5. Underway . . . Sort Of

Tuesday morning brother Scott drove Shelly and me over to the coast to Mt. Pleasant to pick up our bikes at Trek Bicycles of Charleston. Since we were already near the beach, we decided to get our first day’s ride of 49 miles back west to Scott and Susie’s house behind us.

Scott drove us a few miles south to Folly Beach, where we performed the ceremonial dip of our rear tires in the Atlantic Ocean and prepared to ride west. As I was walking my bike away from the surf through the sand towards the road, a guy who was sun-bathing got up and approached me. “Where’d you start from today?,” he asked. I pointed over my shoulder, 75 yards back to the surf, “Right there,” I responded. We laughed, as I explained that Shelly and I were just starting our ride home to Oregon.

Our ride back to Scott & Susie’s was a mix of good and bad riding.

Most of the bad riding was along a very busy road with a narrow shoulder and rumble strips on the fog line. A bicycling hazards trifecta. White knuckle time for about 10 miles. The roadkill in the narrow shoulder we had to maneuver over or around included an armadillo, a possum, and a big kingsnake.

The best part of the ride occurred at a red light, waiting to cross the short Wappoo Creek Bridge, which looked to us like nothing more challenging than crossing over a highway overpass. A woman in the car next to us rolled down her window, and in a beautiful southern drawl asked Shelly, “Y’all goin’ over the bridge?” “Yes,” Shelly responded, wondering where else the woman thought we would be going, since the bridge was our only option over the waterway. “Well, we are too,” the woman replied. “We’ll pray for you. It’s awfully breezy up there!” Then the light turned green, and off she went, leading us over the bridge.

The woman’s offer of prayer was sincere and genuine. It really touched us both. I will remember our 30 seconds with her the entire trip, believing that her prayer and those of others will carry us safely home.

But first we’ll finish our visit here in the Charleston area. May 1 we will load up the bikes and shove off for real and start pedaling home.


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Chris

    Love that start story! We’ll definitely add our prayers to hers that not only will you be safe, but that it will be full of all the adventure/fun/amazing experiences that you could ever hope to have. Miss those y’all’s!

    Oh I hope you’re gonna have BBQ before you leave the south! 😉

    1. Jens

      We will, Chris. I’m working my way to it through fried food first. So far, I’ve had fried catfish and hush puppies, fried chicken and waffles, and a fried oyster Po Boy, all delicious!

  2. Brian Stine

    Congrats on your start! Sort of a ‘Brace yourselves.’ Best to you!

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