Today's plan was simple enough: I would bike from Durham to a shopping center on the near side of Raleigh, meet my sister's old friend Amber for lunch at 11, and then ride north to Falls Lake in the afternoon. But about a mile from the rendezvous, I got a flat on my left trailer tire -- the first one it's had in the whole trip.
[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on March 24, 2005]
If I could live this Groundhog Day over and over again, like Bill Murray's character in the movie, I don't think I would bike all day in the rain. I'd watch the 6 AM broadcast of the Buffy musical until I was sick of it. I'd try all of the thousands of ways to order Waffle House hashbrowns, including the ones that involve Bert's Chili, without fear of getting sick tomorrow. I'd call a cab and give the cute, sleep-deprived waitress the ride home to Mobile she was fishing for, and then I'd go to the airport and fly to Pittsburgh to meet my new nephew.
I spent the morning tinkering with my bike, undoing the damage the mechanic had inadvertantly done. Erik packed us a picnic lunch, and we met Tami for lunch near her lab on the Duke University campus. We strolled through the extensive Sarah P. Duke Gardens and toured the chapel, which is as large and ornate as any cathedral I've seen.
Later, we walked to dinner at an excellent Indian restaurant.
I slept well in the warm, quiet night of the spring equinox and woke to another beautiful day. No one ever showed up to register me as they were supposed to, so I got the campsite for free! I was the only one there, so they may not have bothered making the rounds.
Today was gorgeous! The weather couldn't have been more perfect.
I stopped for groceries in the morning and met a man in the parking lot who was riding his grandson's bicycle, though he said he had many bikes of his own. He asked a bunch of questions and then offered me some military Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) that he gets from Fort Bragg and gives to homeless people and other folks who could use them. I accepted two. They're much bulkier than my usual food, since about half of their volume is packaging.
[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on March 19, 2005]
I had planned to ride into North Carolina Wednesday, but I didn't quite make it... it was farther than I thought (remember I had lost my maps), and there was a constant, cold rain that really took the wind out of my sails. I had to stop at several shopping centers during the day just to warm up and dry off so I could keep functioning.
Today was so much better than the last couple of days! It was sunny and warmer and I got to ride on quiet back roads. I got a late start and had to do some bike repairs, but the sun seemed to hang in the sky all afternoon, and I got to Jones Lake State Park, north of Elizabethtown, about 2 hours before sunset.
Today was cold and drizzly and generally unpleasant. The hotel owner wouldn't let me bring my bike inside, so I didn't get to do some routine maintenance I would normally have done after a day of rain.
North Carolina has actual bicycle highways that are not only signed on the road but ar also shown on my maps! I had planned to follow one of these east along the coast to Wilmington, then pick up another one and follow it into Durham. However, this morning I decided I didn't want to go an extra 40 miles or so east after all, especially since there was a state park due north.
I had planned to ride into North Carolina today, but I didn't quite make it... it was farther than I thought, and there was a constant, cold rain that really took the wind out of my sails. I had to stop at several shopping centers during the day just to warm up and dry off so I could keep functioning.