Check out my ride on RidewithGPS. Today was a big day for me. Scott needed to get home so in the morning he drove me on the other side of Jacksonville saving me 10 miles and riding in morning hour traffic. Have to say I was a bit nervous about the thought of not having him close by. My mind began the “what if” game and my stomach kind of sunk as I watched him drive off and I was wondering why was I not just going home with him. My body ached, I didn’t know where I was going to stay or how far I could get, blah blah blah… So to drown out the doubt I jumped on my bike and headed for my first turn to get off of 17. Wouldn’t you know it, it was a gated off-road leading to Camp Lejeune.
Seriously, I have to laugh at myself sometimes! I knew I couldn’t go through Camp Lejeune as I was planning my route months ago that is why I had to go to Jacksonville in the first place. So then why would I plan a route coming out of Jacksonville on the other side straight into Camp Lejeune? Wow, Kristy! Really? Ugh! So I had to get back onto 17 and tried to find a different route. Found one but the road was so rough that I thought my teeth would fall out and that I was going to lose everything that I attached to my bike so I headed back to 17. I had to just suck up the hum of the traffic and I finally settled into a rhythm and made it to North Topsail Beach. The road there was much more relaxing and I enjoyed the beautiful houses that dotted the coastline. As I was cuisine past a parking lot that appeared to be pressed gravel, I turned into it so I could take a picture of Stump Sound. The gravel swallowed my front tire so quickly that I had no time to unclip my shoe off my pedal and down I went. My first fall on this bike ever. My body protected my bike pretty well as she ended up on top of me and I still couldn’t unclip my damn shoe. Once I got up and dusted myself and the bike off, I road about 3 more miles. Something just felt funny about my bike. My back tire had popped! Oh Joy of all Joys I got to practice my new mad skills at changing a bike tire. I had practiced a few times on a spare that we have at home, so I wasn’t too concerned. However, it was the back tire and it was enslaved in the greasy bike chain and I didn’t know how to get the tire off. Thank God for YouTube and Joe Smoe who likes to do tutorials on how to change a back tire of a road bike! I sat my bruised tuckus down on someone’s front steps and watched and repaired my tire. It took awhile and some muscles to pump up my tire but I got ‘er done! Yay me!
The rest of the trip towards Wilmington was pretty steady with traffic. I got to a point where I could suck up 12 more miles of traffic or add a few more miles to the trip following side roads that I had planned and I would still make it to Carolina Beach before rush hour in Wilmington. So I chose to take the side roads. Wrong choice! Good ol’ Holly Shelter Rd was closed! I followed the detour for about 1.5 miles then turned around after looking at a map more closely and decided that there appeared to be a side road that would lead me to where I wanted to go, so I went back to the closed road and began to ride. It was great because there where no cars at all! I loved it! Then about 3 miles down the road where it was no longer a road at all I found my side road which was gated off and nothing but gravel and grass covering it! Shake my head at myself again! So I raced back and got on the detour road like a good girl. Went about 10 miles out of my way but hey, I got to ride a road with no cars on it and it was nice. As for the detour…. Not so nice! It was 15 miles out of my way. I would never make it to Carolina Beach for the night now. As soon as I got to Wilmington I got a nice crappy hotel and ordered Chinese takeout and called it a night! So glad the day was OVER!