Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 1: Glenwood to Atlantic

63 miles and it was supposed to be 60. It was also hot and humid. Very sunny with few clouds. Lots of folks I talked to had difficulty dealing with the heat. And we get to do it all over again tomorrow.

It is impossible to comprehend 10,000 bicycle riders on the road until you actually see it. It is a non-stop stream of bikes covering both sides of the road. I would stop at a food stand for an hour and the stream of bikes didn't change. Then when it was time to get back on the road I had to wait for a break in bike traffic, sometimes several minutes. Every town we passed through was throwing a festival for the riders. A beer garden and a dj and lots of food and drink. Things got so packed in the towns that it was impossible to ride through. I had to get off the bike and walk it.

The biggest problem I am having is eating. There are so many good things to eat that I find I am trying to eat even when I am not hungry. Then I can't finish the food.

I stopped at the Pancake Man, got three large pancakes, and could barely manage a few bites. I saw the Pork Chop Man but wasn't hungry and saw that the line was crazy long anyway. I saw the Banana Bike, but couldn't get a picture. It is a recmbent tandem with a cloth cover that looks like a huge banana. I saw a couple riding a tandem with a sign on the back that said "just married". I saw a guy on a unicycle and a guy on a pennyfarthing. If I see them again I must try to get a picture. I stopped in a town that boasts the largest bicycle in the world. And yes it looks huge.

I have met so many interesting people on this ride, its hard to remember them all. I have seen quite a few children, probably 10 and up. One girl looked particularly unhappy about the ride. I hope she has a better day tomorrow.

The last 5 miles was flat with a headwind, so no coasting. Then I arrived in Atlantic, very ready to be done for the day. But getting to Atlantic wasn't the end. I had to ride another 3 miles up more hills to find the campsite. Fortunately the high school where we are camped held a spaghetti dinner tonight. It was close, convenient, delicious, in the air conditioning, and (the best part) we sat down and they served us. Awesome way to end the day. Now I am relaxing in the shade with a nice breeze. I should sleep well tonight.


Becky said...

Dear Dad,

Cindy and I love your blog. We love you. We want to see the unicycle and pennyfarthing pictures. Amazing.


buzzer said...

Go Bill!

Chayil Marie Branda said...

What an awesome experience!!! Please give my regards to the next pancake man and pork chop man.... That would be who I'd be excited to see..... ;)