Dee on the West Ashley Greenway approaching Charleston
Today’s 75 miles were bookended by greenway segments: we left Beaufort on the Spanish Moss Trail, for maybe 10 miles, and approached Charleston on the 7-mile West Ashley Greenway. Each delightful, each a combination of paved stretches and stone dust or dirt segments. In between we had a whole lot of the infamous Route 17, with tiny to no shoulders as trucks and cars flew by us. A few precious side roads helped break up the tension of highway riding, which requires great concentration and great trust that cars and trucks see you and don’t want to hit you.
We are facing a forecast of rain and thunderstorms tomorrow. It’s overdue; we’ve had remarkable good fortune with weather so far that can’t last forever.
Today was was the luckiest, weather wise. We pulled off Route 17 into a gas station/general store at around 32 miles for our first break. We grabbed coffee and sat at a booth, doing our usual rest-stop scans of our phones for the route map, texts, and emails. I looked up after about 10 minutes to see rain suddenly pouring in buckets while we sat inside dry and our bikes were under a roof. The timing was incredible — if we had left there just five minutes earlier we would have had no shelter — and not even a shoulder to stop on — for miles and miles.
Eight or so motorcyclists soon joined us to wait out the rain. They were traveling the opposite direction, headed to Savannah, and were equally caught by surprise. I went to ask a couple of them talking about the forecast and one woman, Dathel, asked me about my leather bike seat. Turns out she is a cyclist as well and has done GOBA (Great Ohio Bike Adventure) while Dee and I have done XOBA (Cross Ohio). We traded a few stories and a couple of the guys asked us about our trip. Another woman shared her Twizzlers with us. After about 20 minutes one of the guys called out, “It stopped!” and we were off. Dee and I agreed that we learned something from the exchange — that motorcyclists can be nice, intelligent, fun people.
Biker chicks waiting out the rain