APRIL 25 to 30, 2018
308 Miles, Climbed 2,684 feet 

Day 5.  74.2 miles.  It rained hard during the night but we were nice and dry in the cabin. Fortunately, those in tents were not too bad off because the campsites had a sand base which absorbed the water. 

The sun rose to clear skies the following day with nice cool temperatures so all was right with the world. Actually, the forecast for the next several days was sunny and cool in the morning with afternoon temperatures in the middle 70's. Very nice for riding. 

Along the way, we stopped at a Piggly Wiggly to purchase groceries for lunch and snacks. When I tried to use my credit card for payment, a very nice lady placed her card in the slot instead. We learned that her husband owned the store and that was her contribution to our ride. What a pleasant surprise.  

After 6 days of riding, the legs are still good but the seat is becoming a little weary. It will be nice to give it a day of rest. The lodging for the night was a Community Center with a large roofed open area. It was a pleasant camping venue with showers, rest rooms and nearby laundry and restaurants. 

At a local restaurant, a large plate of spaghetti with salad, ice tea and 3 scoops of ice cream for dessert cost only $12.25, including tax. What an unbelievable value.

Day 7. 80.7 miles. Another beautiful day. Sunny and slightly warmer with a high of around 80 degrees. I led for the first 20 miles. There is more effort when leading but I can control the pace from the front. Although you can draft in the rear, sometimes the higher speeds require more effort. Also, if the line is more than 3 or 4 riders, an accordion effect develops which actually requires greater energy. 

With 540 miles behind us, we have already covered one-fourth of the distance of the entire ride in the first 7 days. When 1 more day has been completed, we will have one-forth of the riding days in the bank. The church where we stayed for the night provided an excellent pizza dinner for us. It was very welcome because there was not a restaurant within 5 miles.  

Day 8. 79.1 miles. Not satisfied with providing the pizza dinner, the church staff set the morning table with a phenomenal breakfast. Scrambled eggs, bacon, grits, coffee and orange juice. Mmm-good! They also had a beautiful prayer for our safety to send us on our way.

The weather was excellent once again. However, a front was moving into the area and the winds were not favorable for most of the distance. This made the ride seem somewhat longer than those previous but it was still fine.

Day 9. Rest day. At 9 am, everyone met at the vans and we drove to a home about 15 minutes away for a work project. A very nice lady named Shelley has MS and can no longer handle her outside yard. With all of us pitching in, we were able to clean the siding on the back of her home, trim the bushes and weeds and generally do a number of tasks to make her home and her yard beautiful once more. Some housework was also accomplished and Shelley was a very happy lady when we departed around noon.  

Tomorrow, we will be on the road again...

Your spark can be a flame and change everything.
                                                              E. Nixon