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TRIP 2009

Update #11 - April 24th
Smithfield, Virginia
1530 miles (2448 KM) since March 22nd
1794 miles (2870 KM) since January 01st



The ride Sunday (April 19) from Wilmington, North Carolina through the Outer Banks to Creeds, Virginia was a blur of speed thanks to some strong winds from the south and west. I rode 102.89 miles (164.62 km) from Wilmington to (East) Beaufort. I was going to stop for the day in Jacksonville but the wind was just to great.

Morehead City was going to be another stopover but I breezed through it because I wanted to get closer to the Cedar Island Ferry Landing to catch the ferry to Ocracoke Island. I stopped for the night at the North River United Methodist. I had stayed there before. I got there in time to take part in the small group Bible study and after taking part in a good supper of chili I got to share for a few minutes. Afterwards, I was invited to spend the night in the youth house. It was a good place to stay. The side door of the church was left unlocked so that I could go in and use the restroom.

Monday (April 20) was a bit of a wet one at the beginning because of some early morning showers. The winds pushed me along so I made the 37 miles to the Cedar Island Ferry Landing in 2 hours and 40 minutes. I had an hour wait for the ferry. The ride to Ocracoke was a little rough. It took a little over two and a half hours for the 25 nautical mile ride. There a couple of squalls especially one with lightning about 5 miles out of Ocracoke Island. I got on the island around 12:30 PM.

Instead of staying on the island, I pushed on to Hatteras Island. The 14 mile ride to the Ocracoke - Hatteras ferry landing was fast too because of a tailwind. In one section, I hit 22 mph (36 KM). I had about a 15 minute wait for the ferry. The ferry ride took 40 minutes to travel five nautical miles. From the ferry landing, I zipped to Buxton where I spent the night with some workers at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Most of the workers were college students from around the country. I had a good night and I learned a lot about migrating birds and turtles.

Tuesday (April 21) was another fast ride through the rest of the Cape Hatteras National Lighthouse. Because of the tailwind, I made almost 50 miles (80 KM) before noon. I got to my CouchSurfing host in Kill Devil Hills around 2:30 PM. It was a good night and I enjoyed my visit with Terry and his dog Molly.

Before heading out Wednesday (April 22), I got a big surprise. My new friend, Terry, surprised me with a brand new GE digital camera that he had bought last night at K-Mart. It is really great and when I learn more about it I'll be able to post some pictures and maybe some short videos on this site.

I was hoping to have an easy ride off the island to the mainland but the wind wasn't to my benefit. It was coming from the west. Because of the wind, I walked halfway across the Wright Memorial Bridge. Once I got passed the high section, I rode the rest of the way because there was a squall line coming by. I got caught in about five minutes of rain but it turned to small hail for a minute or two. About two miles (3 KM) from the bridge, I had to stop to fix a flat front tire because I caught a big building staple in it. The rest of the ride was slow because of the wind. I was going to stop in Elizabeth City for the night but the wind was just too strong so I kept on going north to Currituck.

I was hoping to stop at the Pilmoor United Methodist Church in Currituck because I had stayed there before but they now have before- and after-school programs. I took the last ferry to Knotts Island. On Knotts Island, I was hoping to stop at the United Methodist Church but I couldn't since the pastor that I knew had moved on. From the Methodist church, I rode over to the Baptist Church. Before the monthly business meeting started, I got to share for a couple of minutes. After the meeting, the pastor and one of the deacons offered to take me across the state line to a campground in the Creeds section of Virginia Beach, Virginia that had cabins for rent. The cabin had a micro-kitchen, bathroom, and air conditioner-heater unit.

Yesterday (April 23) was a long one. I needed to find a good route through the Hampton Roads (Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach). Some cyclists helped me find the route. I made it into Suffolk around 5 PM. I was supposed to spend the night with a friend but it didn't happen. Suffolk was too big of a city to stop in unprepared so I decided to ride on.

I rode on to Windsor but I wasn't able to connect with the police. I pushed on north to Smithfield. I got into Smithfield just before dusk. At the police station, I met Officer Bob Fox. He was pretty friendly and he helped me connect with the pastor of the Little Zion Baptist Church. Rev Blackwell offered to get me a room at the Smithfield Station. Officer Fox gave me a police escort to the hotel. The room that was assigned to me was on the second floor of the restaurant building but the room was too small to have the recumbent with me. The recumbent was kept for the night in a storage room in the main building. There was also a good meal thrown in with the room.

My goal for the tomorrow is to ride to the Jamestown ferry and stop for the night with some friends in Williamsburg. I am three days ahead of schedule. My ETA to arrive in Washington, DC is Wednesday, April 29. I was looking at arriving in Washington, DC either May 01st or May 02.

The next update should be between May 01 and May 08. <




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