WILMINGTON, NC TO
April 30, to May 8, 2018
476.3 Miles 5,588 feet climbed
1,096 miles & 12,746 feet total
Day 11. 79.4 miles. The weather continues to be nearly perfect. Sunny and cool with a tailwind most of the way. Beautiful! We stayed in a quaint little Baptist church for the night. They had participated in a fundraiser during the day and had enough food left over to provide us with a delicious dinner. Very nice people.
Day 12. 22.9 miles. It was a short ride to the Ocracoke Ferry. Then a 2 hour boat ride over to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Very picturesque little island. The group stayed on the lawn of a private home but I saw a very nice hotel shortly after our arrival. It made a fine home for the night. The room was on the 4th floor, overlooking the harbor and a magnificent sunset. There was a large choice of restaurants on the island so I went Italian with a hearty seafood pasta to assist me through the following day.
Day 13. 82.4 miles. A 15 mph tailwind carried us along the entire route. It seemed as if we were flying at times. Rarely did our bike computers register under 20 mph. At one point, it showed 22.5 mph with 85 rpm cadence and a 95 bpm heart rate. Unbelievable! With only 460 feet of climbing over the route, it may very well be the easiest 82 mile ride I have ever experienced--or will ever again.
Day 14. 91.0 miles. Arrived at the Kitty Hawk Wright Brothers Memorial one and a half hours prior to their opening. Although that was a disappointment, we have been there several times previously and will visit again another time.
There were strong headwinds and crosswinds in complete contrast to the previous day. The 91 miles to the destination was not nearly as much fun. However, we have been so fortunate on the ride over the last 2 weeks that we were still happy. We knew it couldn't last forever.
We spent the night at the Beulah Baptist Church where they also provided us with a good meal. That was a blessing because there was not a restaurant in that town. It rained through the night but we were nice and dry inside that little church.
Day 15. 68.6 miles. The rain continued in the morning. Fortunately, it was a very light mist at the start of the ride so we were not soaked before we started pedaling. However, it continued at varied intensity over the next few hours. It finally cleared by late morning and we were reasonably dry by the time of reaching our destination.
The Chippokes State Park was the venue for the night. They had 4 cottages so we were hopeful of obtaining one. However, that did not work out so we had to resort to the tent. It was only the 2nd time in the tent on this journey so it wasn't too bad. That said, a hard rain arrived around 10 PM. It lasted for about 5 hours and pretty well drenched the area. We stayed reasonable dry in our tents but there was some water incursion here and there. Our clothing was safe and dry in the trailer so it was not a calamity.
Day 16. 65 miles. The morning broke clear and remained dry for the ride into Richmond for our second rest day. For more than 60 miles, we traveled along a nicely paved 8 to 10 foot wide designated bicycle path into the city. The path meandered through forest and beautiful countryside. Along the path, occasional markers indicated various areas of historical significance. With no cars to concern us, the ride was totally enjoyable.
Day 17. Rest Day. With 1,096 miles logged, we are exactly halfway to the Bar Harbor destination. The first half will be the easiest, however, due to the increasing number of hills over the last 1,096 of the route. The rest day is very welcome to catch up on things that were neglected during the intense days of consecutive riding and it will be appropriately cherished.
Even on the darkest, rainiest days, the sun is just behind the clouds, waiting to shine again.