Editor's note: David Freeze has just finished cycling coast to coast. His trek started June 10 in Oregon. His dispatches from the road have been published in the newspaper, at www.salisburypost.com, and on his blog, “Gotta Run” at blog.salisburypost.com/gottarun
Sunday, Aug. 4
My day started like so many of the previous 54 days did. Up early, repacking the stuff in my bike bags and excited about the possibilities that the day could hold. I left Bennettsville after grabbing a light breakfast and wanting to make plenty of headway before the beach traffic started to build. Most of the terrain was flat and I was pushing the pace. Highway 38 didn't have much traffic, but it sure had rough roads. Regardless, 25 miles flew by. Then I met the heavy traffic on Highway 501 as I turned directly toward the beach.
I was greeted by my nemesis from Kentucky, the dreaded rumble strips. Once again, nowhere to ride but on the roads. The same courteous driving continued from the day before, and people gave me plenty of room. We got through Aynor and then Conway. On occasion there were shoulders, and the closer to Myrtle Beach I got, the safer I felt. The stop lights slowed down the traffic, and less speed and occasional shoulders got me to the beach safely.
My first ice cream came just after 80 miles, and by that time, it was much needed. My gas tank was on empty. I found the motel at just after 88 miles.
Norma and Mark Honeycutt, along with Bradley Eagle, came down to see and film the front-wheel dipping. Norma made the video and Bradley took some still photos. It seemed that beach goers were wondering why I was dipping the front bike tire in the ocean, so Norma told them.
As the great adventure officially comes to a close, it is with mixed feelings certainly for me. I just told Bradley that now my life will return to its regular world. There was a feeling of contentment each evening after a successful day of riding, and the subsequent planning for the next day. I will certainly miss the adventure and uncertainty of each day. There will always remain a great sense of awe for me, even though I have now seen large segments of America.
Decisions about when to start, how often to eat, whether to make my own course, and how far to keep going were the key choices of the day. Now there will be more decisions of another nature, yet maybe the impact won't be as immediate.
It was the greatest challenge of my life to ride a bike across America, and as the adventure developed, I felt such strength from residents of Rowan and other surrounding areas. It was certainly nice for me having so many of you check in as I made the trip. As the events of the last few days have shown, I had lots of support and interest from Oregon to South Carolina, across this great country for a total of 4,164 miles,
Thank you so much for following my updates and I hope you had as much fun as I did writing them. It is great to be home!