Editor’s note: David Freeze started his coast-to-coast bicycle trip June 10 in Oregon. He has sent daily dispatches to be published in the Post, at www.salisburypost.com, and on his blog, “Gotta Run” at blog.salisburypost.com/gottarun
My concern today was how my riding would mix in with the beach traffic. Never before had I thought of those roads the way a cyclist would. One time, during my marathon training years, I ran about 30 miles of it. Still, my main concern were road shoulders and would the drivers give me any room.
I started about 6:30 with a much less weight on my bike. I wouldn’t need lots of the survival stuff, tent and sleeping bag included. Also, I was able to leave most of the food and part of my water bottles behind too.
My early route was Weaver Road to Miller, and on to Grace Church. It seemed nobody was up, and that suited me fine. I passed by the truck stop, left on Old Concord and followed St. Paul’s to Faith. Down Crescent and into Rockwell on Redd Road, where I got my first surprise. Ironman Triathlete Pam Roseman was waiting for me after her morning run and she was an absolute delight to see and talk to.
Down Hwy. 52, all was good except for being accosted by Glenn McDonald from Rowan Vocational Opps as he rode along beside me in his truck just as we entered Pfeiffer. Richfield and Albemarle were no problem, with drivers giving plenty of room and everyone seeming happy. The new part of 52 in Albemarle helped a lot. I did stop for air and had a nice discussion about how many convenience stores charge for air. Out west, virtually none of them do. That is another story, but the convenience stores are much more important out west, because the first real grocery or hardware store might be 50 miles away.
I got my first ice cream in Norwood, just after completing 50 miles. It was getting hot and sticky, so I needed the boost. In Wadesboro, I stopped at McDonald’s for the Wifi and a good snack. Derek Freeze and his friend Julie were there, also on the way to the beach, and they told me that both have been avidly following the adventure.
At that point, I had about 38 miles to go to Bennettsville, S.C., my intended overnight stop. Cheraw was the in between point and the next ice cream stop. This time, I got great conversation from the owners of Baskin Kreme Kastle. Nobody could believe I was riding from coast to coast. I told them that they needed to make me a pineapple milkshake that would carry me 20 more miles. They made the perfect one, and gave me some ice water too.
I rolled into Bennettsville with 110 miles complete for the day, and stopped at the Marlboro Inn. Recent reviews were great, but it took me about 15 minutes to find a clean place and change my location to the Williams Motel.
That is where I will spend the night, then get an early start towards Myrtle Beach. If all goes well, I should arrive at the beach by mid-afternoon. The long awaited wheel dipping will take place later that evening at some point.
The big take away from today was that the drivers that I rode with and beside were the very best behaved of my whole trip. Lots of friendly waves too!
Tomorrow will be bittersweet and I expect a little emotion again. I have about 85 miles remaining to ride. We plan photos and a video of the official wheel dipping.
The Salisbury Post invites readers to join us at a reception for David Freeze after he completes his cross-country cycling trip.
When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7
Where: Salisbury Post, 131 W. Innes St. , Salisbury
Readers will have a chance to meet and congratulate Freeze. And wherever David Freeze goes, there will be ice cream. It’s on us. Email or call to let us know you’re coming: 704-797-4244 or email@example.com.