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!