Monday, June 20, 2011

Biking Eastward

MST - Day 49 - 3-11-11 – Monroe Gaskill Memorial Bridge to Cedar Island Ferry – 9.3 miles
With my recent success (i.e. survival) with road biking I felt brave enough to tackle a multi-day trip.  Jim agreed to devote a weekend to my Mountains-To-Sea Trail project, so I chose to go as far away from home as possible to maximize his generosity.  New Bern, here we come! 
Ever-increasing gas prices made driving two cars from Charlotte a little hard to swallow, so we reserved a rental car at the New Bern airport.  The long, long, long drive from Charlotte was eased a bit by stopping for barbecue at Wilber’s in Goldsboro (excellent!).  We picked up the rental and headed towards the Cedar Island Ferry, following the route per Scot Ward’s book that we would bike tomorrow. 
Did I mention that it’s also a long, long, long way from New Bern to Cedar Island?  I wanted to bike the last ten miles to the end today in order to keep tomorrow under 40 miles (remember, just six days ago 28 miles was difficult).  But it was getting windy and colder, clouds were threatening and it was after 5 p.m.  We arrived at the Cedar Island Ferry and I was nervous and indecisive, ready to bail out and face the consequences with a long day tomorrow.  Then Jim suggested that rather than taking the time to get both bikes ready, he could drop me off to ride alone and he would shadow me for support.

I really didn’t want to do this, but Jim is a good coach and I trust him, so we went back to the Monroe Gaskill Memorial Bridge.  (That bridge was pretty intimidating.)  But there was almost no traffic and here we were, so off I went.

Still upright!

Jim drove a little ahead and parked to take photos of me coming down off the bridge.  I look like such a dork on the bike, but at least I was moving!  I was dressed right for the temperature and after the bridge everything was flat as a pancake and it was a fun ride.  The marshes in the late afternoon light were lovely and I realized that tomorrow we were in for a treat going through the wildlife refuge.

Again Jim drove on, taking photos, and meeting me at intervals to see if I was okay (yes, it was only 9 miles but it was nice to have the support).  I cruised through the little community of Cedar Island.  Such a sense of accomplishment to arrive at the ferry!  I felt so much more confident that tomorrow is doable.  Now all we needed was pizza and sleep.
The bicycle is a curious vehicle.  Its passenger is its engine.  ~John Howard

1 comment:

Danny Bernstein said...

You don't look like a dork. You look great!