Day 7, May 6th (cont) – Clayton to Raleigh
After my coffee in Raleigh I biked around town to check out the capitol and see what else was around. While I was in Washington NC someone had told me to check out a cool cycling bar called Crank Arm Brewing. So I swung by just as they were opening to try a couple of their brews. The place was very cool. Open air seating, great decor, and most importantly good beer. I chatted with the bartender at Crank Arm for a while… hungry, I asked for a good place to eat and he recommended The Fiction Kitchen just around the corner for some tasty vegan/vegetarian food. I ended up have a noodle dish and while talking with the server I learned he was working on getting one of his homemade hot sauce into distribution in the area. After getting to sample some myself he ended up offering me a bottle to take along on my trip. It’s GOOD. Soon available online 😉
After dinner I eventually made my way over to the hotel where Erik Lewinski (pilot and friend from Rockford) was staying. He had flown into town that night and had a layover until he flew home the next day around 5 PM. Awesome coincidence if you ask me. Erik had brought a new replacement stove with him and we did some troubleshooting when I arrived. It turned out that the new stove didn’t want to work either when I attached it to my gas canister. We agreed it must be a problem with the canister… a problem to be resolved in the morning with a trip to the local REI.
Crank Arm Brewery! Founded bike cyclists… if you couldn’t tell.
Lot’s of funky bike artwork/mechanisms on the wall.
I give it the thirsty cyclist stamp of a approval.
Generously donated bottle of AMAZING. Hot and flavorful.
Miles: 33 (lazy day)
Acts of kindness: 3 or 4? Free hot sauce, dining suggestions and brewery sticker at Crank Arm, Erik sharing a hotel and bringing me a stove along with some miscellaneous extra goodies.
Day 8, May 7th – Raleigh to Carrboro
Erik and I woke up and had breakfast. The hotel was pretty fancy. Coy fish in around the continental breakfast area and a huge open courtyard. Eric claims he doesn’t get that good of a hotel… more good fortune. Off to REI and we were able to replace the gas canister and light both the stoves off. The new stove was still working much better so REI let me return my old stove and keep the new one. Love that store. I got a few things to organize my panniers and then we swung by a bakery before I parted. Thanks again for everything Erik! It was great we were able to meet up on one of your work layovers!
The ride to Carrboro area was very pretty. Lots of green and rolling hills. While I was stopped at a stop sign jotting down some notes another cyclist, Rob, pulled up and asked where I was headed. When he learned I was off to Carrboro he offered to ride with me most of the way there. Rob was good company and was able to point out some cool things and share some great stories along the way. After about 12 miles and contemplating calling in “sick”, Rob decided he better head back to work and we parted ways.
Once up to Carrboro/Chapel Hill I parked for a bit at the Weaver Market and then toured around UNC (Tar Heel campus) before heading on. I was still unsure of my sleeping arrangements, but figured I’d scope out a camping spot in the countryside. On my way out of town I stopped at the local brewery, Steel String Brewery, to try a beer. Immediately upon parking my bike a group of guys at a nearby table struck up a conversation. After about 30 seconds I was offered a place to stay… the generosity of people continues to blow me away on this trip. I grabbed a beer and continued chatting. It turned out they all worked at a local bike shop (four locations in the area) and the guy who offered me a place to stay, Mike, has done a fair amount of touring himself.
Mike gave me some directions to his place about 6 miles away and I rode out to meet him there. His home was a beautiful place in the county. Great riding location as well. Mike had picked up some Arbys for us on the way home so we chatted over a beer and roast beef sandwiches. I mentioned my pannier dragging issue and Mike ran off to the shed to get some tools. We rigged up a solution to my pannier problem and celebrated the success with ice cream. Awesome evening.
Living large in the Erik’s sweet layover spot. Notice the coy… don’t worry they weren’t on the breakfast menu.
Had to get a picture with the fish!
Erik took the rig for a spin. Look out for that car!
I thought he might just take off… fortunately he returned. Looks like your ready for a tour Erik.
Rob – The wind surfer, kite surfer, biker, sailing extraordinaire. He also makes a good tour guide!
Cool overlook of Lake Jordan
UNC campus. Must’ve been graduation week. I saw lots of students in caps and gowns. Seems like yesterday I was doing the same thing!
This was either in Chapel Hill or Carrboro. The two towns smushed together.
Ohhh yea. Delish.
Mike’s sweet house that they built. They are pretty much net zero when it comes to the energy bill thanks to solar heating and electricity.
Mike helping modify my panniers.
Oh yea! Time to shoot some sparks around those corners!
Who’s idea was it to put Girl Scout cookies in ice cream?? I need to give them a hug.
Miles: 35.5 (another lazy day)
Acts of kindness: 3 Erik brought me to REI and sent me of with some delicious bread; Rob joined me for a good portion of my ride; Mike kindly offered his home, fed me, and helped me fix my panniers.
Day 9, May 8th – Carrboro to Highpoint
After a good nights sleep I woke up and Mike made me coffee and oatmeal. Once packed up and ready to roll again, Mike provided some road suggestions back to my planned route and I was off. The roads are getting hillier and the weather is getting warmer. Lots of sun screen today. It was mostly winding roads and rolling hills through farmland so I pedaled all day minus two much needed rest stops.
I passed in between Carrboro and Highpoint. There wasn’t much too see and riding into town didn’t seem like a bike friendly option so I headed straight to the campground I had picked out earlier in the day. It was a nice place; Showers, water, and electric hookups for charging my things. After a long ride I didn’t mind paying the money for a campground with all the fancy amenities.
I’d call it Master Mikes Oatmeal Delight… or something. It hit the spot!
Hops! Just starting to grow.
I was thinking this probably wasn’t the best way to abbreviate…
Carb heaven. Thank you Erik. Adding some ghee because I love me some calories.
Getting hilly out here!
Farm country indeed.
This provided a surprise rear tire lock up. No damage thankfully.
Acts of kindness: 1 Mike’s famous oatmeal and ride directions
Day 10, May 9th – Highpoint to ???
Slept great and woke up to watch the sunrise across the lake. Found out they had wifi when I opened my computer so I’m enjoying sipping some coffee (love having a working stove) with my breakfast and updating the blog. Not sure where I’ll make it to today. I’m thinking a 65 mile day sounds doable. Supposed to be hot again! Happy Friday y’all! At least I think it’s Friday? I can’t keep track 🙂