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Hello from Charleston

Wow…we made it!  We’ve ridden across about 2/3 of the country in a little better than a month and a half, none of our equipment failed us, we haven’t tired of one another’s company…all’s well.  Whoot!

So…the traffic thing…Georgia’s drivers (at least Northern GA, where we were travelling) were a significant asspain.  Majorly pushy.  I find it interesting to note that two states where drivers are notoriously impatient with cyclists (Missouri and Georgia) host big-ticket professional bicycle races (Tour of Missouri and Tour of Georgia, eponymously and respectively).  The drivers in rural South Carolina have been pretty good, but in suburban Charleston – holy smokies, watch out…they’re completely maniacal.  Charleston is adamantly NOT a bike friendly city.  SRSLY, Kansas City looks like Portland by comparison.  Plus, Charleston is laid out pretty oddly, with few through streets.  The few that go through are heavily travelled and not necessarily straight or capacious.  It’s hard to get on a low-traffic side street and drivers definitely resent cyclists “taking up space” on the side of the road.

I do want to give a shout out to The Charleston Bicycle Company…we checked in with them to buy a good U-lock, since we’d just been travelling with a light cable and would want something sturdier for parking our bikes when we go to museums and such.  I have a feeling that a lot of the Charleston bicycle world cycles in and out of that shop…they seem to be the color and flavor of bike culture for the area.  Also, their shop dog, Chloe is super-cute and very pettable. 

Well, later today we’re going to be rolling into old downtown Charleston, which I’ve been given to understand is very scenic.  I’m looking forward to getting out and seeing the sights.  I think we’re going to be doing a fair amount of touristing, since we have 6 days to burn before we can get on the plane and head for home.  There’s Fort Sumter to see (where the Civil War kicked off) a state park on one of the outlying islands, and several museums that are on our week-long itenerary. 

It feels odd to just be passing time after weeks of generally being on the move.  I got restless at the end of a “rest day” so I’m not sure what I will be doing with myself this coming week!  We hit a used book store and stocked up on some light reading.  I got a couple of utterly trashy books I’d been wanting to read for ages anyhow…The Nanny Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada, to be exact, as well as a Neil Gaiman novel, Stardust, which I had read ages ago and knew I’d enjoy re-reading (and also knew that Joel would enjoy…I’m not so sure he’d be interested in the others).  He picjked up 2/3 of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, as well as a couple of other SciFi paperbacks, so I think we’ll be okay.  Also, I had a collection of Mark Twain short stories with me, so we have variety for sure.

Well, I expect we’ll be library-ing a bit more during this week, so I will post some impressions of our sightseeing adventures.

3 Responses to “Hello from Charleston”

  1. walter says:

    i’m glad you made it there safe. i live in the atlanta metro area and it’s much worse here.
    when i ride my recumbent from atlanta to new york, i normaly don’t feel safe until i hit north carolina then its great except for baltimore which sucks also.
    you guys may want to pack a lightweight hammock in case you get stuck in the swamp again.

  2. Possum says:

    Please have Joel Call me (Todd) asap. I’ve got some interest from people on some fixtures but I want to give him first dibs but don’t want to hold stuff he doesn’t want.

    Enjoy the trip, and sorry to be such a pain.

  3. planetmort says:

    I honeymooned in Charleston; if your budget supports it, try out some of the awesome restaurants. It’s a lovely romantic city.

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