Day 5, May 4th
Well I’m slowly ticking on the miles and it’s actually starting to look like I’ve made progress when I look at a map. After my last post I pedaled a hard 20 miles into some strong winds to Greenville for my first host stay cycle touring. I arranged the stay through a great website called warmshowers.org. It’s a site where people offer fellow cycle tourists a place to stay and maybe even food and a shower if they are available.
My host in Greenville was Ken, his wife Diane, and their springer spaniel Barley. Ken was very flexible with my tentative arrival and I knew from his profile online that we would get along good. Ken is the man. He’s an experienced tourer and a good beer brewer. He even makes his own cheeses and cures his own meat. When I arrived I got to clean up and we went to another cyclist’s house (David) for dinner. What a spread! I got to sample some of Ken’s creations and David put together quite the spread. They both had some great experiences and advice to share. David shared a slideshow of his latest trip over cake, strawberries, and ice cream. Full and happy I got a good nights sleep in a warm bed.
A tornado came throw Washington, NC less than a week earlier than I came through.
I’ve seen some large colonial homes. Quite a few like this one in Washington
Ken and Barley helping me with some route planning.
Ken’s brew setup!
Homemade cheese! Soooo good!
Who knew I’d get some New Glarus while I was out here!
Not eating raisins or granola bars tonight!
Best of luck to Ken on his upcoming European touring trip! He’s already done the Trans-America route, New Zealand, Estonia, and Ireland.
Avg speed: 12.7 (WINDY!)
Top speed: 24.8
Acts of kindness: 2 – Ken, David, and family let me stay in their homes like it was my own… except I ate way better than in my own home!
Day 6, May 5th
The next morning Ken made some breakfast and helped me sort out some route options for my trip. I had mentioned I wanted to check out Raleigh so we actually found another Warmshowers.org host, John, just south east of Raleigh. I gave John a call and even though he just had visiting family members that were walking out the door he said to come on over… “We’ll wash the sheets”. I was very grateful that John and his family were willing to host me with such little notice.
John lived near Clayton, NC which is only about 30 miles from downtown Raleigh. It was a bit of a haul from Greenville. I ended up traveling over 80 miles to get there. The first 40 miles went pretty good, but eventually my quads started cramping. Seems the long days of pushing a heavy bike are catching up to me. An easy day to Raleigh is definitely in order.
When I arrived I was definitely tired! John welcomed me into his home and let me shower before we ordered from a local italian restaurant. I had a calzone that was amazing! With a Yeungling to top it all off I was very satisfied. I slept great.
Avg speed: 13.8
Top speed: 34.8
Acts of kindness: 1 – John and his family let me stay in their home when I contacted them the same morning!
Day 7, May 6th
In the morning John made me pancakes, eggs, and bacon. After coffee and breakfast I was pointed me in the right direction and said my goodbyes. Today’s ride has been good. Raleigh area has a biking/walking greenway that goes along the river and right into town. It was nice to get away from the roads for a while.
Getting into Raleigh was a breeze. I pulled into the first coffee shop to have a coffee, cool off, and update the blog. Time to go do a little exploring.
Breakfast by John! Interesting fact – John rode from NC to Cadillac, MI 3 years ago at 67 years old. He showed up in time for his 50 year high school reunion and raise money for MS along the way… Really great guy.
Got my first flat of the day right away this morning! Easy fix.
I took the opportunity to clean my chain… it was pretty filthy from the trip so far. Looking better.
On the greenway to Raleigh
Very well built trail system
With some fun walkways.
Coffee in Raleigh!
Oh! Also, Erik Lewinski, a friend from Rockford who is a commercial pilot is flying to Raleigh and has a layover tonight! We are planning to meet up for breakfast or brunch at a minimum. Better yet he is bringing me a replacement stove! Good timing since I’m planning on getting plenty of camping in once I get up into the appalachians. My legs do not feel ready for those!