Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Back Roads...

117.0 Miles - Anderson, SC to Winnsboro, SC

When I awoke in the morning my legs felt like cinderblocks. I really didn’t know how I was going to pedal the entire day and even ever so briefly thought about taking a rest day. Rather than that though, I figured I would get out there.

I was still on the fringe of the mountains as I left in the morning. The hills weren’t kind in the morning. Also, given the traffic kerfluffle I went through yesterday evening I decided to stay on back roads as much as possible during the day. With that I had to pull out my laptop to check my map at least a dozen times throughout the day. In the route I had chosen I also rode along Sumter National Forest for the better part of 30 miles.

On the back roads I would periodically pass a local bar. I was somewhat concerned that the people were sitting in the bar drinking beers, watching college football and were driving home. I did make me feel a bit better that I saw at least several police cars throughout the day. And you would think that the state of South Carolina could spare a few extra bucks to put shoulders on the roads.

One phenomenon that is rampant is the yard sale. In the last week I have noticed dozens of yard sales. They aren’t necessarily in peoples yards mind you, but anywhere on the side of the road; perhaps in a parking lot of a failed business or anyplace else that has road frontage. While I didn’t stop at any of the sales, as I rode by I didn’t notice anything of merit.

As the day wore on I was putting some distance between myself and the mountains. The longer, steeper hills became shorter and flatter. At one point I was riding along the train tracks. That is always a good sign as I knew there wouldn’t be any steep hills.

I hit my potential bail out point for the day by 2:30, but by that time was feeling good. I don’t know if it was that the terrain was flatter or if there was a bit of help from the wind, but given my start to the day I felt great.

I lucked out in the town of Winnsboro, SC as I found a motel right across the street from an all you can eat Chinese Buffet (they didn’t ask me to leave, but I got a few looks), a drug store (to load up on energy bars) and a supermarket (for a little ice cream).

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