Sunday, December 5, 2010

Who let the dogs out?

In our last episode, your brave and handsome heroes outsmarted delicious crustaceans.

The next day, we bid farewell to Mike, thanked him and his folks for their kind generosity, and hit the road once again. The route suggested by our Adventure Cycling maps required some 50 miles of backtracking, and we had still planned on making it from Charleston to Orlando in 7 days. Backtracking was not an attractive option, so we decided to take a more direct route as suggested by the almighty iPhone.

At this time, I must point out that the iPhone's current software cannot predict the existence of dogs on a particular route. Man's best friend becomes man's barking, foamy-mouthed nightmare when man is perched upon a bike. Being obedient Apple customers, we followed iPhone's directions and turned left on a small backroad. A few seconds later, three medium sized dogs come tearing around a corner at breakneck speed, barking as if we stole something from them. Vanessa and I mashed on the pedals as hard as we could, pushing our bikes and trailers to 25mph, and outrunning the canines before they could chomp at us. After we were well away from the mutts, I felt that unmistakable afterglow of adrenaline and fear. It was the same feeling as when you narrowly miss crashing your car, or when you almost get into a fight. (Editor's note: Ed does not feel fear. This account is merely a poetic attempt to describe what it would be like if Ed in fact felt fear of any kind.) We rounded a curve in the road, and we saw that we were riding down a dead-end road. At that point, numerous profanities escaped our lips, because we knew that we would have to ride past those dogs again. We armed ourselves with the flag poles from our trailers, hoping that they would be stout enough to beat away an angry dog. High adrenaline levels: check.

We punched our bikes to top speed, and got ready to beat away the three barking pooches as we sped past their house. Sure enough, the three furies came tearing around the corner again, and we got ready to beat them away with our flimsy flag poles. Thankfully, the mutts were a step too slow for your speedy heroes, and we outran them within a few hundred yards. The moral of the story: carry pepper spray when you ride.

The remainder of the next few days' ride was moderately uneventful. We coasted into Georgia, which greeted us with miles of cotton fields. If you squint your eyes a tad, and indulge a daydream, it felt like we were riding in snow.

The remainder of Georgia was flat, isolated, and, I dare say, boring. Desirous of a short, direct route, we rode US 301 for about 150 miles, and the following two pictures encapsulate what we saw during those miles. The reader may decide for themselves the which of the two pictures was most exciting:

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