thing was I also had about 1.5 miles of very narrow two lane highway where I was constantly checking my mirror and pulling off the road when traffic approached… especially the logging trucks.

Overall, I feel that I am getting stronger daily. My mileage today was about 47 miles. The heat and humidity definitely take their toll on me once it gets hot after noon. I am going to see if I can cut a few more pounds in the morning and lighten my load some more.

I met my first jerk today. It was about 3:00 PM and I had stopped at a mechanics shop near Baxley, Georgia, west of town on Hwy 341.  I was running short of water and asked a couple of guys if I might get some water and if they knew of any place nearby that I could camp for the night. They referred me to the owner and I explained I was nearly out of water and very tired and looking for someplace to camp. He said he believed part of what I said and then turned his back on me and walked away.

I did not ask if I could camp in his junkyard. I asked only for water and directions. I would not have minded if he would have at least said, “No,” but I feel it was extremely rude to just turn his back on me and walk away. Still, I have been very fortunate to have met some very friendly people and one rude person isn’t going to discourage me.

My arthritis is still bothering me today, but nothing like last night so that is good.  I am increasing my mileage daily, just as I had hoped and planned. Hopefully it will cool down soon so I can get some good sleep tonight.

I am over 100 miles into my trip now, and that was a significant goal for me.

I have not let myself be defeated by difficult and demanding riding nor problems with my bike like flat tires. I am even more confident now than I was before starting. These are still all baby steps, but they are at least steps toward the larger goal. I have now completed about 2% of the nearly 5000 miles I intend to ride on this tour.

It may not seem like much but it is huge to me.



  1. We are pulling & praying for you…feel free to call if we can assist!
    God speed, P & E

  2. I got caught up on editing your posts, Dad. 🙂 Sounds like you’re having fun. Too bad about the jerk, but hey, look! Phil and Elaine commented on your blog!!! ^^^


    Also, I have to say that your blog had twice as many readers as mine did today.

    Your stories are probably way more interesting!!

    • Thanks for your help. I am happy people are reading this and hope they enjoy it. I am having fun on the ride and writing about the ride.

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