Host stays and sun rays

Host stays and sun rays

posted in: Bicycle Touring, North Carolina | 29

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.

IMG_4559Lots of quiet country roads.

IMG_4561A tornado came throw Washington, NC less than a week earlier than I came through.

IMG_4564

IMG_4566I’ve seen some large colonial homes.  Quite a few like this one in Washington

IMG_4568Ken and Barley helping me with some route planning.

IMG_5440Ken’s brew setup!

IMG_5442Homemade cheese!  Soooo good!

IMG_5443Who knew I’d get some New Glarus while I was out here!

IMG_5445Not 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.

Summary
Miles: 40.5
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.

IMG_4572I detoured about 4 miles to get to this place.

IMG_4575It was worth it!

IMG_4578Lots of these overgrown homes and sheds on the road side.  Lots of sun too.  I was getting sun burn… Must not be putting sun screen on enough.

IMG_4583Detouring as a result of google maps trying to send me through someone’s yard.

IMG_4585Found a Piggly Wiggly and decided it was time for some comfort food.

IMG_5450Resting my cramped and tired legs…  Ready to get to John’s place.

IMG_5452At John’s finally!  Their cat has a shoe fetish.  Super friendly cat.

Summary
Miles: 81.5
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.

IMG_5453Breakfast 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.

IMG_4586Got my first flat of the day right away this morning!  Easy fix.

IMG_4587I took the opportunity to clean my chain… it was pretty filthy from the trip so far.  Looking better.

IMG_4594On the greenway to Raleigh

IMG_4595Very well built trail system

IMG_4596With some fun walkways.

IMG_4597Coffee 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!

29 Responses

  1. bikers are the salt of the earth, eh! Great posts Brad, it’s fun keep up with you and living vicariously through your trip!

    • Bradley

      Thanks Lou! And yes the bike community definitely is great!!

  2. Katelyn Martens

    Your trip looks fantastic! I have some relatives in Durham in case that’s at all helpful, I’m sure they could find a place for you if you’re going through 🙂

    • Bradley

      Thanks Katelyn! Appreciate the offer. I think I’ll be staying south of there but it is good to have options! Thanks for following, having a good time!

  3. Gramma & Grampa K

    What great people to meet and sounds like you were treated very well…..take care of yourself…..we’re tagging right along with you in thought and prayers…..Love….

  4. Jody Peterson

    Hi Brad – Erin Berry turned me onto your adventure – and I am already enjoying it as much as you are! Have fun out there! Can’t wait to read more. JodyP

    • Bradley

      Hey Jody!
      Thanks for checking in. I’m impressed with your metal works stuff! I try to listen once in a while on YouTube and soundcloud. Sounds great!

  5. I’m really impressed with your trip so far. You’re meeting some great folks. I was also thinking about those Appalachians when you mentioned your sore quads. Nothing wrong with a day of rest here or there. Just disguise it as sightseeing! Congrats on the next day air delivery of a new stove. YOU are the man!

    • Bradley

      Ha! Thanks Eric. A couple easy days seems to have helped me out. Those Appalachians are going to be a whole new challenge.

  6. Very impressed with Ken’s Keezer! Classy! Happy to see you encountering such nice folks 😉

  7. What great experiences already in such a short time!

  8. Keith Short

    Great photos and blog.

    I am especially impressed by the excellent perspective photo of the chain. Too bad there was not a fly perched on it!

    • Bradley

      I don’t quite have the right equipment to get the same shot as you Keith! I thought of you when I had horse flies chasing me the other day. Seems like they fly about 15 mph. Maybe you know their actual flight speeds.

  9. Jeff Brown

    5 tapers, so what was the home brew ken has on tap.
    Man, you are living well.

    • Bradley

      I’m not sure what was all on tap. We tried some good brews at his friend’s place that he brought along in bottles. All very good. Ken has a pile of medals from brew competitions.

  10. Lavilla

    Brad! These stories and photos are amazing. I love following along with your adventures. I have a good friend who lives in Blackburg, Virginia who I’m sure would lend a helping hand if you needed a place to stay!

    • Bradley

      Thanks Lavilla! I’m staying south of Virginia from here on out, but good to have options!

  11. Brad's sister

    You are most definitely the coolest brother ever. Love reading all your posts!

    • Bradley

      Looking forward to the post in Washington State where I’m sure you’ll make a couple posts!

    • I dunno. I’m a pretty cool brother, too.

      • Bradley

        Genetics trump your uber coolness. sorry

        • Putting in over 3,000 miles by bicycle puts you well in the lead in this “bro” competition.

  12. Sherry Thompson

    Too bad you didn’t get to meet up with Rick, who is on business in the Raleigh area. He arrived Monday night May 6th.

    I am enjoying following you on your grand adventure Brad. Love your pictures. Be safe!

    • Bradley

      Thanks Sherry!

      Shoot I wish we could have met up! That would have been great! Sounds like I just missed him.

  13. jean Ryan

    Hi Brad,
    Just a quick note. Your adventures are amazing. Thanks for taking me along via the blog. I don’t know when you plan on getting to Marion but I need to tell you about a day I won’t be here. On Sat. the 10th I’m going to Lexington, KY to Angela’s half sister’s graduation. Complicated I know.

  14. jean Ryan

    guess my message got too long. If that’s the day you arrive, I’ll leave a key with neighbor and you can find a bed to sleep in till I get home.

    • Bradley

      No worries Grandma! If for some remarkable reason I am early I am totally ok with an extra rest day or two 🙂

  15. Good to hear things seem to be going well! That’s awesome people are so friendly and willing to open their house to you!

  16. Natalie Byrne

    Loving your blog, Brad!

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