Posted by: robinson2000 | August 17, 2012

Racing Through North Carolina

15th – 16th August

We were both awoken by a huge clap of thunder about 6am and dashed out of the tent, just wearing our boxers to gather up our clothes. The family next door were packing up for an early getaway and were quite startled to see our tan-line streaked bodies diving for cover. We left the campsite at 10am and spent a couple of boring hours plodding away on some back roads towards Jacksonville, North Carolina. The pace was very slow due to the winds that seemed to plague us all day. It didn’t seem to matter what direction we turned, there was always a strong headwind. At points, it felt like it was blowing directly down on top of us as we put our heads down and grinded away on the pedals. Although the terrain was nice and flat, the constant wind really took the enjoyment out of ride.

By early afternoon we reached the coastline, which was a welcome change of scenery, but if anything the wind was even stronger. Towards the end of our ride we were faced with an unnecessary high bridge that looked like Tower Bridge with the bascules open and the winds up there absolutely battered us from every angle. Eventually we rolled into our campsite in Surf City after 78 very painful miles. It had been a long day with a big mileage and I think we were both very relived to stop pedalling. On the plus side we were camped right next to the Atlantic Ocean, the first time in about a thousand miles since we saw it. We broke out the swim trunks and rolled around in the rough seas for half hour. It was a great way to finish the day and relax. In the evening we had a couple of drinks in a small time bar down the road, where I got refused alcohol as I only had a diving license for ID. We also watched a spectacular lightning storm light up the sky in the distance over the ocean.

Thankfully the winds had dropped the following day, making the day thoroughly enjoyable. For starters, we actually found a café that did a proper breakfast for the first time in days. After a leisurely few pancakes and a bagel, we setoff just before 10am and quickly covered 32 miles in the first two hours. Once we had cleared the town of Wilmington, the miles ticked by very quickly so by 4pm we were at the 60 mile mark and had a short ferry crossing to relax on. We pulled in Southport at the 66 mile mark and found a quaint motel on the riverside, just down the road from an excellent southern style restaurant serving fried fish. We’re now 14 cycling days away from Miami and are planning to have a rest day in Charleston, South Carolina. In order to do this we have to complete two huge days of pedalling totalling about 170 miles so wish us luck.

Total Mileage: 1506 miles

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  1. Best of luck with the mammoth cycling and I hope you get your rest day, has Chris got a new friend to eat his ice cream with? He looks a bit alarmed by him though.

    A level results from yesterday:
    A/A* – 30%
    A*-B – 59%
    A*-C – 80%
    A*-E – 98.2%

    All in all on target, no surprises.

    Carry on with the super-speed cycling – how do you get the time to write so much though?

    Best wishes, BRO

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