Day 15: Southport, NC Headwinds and pace lines

Jacksonville, NC > Southport, NC : 84 miles

The day started off cloudy and windy but unfortunately the wind was blowing the wrong way, right at us. The morning was kind of a slow slog and we got a chance to really take advantage of riding in a pace line. For the non-cyclists, it’s when you ride about one to three feet behind the rider in front of you and take turns at the front. The advantage is that the riders in back get a bit of a break and can use less effort because the wind drag is less. Efficient cycling requires a good deal of teamwork. Our team has come together nicely and we are still getting stronger each day.

The original plan was for this leg to be 70 miles with a ferry ride at the end into Southport. It became apparent that it was iffy if we were going to make the last ferry because of the wind. The decision was made to take a land route that was a bit longer but allowed us to not have to hurry to take the last ferry. We stopped at a nice local deli for a relaxed lunch and took plenty of breaks. In the afternoon the sun came out and the wind shifted and we got back to more 20 mph cruising. The traffic was a lot heavier than we would have liked and the road a little crowded at times but we were rewarded with some great views from the bridges (hills) and had one very amusing incident.

We were resting under an overpass and checking the map in the shade. Katie decided to lie down on the concrete slope under the bridge to catch a moment of rest. A local law enforcement officer was driving the other way, saw her, and was concerned that she was injured. He did a quick u-turn and came back with lights flashing. Once he found out we were all ok we had a nice chat about what we were doing, and being a cyclist himself, he gave us some good advice for what roads to take on the last 25 miles of the trip. Our second very positive encounter with first responders and law enforcement.

After flat #8 we got in to the hotel about 7:30, went out for pizza, did our laundry and got a good night’s sleep. Today we only have 60 miles to Myrtle Beach and a celebration of the halfway point of our trip!

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4 Responses to Day 15: Southport, NC Headwinds and pace lines

  1. Chuck says:

    It’s interesting that your’e only approaching the half-way point. On the blog map, there are so many red pins, it looks like you’re nearing 2/3 already. I guess my eyes deceive me!

    I enjoyed the photo of the ice machine and someone’s (Bob or Karl?) efforts to cool off a bit. I think we can all relate.

  2. Susie Monteleone says:

    I loved my stay in Myrtle Beach this spring. Stayed near Broadway at the Beach and was only a mile from the ocean but far from the boardwalk noise. I am so interested in following your comments everyday. It helps us non-cyclist understand the joys and sorrows of the road. Loved your encounter with the police. They really are a helpful breed of human who look out for us all.

  3. Fred Yochum says:

    Carl, Bob and Katie,

    Wow what tremendous progress you’ve made. Halfway there already!!! Keep the faith. Remember to carbo load with a lot of beer and you”ll be fine. Beth and I have been rooting for you and checking in with Phylis. We’re all very proud of you.

    Fred and Beth

  4. Jacki Reich says:

    Hi everyone–

    The blog entries really are great; thanks so much for doing them!! I’m sure that you’d rather sleep or just chill out at the end of a long day of cycling, but for us rooters it really is wonderful since we are thinking of you and wondering how things are going.

    My bet is that that is Karl who has his head in the ice cooler. I suppose we should guess that the ride is going well since if your butts were sore then I think we’d see Karl’s other end in the ice cooler!! ;-)

    Love,

    Jacki