TRIP 2012

Update #24 - November 10th
Carolina Beach, North Carolina
1,530.13 miles (2,448.21 KM) - Mission Trip 33
4,336.56 miles (6,938.50 KM) - Year Total

The last thirteen days were a little trying. I got waylaid in Culpeper, Virginia for two days because of Hurricane Sandy. I was far enough South and inland that I didn't get caught in the high winds and flooding. The weathter went from mild and warm to very cold and wet. I had a couple contacts with ministers who seemed to have their hearts disconnected from their brains but I had some really good contacts with ministers. I also had some problems with my recumbent, Alice. The front derailleur broke and caused a link on my chain to break as well but everything is okay now.

I am a couple of riding days away from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina so the second leg of Mission Trip 33 will be completed. From Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, I will be swinging inland to Lexington, South Carolina near Columbia and then I will be riding to Americus, Georgia. I'm not sure where I will be riding to after Americus, Georgia.

October 28th : Culpeper, Virginia - I had an okay night at Kendra's condo. I went to bed around 9 PM. I woke up around 4:30 AM. I left the condo around 8:15 AM and walked over to the Methodist Church. I met one of the assistant pastors. She remembered that Kendra mentioned me to her. She told me that if I would connect with her after the 11 AM service she would make a phone call to get me a place to stay for the night.

I went to one of the Sunday School classes. I was the youngest but I got into the conversation and was also able to share. I went to the 11 AM service. The sanctuary was packed. There was a lot of special music (band, handbell choir, two special choirs, and the main adult choir).

After the service, I connected with the assistant pastor that I had talked to. She took me to her office. I thought that when she told me that she was going to maybe call motel and set up a room for me but the call was to the police. She told me that the church was putting funds into a fund for transients and the police dealt with it. She had me move Alice up to the front of the church because people were using the fellowship hall to celebrate this lady's 95th birthday. It took a long time for the police showed up. It was nearly 1:40 PM when the first officer showed up. At first, the officer didn't think that I would be allowed to take part in the program. The assistnat pastor was going to let me camp out in one of the adult Sunday school classes but after a while the officer got word that I had been approved for one night. We had to wait for the sergeant on duty to come to the church with a form for me to sign. It was almost 2:30 PM, when the officers escorted me to the motel South of Culpeper.

I don't know what I am going to do tomorrow because Hurricane Sandy is supposed to be going passed and making landfall between Washington, D.C. and New York City possibly in New Jersey.

- I had an okay night at the motel. I was thinking about heading out and maybe riding just to Ruckesville but I decided against it. Hurricane Sandy was turning to the West a lot earlier than they had expected. Sandy is supposed to be making landfall somewhere along the Southern New Jersey shore. The wind is already around 25 mph (40 Kmph) and it is raining. I called up a pastor friend in New York who said that if I needed any help I should call him but I was just able to leave a message. Around 9 AM, I decided to go to the office and use some of the funds that I had in the checking account to pay for the room tonight. Around 9:40 AM, my pastor friend called and told me that it was needed he would pay for the room tomorrow.

The hurricane is supposed to be making landfall this evening. This area might be getting up to 60 mph (96 KMph) winds. The area is under a high wind warning tomorrow so I might have to stay over tomorrow.

October 30th : Culpeper, Virginia - I had an okay night at the motel. Hurricane Sandy made landfall around 8 PM Monday last night near Atlantic City, New Jersey with 80 mph (128+ KMph) sustained winds killed at least 17 people in seven states, cut power to more than 7.4 million homes and businesses from the Carolinas to Ohio, caused scares at two nuclear power plants. In a section of Queens, there were 50 homes destroyed in an area that was flooded. An unprecedented 13-foot surge of seawater 3 feet above the previous record gushed into New York City, inundating tunnels, subway stations and the electrical system that powers Wall Street, and sent hospital patients and tourists scrambling for shelter.

Yesterday morning, I contacted my pastor friend and told him where I am. He wanted to make sure that I had a place to wait out the bad weather from the Hurricane so he offered to contact the manager of the motel and arrange for me to have the room again today. I went to the motel office around 9:30 AM and the manager told me that he had received my friend's information and he extended the room today.

It's good because today wouldn't be a good day to be out on the road. The temperature is only going to be 43 degrees Fahrenheit (6 Celcius). It was lightly raining in the morning. It had pretty well rained all day yesterday and last night. Tomorrow, the temperature is supposed to be around 54 degrees Fahrenheit (12 Celcius) with clear skies and little wind.

October 31st : Culpeper, Virginia to Shadwell Station, Virginia - I had an okay night at the motel. Since it was going to be in the 40s, I got out my thermals. I left the motel around 7:40 AM. The sky was a little overcast but it looked like it was going to be clearing up. I walked over to US 29. The morning ride went okay. I got about 23 miles (37 KM) in by noon. The afternoon ride went okay. I got into Charlottesville around 3:00 PM. I had to walk through some road construction. I was hoping for some communication from the pastors that I had sent emails to but I didn't get any. I called up their churches but they were not there.

For the past couple of days, I had a feeling that I needed to change my route and not make the trip to Amherst. It's just too far out of the way for me. Besides, US 29 would have been restricted to bicycles a good part of the way and I didn't know of an alternate route. When I got on US 250 business, I turned Eastwards.

I had to get through the downtown area before dark and I did that. There was a lot of activity because they were having some kind of film festival. I pushed on to Shadwell Station.

In the dimming light, I saw the outline of a church to the North of me. It was the First Church of the Nazerene of Charlottesville. They were having a small Bible study. I got to take part and share. Afterwards, one of the ladies slipped me a $50 bill, They were getting ready for a bazaar so an offer to get me a room at the Comfort Inn was made. Nobody had a truck so two cars directed me over to the motel. It was a little tricky because there were hills and the shoulder was a little rough.

I'll be getting close to Richmond tomorrow and ride through it Friday.

November 01st : Shadwell Station, Virginia to Glen Allen, Virginia - I had an okay night at the motel. There was a really good hot breakfast. I headed out from the motel around 7:50 AM. It was cool in the 40s but it didn't feel as cold as yesterday because there was no wind. I didn't have to put on my second pair of gloves. The ride along US 250 went okay. The ride was up and down with rolling hills. I did have to walk up a few hills because there was no shoulder in some places. There were also a couple of road construction areas that I had to get through.

I got 21 miles (34 KM) in by noon time. I stopped at a gas station in Hadensville for some lunch. I got a hot chicken sandwich. The afternoon ride went okay. There wasn't much in Gum Spring so I rode on to Oilville. Between Gum Spring and Oilville, I crossed the Adventure Cycling BikeCentennial Route. There wasn't much in Oilville so I decided to keep on going for a while even though it was getting after 5 PM.

I found some cars at a church in Manakin Sabot. It was the West End Church Of The Nazarene. The pastor, Bill Jarrell, was still at the church because he was preparing for a men's group. Since there was a pre-school at the church, Bill offered to take me into the outskirts of Richmond and get me a room at a motel. We loaded everything in back of his mini-suv. Bill took me to the Comfort Suites in Glen Allen.

I'll be riding into downtown Richmond tomorrow morning and head south on US 1 to Petersburg.

November 02nd : Glen Allen, Virginia to Stony Creek, Virginia - I had an okay night at the motel. The room was really good and so was the breakfast. Having a hot breakfast was a plus. I left the motel around 8 AM. The ride into Richmond was a little tricky because there was a lot of traffic because of the morning rush hour and there was no shoulder to ride along. I spent most of the time riding in the gutter. I rode almost into the downtown area before I got to US 301 heading south. The was a long bridge to cross over the James River. I had to walk through a ten block section of road paving.

The ride to Colonial Heights and Petersburg went okay. In Petersburg, I went around to check out the churches. I didn't see anybody around the churches. What I did find was a building that said emergency assistance. There wasn't anybody around it and it didn't look too safe. I decided to go on and take my chances in either finding someplace inside or find a place to camp out.

I was able to get into the small town of Templeton before dusk. There wasn't much in town but several motels and some gas stations at an interchange of I-95. I got out my NiteRider light but it didn't stay on. I rode on to Stony Creek. It was a bigger town. There was one church (Methodist) but there was nobody around or a phone number on the sign or door to call.

I found a place to camp out in some woods a couple of miles south of Stony Creek.

November 03rd : Stony Creek, Virginia to Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina - It was really cold camping out. I got some sleep but my knees were hurting and my toes were cold. I had to put on a second pair of socks. I wished that I still had the sleeping bag liner that I had last year or a space blanket. It was around 7 AM when I crawled out of the sleeping bag. When I looked out the tent, there was a little bit of frost.

I had an okay ride down to Emporia. I got into Emporia a little before noon. They were having some kind of fall festival but there wasn't much there. I stopped at a gas station for something hot to eat. Between Emporia and the small town of Skippers, I stopped along side the road to do some sewing repairs on my things.

I crossed into North Carolina just north of the little town of Pleasant Hill. Before completing my cross over into North Carolina, I stopped to take the traditional picture of Alice with the state sign. There wasn't a sign in the Arlington, Virginia area across from Washington, D.C.

 Virginia State Sign

Here is Alice with the North Carolina State Sign.

 North Carolina State Sign

Once in North Carolina, I left US 301 and switched over to NC 48. In Gaston, I stopped to take pictures of a really nice semi truck cab that was painted as a rolling remembrance of 9-11.

 9-11 Memorial Truck

 9-11 Memorial Truck

I got into Roanoke Rapids around 5 PM. I checked out the churches that I could find. There wasn't anybody around them. I found the police station. It was closed so I went out back to see if there were any police cars. I caught a police officer going in. He told me that there was a rescue mission about a mile down the road. I rode passed it and it didn't look good. There was a sign that said that it wouldn't be open until 9 PM and it closed at 5 AM.

I decided to go to nearby Weldon. There wasn't anybody at the police station. I checked out the churches but I didn't find anybody. It was going to get cold again tonight and the night was going to be longer because we were going to set our clocks back because this was the end of Daylight Savings Time. I called up my pastor friend in New York and he told me that he would pay for a motel room. I rode back to the I-95 interchange and got a motel room at a Motel 6 that had the lowest rate shown.

I'm going to be riding back into Weldon for church tomorrow. Tomorrow might be a wet day.

November 04th : Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina to Sharpsburg, North Carolina - I had an okay night at the motel. It would have been nice if I could have gotten on the internet since I haven't had the chance in three days. I left the motel around 8:45 AM and headed back down the hill into Weldon. I went passed the three churches that I found last night. There was nobody at the Methodist and Episcopal Churches. I did see some cars near the Baptist church but there was no indication that they were inside even though it was time for the Sunday school classes.

I turned the bike around and I was going to head back down to the other churches when this car pulled in across the street. A lady came out of the car and she waved at me. I saw this as an invitation and I turned the bike back around and began to lock the bike up to a railing. As I was doing this, another car pulled over to the side of the road and this guy in a suit came out with a briefcase. It was the pastor of the church.

He seemed to be okay but it kind of bothered me when he asked for my ID card several times and he told me that he was going to call the police to have a background check done on me. This was after he had looked at all of my letters of references. I had just asked him if he knew of a place where I could stay after the service because I liked to take Sundays off. The pastor didn't like it when I didn't give him my social security number. I don't like giving it out because I've had two cases of identity theft. I guess I might have satisfied him because he gave me by ID card back and told me that he would help me after the service.

During this whole time, there was this black guy who told me that he was ordained through the church. He went downstairs and got me a couple of microwavable breakfast sandwiches and orange juice. The guy didn't ask me for anything. He just showed me compassion.

The service was okay but it seemed stifled because there was less than two dozen people there. They were all a lot older and they all sat in the back pews. I was one of the younger people there. The pastor seemed quite aloof to the congregation. During the time for prayers for the people, a lady in the small choir broke down in tears when she told everybody that her 30 year old son had non-Hodkins lymphoma and he hadn't taken the time to start treatments because he was too busy with his work. The guy had two young kids 2 and 4 years old. The service should have been stopped so that everybody could comfort the lady and give her prayers there but the pastor just went on his thing.

The sermon was very long and technical. The guy should have been preaching to other pastors because I thought that the way he was doing it was way over the education of the people's minds. I think he was trying to impress his parents who were there. During the long and technical sermon, the pastor used a wrong transliteration of one of G-D's Hebrew names when there wasn't one. I had to laugh inside when at the end he said a line where he saw that most modern day churches are either clubs or museums. The guy had a museum since the church was on it's deathbed and he didn't realize it since there was nobody there especially any families with young kids. I also have to laugh because there was two guys struggling to get two overcast projectors to work and neither one of them knew that they needed to set up the laptop for two monitors. The blind leading the blind. All they thought was that there was a cable unplugged.

I had to wait about 15 minutes after the service before the pastor had time for me. He took me into his office. I thought that he had either approved my staying over in the church for the rest of the day or maybe made arrangements for me to stay at a motel but all he did was draw me a map to a rescue mission in the next town over of Roanoke Rapids. What a pass-off. What a goat of a minister. "What you have not done for the least of these, You have not done for me".

There was no way that I was going to ride to Roanoke Rapids to check out the mission. I've had too many problems at missions with things being stolen by either the people there or the staff and being phsysically assaulted and sexually assaulted at one. I headed over to US 301 and just headed out of town. I should have known that I wasn't going to connect with a minister of compassion because I normally don't find one if the twon is near and interstate or it has a population of over 8,000 people.

I pushed in the miles. Even though I was tired from the past couple of days, I just wanted to get out of the area and the country. According to my map, the city of Rocky Mount was 35 miles away (56 KM) and there were some small towns between them. I stopped in Halifax at a gas station for a short break. The miles went by quickly since I was in the Coastal Plain. I pushed on through Enfield and Whitaker. I got onto Battleboro around dusk but there wasn't much there. Rocky Mount was 8 miles (13 KM) away so I decided to see if there were any churches along the way. If there wasn't any, I would try and find some place to camp out for the night. I put on my NiteRider light.

Whem I got into Rocky Mount, I stayed on the main route instead of taking the business route into the downtown area. The ride was okay because there was a shoulder to ride along most of the way. I did have to stop at a gas station to charge up the NiteRider battery for about a half hour. Along the way, I went passed motels that had advertised rates less than $30 but I didn't have the extra money. About 2/3rds the way through the Rocky Mount area, I had to stop at another gas station to charge up the NiteRider battery again. I left the battery recharge for about 45 minutes but that didn't give me a full recharge.

I was able to get through the rest of Rocky Mount and through Sharpsburg. Along the way, I was looking for a place to camp out but I couldn't find one. Halfway between Sharpsburg and Elm City, the NiteRider light was getting ready to go out again. I had stopped across the road from a church. There was lights in the church and some people were outside. I guess that people were getting ready to leave. When I looked over to the church, I thought I saw somebody wave at me. When I looked again, they waved at me again. I carefully got myself across the divided highway and went over to the church to check it out.

When I got into the parking lot, this guy came out from the church to meet me. It turns out that this was the minister of the church. The church was the Refuge Trinity Holiness Church. Rev Griswold was really friendly. He didn't ask for any of my letters of references or my ID. After I explained to him what I have been doing and asked him if there was any way for me to maybe camp out in the church for the night, he told that he would do something better for me. He told me that he had done business with one of the churches back in Sharpsburg and he would be happy to get me a room for the night there. We loaded up Alice in the back of one of the church member's pick-up truck and I rode with the pastor and his son back into Sharpsburg. Rev Griswold asked me if I had eaten anything much during the day. He stopped at the Hardees along the way and got me a supersized meal. When we got to the motel, the pastor went and got me the key and they all helped me get Alice into the room. Before they left, Rev Griswold slipped me his business card and they prayed for me. What a compassionate minister and the exact opposite of what I had come across in Weldon.

November 05th : Sharpsburg, North Carolina to Kinston, North Carolina - I had an okay night at the motel. The heater got the room really hot so I woke up early to turn it off. Even though I had just got around 4.5 hours of sleep, I couldn't fall asleep. I tried several times to get a steady connection to the internet but the main router in the office wasn't working right. I was sending out packets of data but I wasn't getting packets back. I was having problems with the Comodo firewall and AVG not allowing a new network connection but I thought that I had straightened the problem last night.

I left the motel a little before 8 AM. The ride to Wilson went really fast. I had a small tailwind behind me. I didn't have to ride into downtown Wilson to get on NC 58. Before heading south on NC 58, I stopped at a gas station for a short break. The tailwind kept me going down the road. I stopped for another break at a gas station in Stantonsburg. As I was taking off my windbreaker, I noticed that the cellphone wasn't in the back pocket of the jersey that I was wearing. I remember putting it in the pocket before leaving the motel room. It must have fallen out of the pocket when I was straightening out the jackets after going to the restroom.

I debated on whether I should head back to the gas station. I decided against it because there was a 0% chance it would be still there. It would have been a 24 mile (38 KM) trip for possibly nothing. I was hoping to be in Kinston before dark and I had 31 miles (49 KM) to ride to get there. I got 29 miles (46 KM) in by noon time. I was going to stop at the library in Snow Hill but there was a sign on the door that said the internet was down.

The rest of the ride into Kinston went okay. I got into downtown Kinston around 3:45 PM. The first church that I came to was the Queen Street Methodist Church. The pastor was in. He told me that it would be okay for me to stay in a third floor room that was part storage and part kids room. There was an elevator that took me to the third floor. Before leaving, the pastor gave me the password to the internet network.

I'm getting concerned with the front tire. It has a little over 4,800 miles (7,680 KM) on it. There are a couple of stone cuts that are starting to worry me.

November 06th : Kinston, North Carolina to New Bern, North Carolina - I had an okay night at the church. The room stayed warm. There was a sofa but it was too short since it was just a two cushioned one. I stretched out the sleeping bag on top of some short carpets. I crawled into the sleeping bag around 10 PM and I slept straight through till around 6 AM.

I left the church a little before 8 AM. I walked through the downtown area. I was surprised at seeing almost 75% of the stores empty. I got on BUS US 70 that took me to US 70 and I started the trip East to New Bern. The sky was overcast and there was a threat of rain in the afternoon. At Dover, I had to exit US 70 because it became a restricted highway and I had to get on Old US 70. The roadway between Dover and Cove City was really rough. It became smoother past Cove City. I was still able to ride 22 miles before noon time.

A couple of miles west of New Bern, Old US 70 connected with NC 55. Right near the New Bern City line, it started to rain. It started to pour really hard so I stopped at a gas station to get out of the wet weather and get a cup of hot cocoa.

From the gas station, it was a little more than a mile to
Flythe's Bike Shop . I was surprised at seeing all of the recumbents. There were several Lightning Recumbents (a P-38 and a Thunderbolt). Mr Flythe told me that he had built some recumbents and there were some of his bents hanging on the walls. His son helped me out. He went out and he took the front wheel off of Alice. He noticed the tread cuts and he did show some concern about one of them. They had quite few 20 inch tires. There was a 20x1.5 inch 100 psi Kenda Kwest tire for $29.95. They gave me a $10 discount and the guy switched over the tires for free.

From the bike shop, I rode into the downtown area. I checked out some of the churches. I noticed some cars at the First Presbyterian Church. I got connected with the office administrator. Mike was pretty friendly. There was an offer to stay in the church for the night but instead there was an offer to get me a motel room so that I could take a hot shower to warm out. While I waited for Mike to finish up his church business, I talked with an older gentleman who came in to volunteer to take care of the phones in the office. The guy was a retired minister. I was surprised when he told me that he used to live in NW Ohio close to where I was an exchange student during the 1973-1974 school. Before we left to find a motel room, Mike went to the kitchen and got me some frozen stuff to eat (Shepherd's Pie and Brunswich Stew) that I should microwave in the room. We loaded Alice into the back of Mike's pickup truck and he drove me to the Holiday Inn Express on US 17.

I'm going to be riding just to Jacksonville tomorrow. The temperature is just going to be in the low 40s. There is supposed to be wind coming from the NW and this might help me as a tailwind.

November 07th : New Bern, North Carolina to Jacksonville, North Carolina - I had an okay night at the motel. I turned off the tv early and didn't go on any of the main internet search engines so I wouldn't hear or read the news on who was elected or re-elected president. I'm just glad that it's finally over. Eighteen months of campaigning is just too long. I heard just way too many negative adds through all of the twenty states that I've gone through this year. The one that I didn't like a lot was of one campaigner told his constituents that a vote for him would be an act of revenge on the other person's political party.

I got seven hours of sleep in. I was a little upset in finding out that the president had been re-elected. There wasn't much change in the US Congress. The Rep had control of the House and the Senate had more control of the Senate. Wish that there were term limits. Still the same deadlock in a do-nothing Congress. There are 30 State Governors who are Rep.

There was a really great hot breakfast. I could have had hot pancakes but I chose scrambled eggs and biscuits and gravy instead. I had a really good cinnamon bun and I packed up one to go. They had "to-go" breakfasts but I didn't get one. I left the motel a little before 8 AM. It was cool in the upper 40s and it was just going to get into the mid 50s. A few miles down the road, I noticed that the cyclometer was acting up. It was supposed to be in mph but it looked like it was registering kmph. I think that the watch battery in it is going bad and needs to be replaced.

Along the way to Jacksonville, I took two short breaks at gas stations to go to the restroom and drink a couple cups of hot chocolate. During the morning, I got a little wet from a brief rain shower. At least, it was as hard as yesterday's rain. I think that I got in maybe 23 miles (36 KM) in by noontime.

It was around 1:30 PM, when I got into the Northern outskirts of Jacksonville. Jacksonville is sort of split into two parts. The shops, motels, and food restaurants are in the Northern section of town near the main entrance of the marine corps base. The downtown area is a few more miles to the south. I wandered around the downtown area checking out the churches. I found the First Presbyterian Church but there wasn't anybody there.

I rode over to Trinity United Methodist Church that I had passed on Bus US 17. The secretary was pretty friendly. She got the main pastor. There is a senior and two assistant pastors. He was pretty friendly. What helped me was that he had been pastor at the Methodist Church that I had stayed in Kinston a couple of nights ago six years ago. He gave me permission to stay in the church for the night. I stayed in the multi-purpose room. There was a lot of activity at the church in the evening. A Wed night meal, Bible study (which I got to talk about my ministry and travels), a choir practice, and a boy scout meeting. I spent a good portion of the time in the parlor across from the sanctuary. I could have slept there but there were three steps in the hallway that I couldn't get Alice up safely.

Before the boy scout meeting ending, I struck up a conversation with one of the assistant scout masters. He was quite interesting in what I was doing. He pulled out his wallet and slipped me a $20 bill.

Not to sure if I'm going to ride clear into Wilmington tomorrow. I might just ride as fas as Hampstead. I had some good luck with the churches before. I stopped for the night in Hamstead in 2008.

November 08th : Jacksonville, North Carolina to Wilmington, North Carolina - I had an okay night at the church. The boy scout troop left around 8:30 PM and the janitor left around 9:00 PM. I wished that I could have stayed in the parlor but it was in front across from the sanctuary and there would have been three steps to get the recumbent up. I rolled Alice from the stair well into the multi-purpose room where the Bible study was. I went back down to the parlor to get a get a table lamp and a pillow to use and got a paperback from the library.

I went to bed around 10 PM and woke up around 6 AM. I had a couple of biscuits that I microwaved and some juice for breakfast. The sun was up around 7:10 AM. I got things packed up and I left the church around 7:30 AM. It was cool in the upper 30s. There is going to be another freeze warning tonight.

Before walking over the new bridge, I stopped to take some pictures of an old navy helicopter. It was a small two rotor troop carrier. The three blades on each rotor was folded back. Most of the windows were broken out so it needed a good restore job.

I walked over the new bridge and about a mile more before I got on the bike. I got about 8 miles (13 KM) down the road when something bad happened. I was going okay and the next second the chain jammed up. I thought that there was a problem with the chain slipping off one of the rollers of the rear derailleur but the problem was up front. One of the links of the chain had come apart and was hanging up on the cage of the front derailleur. I pulled the chain off of the front gears to lesson up the load on the chain. I went through my things to see if I still had the chain tool but I didn't have it. All I had to work on it was a multi-plier tool. I tried and tried to press the link together but I couldn't do it. I spent about a half hour before I gave up, packed things up, and started the walk West to Wilmington. I knew that there was a bike shop in Wilmington. I tried hitch-hiking but everybody moved over to the inner lane of the 4 lane divided highway and just passed me. After about two miles (3 KM) of walking, I decided to try again. After about 15 minutes of trying again, I got the link back together and it was loose. I couldn't get back on the road because I found another problem. The front derailleur had slipped down and the front cage was jamming up the gears. As I was working on the front derailleur, a guy in a pickup truck stopped to see if I needed some help. It was good that he did because it was a two person operation.

It was almost 11 AM when I got back on the road. I had lost nearly two hours of travel time because of the chain and derailleur problem. I stopped at a gas station near Dixon and I treated myself to a hot supper using some of the money that the assistant scoutmaster had given me last night.

The afternoon ride went okay. It got warm enough so I took off my windbreaker. I had a good ride through Folkstone, Holly Ridge, and Vista. I got to the outskirts of Hampstead around 4 PM. The sun was setting so it was getting hard to see. Traffic had picked up and people were heading Southwest to Wilmington. The shoulder that I was using disappeared and all I had was a concrete gutter. There were a couple of times when I had to stop because traffic was backing up behind me.

Around 4:30 PM, I finally came up to Hampstead United Methodist Church that I was told about last night. Rev Maynard was in his office. He told me that I could have stayed in the church for the night but since there wasn't a sofa I would have to sleep on the floor. Instead, he offered to take me into Wilmington and get me a room at a motel. We loaded everything into the back of one of the church vans. We stopped at the Best Western University Inn. The desk clerk gave up a discount on the room. Before he left, Rev Maynard slipped me a $20 bill because there was an IHOP next door.

After getting situated into the room, I went out to see about getting to eat. I opted to go and find some other place than the IHOP. I spotted a Walmart. Since I had the extra money thanks to Rev Maynard, I thought that it would be best to get a new cell phone instead. I was so happy getting a new cell phone to use since I lost the last one Monday morning. I bought a few groceries along with something that I could microwave in the room. It took me about 10 minutes but I was able to get my cell phone account reactivated.

I'm in a good position tomorrow when I head out from the motel to get on the highway that would take me to the toll ferry at Fort Fisher to Southport. I will then not have to ride into downtown Wilmington and get across the high bridge across the Cape Fear River.

November 09th : Wilmington, North Carolina to Carolina Beach, North Carolina - I had an okay night at the motel. It was around 11 PM when I went to bed. I woke up around 6 AM. The exercise room was open so I checked out my weight. It looks like I had lost 5 more pounds (3 KG) . In all, I think that I must have lost at least 20 pounds (9 KG). There was a really good free and hot breakfast.

I left the motel around 8 AM. I went back to Walmart to see if I could find a new battery for the cyclometer. They didn't have any of the size that I needed. I went over to a nearby Kmart but they didn't have one there either. I finally found the right size at a Walgreens Drug Store.

The next task was to find a bike shop to have the chain and front derailleur checked out. The Two Wheeler Dealer Shop was close. The guy who was the best mechanic worked on Alice. He checked all of the links of the chain and he only found the bad one. He put on a Master Link so there are two on the chain. The front derailleur was broken. One of the pivot points had broken off. This is what caused the chain cage to go out of alignment and catch the chain at a link and the link broke. He told me that he was quite surprised that I had made the repair on the chain yesterday and had ridden the recumbent over 20 miles (32 KM) to Hampstead. The mechanic tried to put on a used derailleur but he didn't have one that fit right. After about two hours, he told me that he needed to put on a new derailleur. He didn't have a SRAM derailleur so he put on a Shimano derailleur. While I waited, I checked out all of the old pedal cars and bicycles that were hanging down from the ceiling and on the rafter beams. It was almost three hours before he took Alice out of the repair stand and I packed up my gear. The mechanic could have charged me over $50 just for the labor but he only charged me $10. The master link cost $5 and the new derailleur cost $43 so the total bill cost $61.

It was after noon when I left the bike shop. I got back on the highway to Fort Fisher and the ferry. I stopped at a McDonalds for a late lunch. The ride in the afternoon was okay but traffic was kind of heavy. The bridge over to the island was being repaired so I had to walk over it.

It was nearly 3:30 PM when I got into Carolina Beach. I still had about 4 more miles (6 KM) to ride to the ferry but I wasn't sure what the schedule was. It was already getting late and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to connect with anybody at the churches in Southport. There was going to be a freeze warning tonight. I rode passed a motel that had a rate in the upper $30. I decided to go ahead and get a room.

I'm going to be riding to Shallotte tomorrow.

I don't know how long this next trip will be, how long I will be on the road, and where this trip will end. I'll be waiting and praying for what the L-RD has me to do. The next update will possibly be posted between November 17th and November 24th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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