Day 1 – Port Royal to Givhans Ferry State Park

Av – 12.4 mph
Dis – 73.3 miles
Tm – 05:54 hrs.
Asc – 883 ft.

  • 06:57 Beautiful 63 degree morning. Leaving on time. img
  • 07:48 Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort img
  • 08:23 Old Sheldon Church ruins. A few more miles and Im out of the Shire!
  • 10:38 Refilling water, adjusting gear, grabbing a snack. 37 miles down. Over halfway done for today. Legs smoked. img
  • 11:31 My quads literally feel like someone is ripping them off fiber by fiber. Other than that it’s a great tour so far!
  • 12:14 Lunch stop in Walterboro. 50 miles down. Don’t judge. img
  • 14:53 Done for the day! Easy afternoon ride. img
  • 15:48 As predicted, I did a horrible job of packing according to priority. img
  • 15:49 Camp. Day 1. img
  • 16:22 Givhans Ferry State Park, SC img

Ready to roll out.It’s 18:10 and already dark as a bastard. The hours of daylight available in late November is something I had taken in careful account. 07:00 is sunrise in these parts, and I think 17:00 or there abouts is sunset. Best case, I’ve got ten hours of daylight to ride provided conditions are right. For safety, I won’t ride directly into a sunrise or sunset. It’s too hard for drivers to see me.

This tour I’m sporting a small, neon orange mesh vest with a wrap-around reflective strip, It was an afterthought, really, but the strip has been handy in attaching my iPod Nano to. It’s the little things that count. I really only intended on wearing it to the Beaufort city limits, but I never actually noticed it so I kept it on. I also attached a $2 LED tail light – shipped directly from Hong Kong and worth every penny – in the event I found myself riding on darkness. The little bastard sure is bright but has no reflective qualities. Without it flashing, it’s pretty much worthless.

Old Sheldon Church ruins.I’ve got a few mods to the bike this tour, namely a 4″ riser stem and a Hobson Pro X2 noseless seat, and I must say that combo has me singing praises.

Since the completion of my Lewis and Clark westbound tour over five years ago, last weekend’s twenty-two miler was the farthest I’ve ridden. Sad. I anticipated a serious case of bike-ass for this tour – short as it may be – so I began researching ergonomic saddles to experiment with. The Hobson is a well padded, spilt, noseless saddle with two pads that can be narrowed or widened to match your sit bones. Thus, all your weight ends up distributed between your hands and ass cheeks and not your sensitive nether regions. My mini tour in Ontario, Canada in 2004 chafed me so bad I bled. That’s right. Blood.

I hear banjos.On a typical tour I eventually toughen up “down there” with a very carefully balanced regiment of antibacterial wet wipes, diaper rash ointment, and Gold Bond medicated powder. Even then, things can get a but dicey.

After today’s seventy-three mile ride, I figured I’ve have ribbons of flesh hanging out of my shorts. But a closer inspection post-shower revealed a very small amount of general redness, probably from simple friction of the cycling shorts. (Give yourself a minute or two to visualize a mirror, flashlight, and assorted medical supplies staged next to a guy in tent trying to get his legs behind his head.) I’ll be feeling freshtastic for tomorrow’s tomorrow’s paltry thirty-eight mile jaunt to Lake Moultrie.

Arrival at Givhans Ferry State Park.A moment of particular concern for me today happened around the forty mile mark: My quads started on fire. Never, ever, ever have I had pain in my quads like I did today. I thought a little time walking around and stretching would do them good. I was right for about ninety seconds, but soon they were screaming again. By a shear stroke of luck I had grabbed a small bottle of Aleve (over the counter naproxen) out of my truck before I left this morning. I popped two, sucked down some water, and pushed on. Within the hour the pain was miraculously gone, leaving me instead with two useless hunks of meat dangling off my hips – the same hunks of meat I’ve grown so familiar with every time I’ve gotten on my bike since being in South Carolina. Uselss, yes, but at least fire free.

Laundry time.The remaining twenty miles from my lunch stop in Walterboro breezed by. I cued up my high school iPod playlist and “rocked” out to the likes of Live, Counting Crows, and Fuel. It brought back all those wonderful memories of never having a girlfriend, so I’d retreat instead to the comfortable solace of my room to write or build crap. It was a very simple existence. Come to think of it, I still don’t have a girlfriend and I still build crap, so not much has changed in sixteen years.

The only other item of note was my delicious Thanksgiving dinner of spaghetti with meat sauce, apple sauce, wheat snack bread, and cheese spread. No sooner had I finished the meal and cleaned up when an older woman from a nearby campsite offered a share of her and her husband’s dinner – Cornish game hen, brussel sprouts, cranberries (with a hint of citrus), and baked apple a la mode. I’m totally stuffed and it was a kickass gesture.

I’m dog tired. My daily six mile runs were becoming easy and routine. Today kicked my ass. There’s a warm sleeping bag waiting for me. And maybe an extra sprinkle of baby powder.

Tour photo album

Givhans Ferry State Park

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