TRIP 2013

Update #28 - November 07
Dublin, Georgia
Mission Trip 34: 9,516.39 miles (15,226.22 KM)
10,866.12 miles (17,385.79 KM) - Year Total

I wasn't expecting to head back to Florida so early but the weather is getting colder and I've got to go where it's warmer. Hopefully, this time in Florida will be a lot better than what I experienced last Winter. I've got better leads on possible ministries that I can connect with. I'm hoping to find something that I can do for at least four months.

October 27 : Alexander City, AL to Alexander City, AL - 04.67 miles (07.47 KM)

I had a decent night. I woke up early before 6 AM. There was a pretty good breakfast. I left the motel around 8:30 AM. My first task was to find the Walmart. I wanted to try and get a new cyclometer and also a new tube for the back tire. While I was riding through the Walmart parking lot, I heard some honking behind me. When I looked behind me, I saw this lady hanging out of a window with a $5 bill in her hand. When I purchased the new cyclometer, I had another surprise. The cost of the cyclometer was $5 less than what it was listed on the shelf.

For church, I decided to go downtown to the First Baptist Church across from the police station. I got there about 10 minutes before Sunday school. I got invited into one of the older Men's classes. I got to share a little bit. This was the 55th chance that I got to speak at a church.

Before the service, I got to speak to two of the pastors (sr and education). After the service, the education minister offered to take me to one of the local motels and get me a room for the night. There was also an invitation to take me out to the BK for lunch by one of the church ladies. After I got checked in at the motel, the education pastor took me to the BK so I could meet up with the lady. At the BK, the education minister surprised me with a green handshake. One of the church members wanted to give me an anomynous donation. After lunch, I was taken back to the motel.

October 28 : Alexander City, AL to Sylacauga, AL - 31.33 miles (50.13 KM)

I had a decent night. The room wasn't really warm in the morning because there was something wrong with the heater unit. I woke up early before 6 AM. I left the motel around 8:30 AM. The parking lot was wet and the sky was overcast. It looked like it was going to rain some more.

The ride to Sylacauga was a little slow because there were some long hills to climb over. I was able to ride up all of them. The new tire works okay but it seems a little strange because I'm not used to such a wide tire up front. The last tire was 20x1.75 and the new tire is 20x2.00. The good this is that the psi is a little more (65 psi vs 40 psi). The thing that I'm not sure about is whether the puncture sealant will stay inside the tube instead of blowing out of any hole and make a mess inside the tire. It drizzled some along the way.

About four miles (6 KM) out of Sylacauga, I rode into Talledega County and the shoulder went from smooth to ship seal. On the outskirts of Sylacauga, I switched over to AL 21. From US 280, it was about a two mile (3 KM) ride into downtown Sylacauga.

I got into downtown Sylacauga around 12:30 PM. I was thinking about riding to Talledega but the sky was still overcast and it looked like it was going to rain again. After a couple of miles, I decided to turn around and head back into downtown Sylacauga to check and see if there was anybody at one of the churches. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. The secretary was in the office but the minister was off for the day. She suggested I go to the First United Methodist Church next door. At the Methodist Church. the senior pastor wasn't in but the youth minister was in. He offered me the use of the youth room in the basement for the night. He brought me a pillow and a sleeping bag to use. The youth room has a small canteen and I was told to eat anything that I want for supper and breakfast. Also, if I want to take some food along for the road I can. The big plus is that there is wifi. I also have a wide screen television to watch.

I'll be riding to Oxford, Alabama tomorrow. Being that I'll be close to I-20, I might see about finding a motel room instead of trying to connect with a minister tomorrow, I haven't decided on how I'm going to be riding around Altanta on the way to Athens.

October 29 : Sylacauga, AL to Oxford, AL - 42.37 miles (67.79 KM)

I had a decent night. It was nice having a large screen tv to watch, internet, and access to what was in the canteen so I could have a hot meal. It was also great going through the food in the canteen and see what I could take along with me. It was nice having a full pannier again. The old sleeping bag was warm. I woke up around 6:30 AM.

Tim, the janitor, came downstairs around 8 AM and helped me get Alice outside using the elevator. It was a little cool. I had to wait for two trains. There was some road construction that I had to get through. The ride North went okay. There were a few hills. The morning ride went really well. Even with a short break at a gas station in Talledega, I still got around 30 miles in by noon. The temperature got warm enough that I was able to take off my jacket.

I stopped for a short lunch break on the side of the road. I got into Oxford around 2 PM. On the westside of the interstate, I checked out a motel that had rates in the upper $20 but the motel was really run down and quite close to the interstate. Good chance it was a roacher. There was a section of the motel that was taped off. I checked out a motel that I had a coupon for the the owner from India said that they didn't have any coupon rooms left. This was quite strange because there were only two cars in the parking lot. I had another coupon for a motel on the East side of the interstate. The lady who was from India was a lot more friendlier so I was able to get the room for $5 less. The motel was a lot cleaner.

I'll be crossing into Georgia again for the trip. I'm going to be swinging around Atlanta from the North. This should put me in the Bogart area next Monday.

October 30 : Oxford, AL to Bremen, GA - 47.53 miles (76.056 KM)

I had a decent night. About a half hour from when I got into the room, somebody tried to get into it. They had an electronic key but I had the dead bolt on. It turns out that the lady at the main desk had made a mistake in their room number. About an hour later, there was a knock on the door. When I looked out the window, I saw three police officers. They were canvassing the motels in the area trying to find a lady.

The rest of the night went okay. In the morning, I took my time getting cleaned up and packed up. I left the motel around 8:55 AM (about 25 minutes later than normal). About a half mile from the motel, I missed my turn because of some road construction. I was supposed to head East on US 78 and follow US 431 S for a bit. I was heading N on US 431 N). I caught myself in less than a block. Once on the right road, the ride East went okay but there were several long hills to climb over. I was able to ride up the hills without getting off and walk up them. Because of the late start, I only was able to ride a little over 19 miles by noon.

The rest of the ride to the GA state line went okay. I crossed into Georgia 2:55 PM (CST) / 3:55 PM (EST). I was going to stop for the day in Tallapoosa but I decided to go on to Bremen. I got into Bremen a little over 6 PM. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. I found everybody downstairs in the Fellowship Hall. I got to meet the pastor. He invited me to join them for the family meal. Towards the end of the meal, the pastor introduced me and I got to say a few words. This was my 55th church. During the beginning of the prayer service, the pastor introduced me but I wasn't able to speak. After the prayer meeting, one of the deacons slipped me $50 and directions to a local motel. At the motel, I got a room in the mid $30 so I have some extra money for groceries.

I've decided to ride around Atlanta from the North. I'm going to be riding to Marrieta and maybe find a motel room I-75.

October 31 : Bremen, GA to Marietta, GA - 51.47 miles (82.35 KM)

I had a decent night considering that there wasn't a heater in the room. The room was pretty dark. Being that I did was in the Eastern Time Zone again, sunrise was late. I didn't wake up till a little after 7 AM. I left the motel a little after 8:30 AM. I didn't get far because I had to stop and work on the cyclometer. I had to switch the mount and sensor unit. It was almost 9:15 AM when I left town. The ride was a little slow because of some hills. I also stopped to work on the front fender because it was catching on the wheel. I only got about 18 miles (29 KM) in by noon time.

The afternoon ride went okay. I had to stop a couple of times to check out my mapping software. I had a coupon for a Days Inn in Marietta. I got there around 5:30 PM.

November 01 : Marietta, GA to Lawrenceville, GA - 43.31 miles (69.30 KM)

Considering how much I paid for the room, the experience should have been much better. The motel wasn't really up to the standards of the Days Inn. The location was in a really out of the way location. The wifi signal was barely a one bar that kept on dropping. There wasn't much on television because the selection of channels wasn't scant. What really bothered me was that I had to pay for a $25 deposit because I paid cash for the room. It was wet in the morning so I didn't bother walking the long way around the building to see what they had for breakfast.

I checked out of the motel a little after 9 AM. I was really happy that they didn't make a fuss about the room and I got the full deposit back. There was no way that I wanted to lose any part of that $25. If I would have gone a little farther and checked out the motels on the other side of the interstate I could have saved at least $15 because there was a motel that sayed that there rooms went for $32. Didn't know.

The route that I took to Lawrenceville was a little tricky and I only made a couple of slipups. I had to get out my computer a couple of times and ask for directions a couple of times. There were just a lot of hills to deal with and a lot of traffic.

I got into the outskirts of Lawrenceville around 4:40 PM. According to Streets and Trips, there was supposed to be three motels coming into Lawrenceville and one of the names sounded like it might have been reasonably rated but the third motel that I was looking for never appeared. I got into the downtown Lawrenceville area around 4:55 PM. There was one big church and that was the First Baptist Church and it was all locked up. I rode around the town a bit to see if I could find any other churches or the police station. I didn't find anything. Near the First Baptist Church was a fire station. I went over there to see if they had a minister as their chaplain. They didn't have one. As for a ministry, they gave me directions to this ministry that was in a house. It was some kind of rehab place and wasn't a shelter. The guy I talked to didn't know of a minister in town. On the way out of town, I saw a sign for the police station. At the police station, I talked to this lady dispatcher. She didn't know of a minister and there wasn't an officer that I could talk to.

The only thing that I could think of doing was to head out of town and try and find someplace to camp out. I didn't really want to do this because it was supposed to get cold tonight. Right before dusk a couple of miles out of town, I came across a lane that looked promising. It turns out that it was a former driveway for a house but after a couple hundred feet they driveway became a tangled path with bushes and thorns. The spot in front of the bushes was pretty flat and was covered with pine straw. The open space was wide enough for the tent.

November 02 : Lawrenceville, GA to Lawrenceville, GA - 00.00 miles (00.00 KM)

Didn't have a good night. It was cold and I felt sick to my stomach. I had diarrhea. It didn't take long to use up what toilet paper I had stashed away on the bike and I had to sacrifice one of my socks to keep my bottom clean. I stayed put hoping that I would feel better. It was a rough day and an even rougher night because it got longer since I had to set my clock back because it was the end of daylight savings time.

November 03 : Lawrenceville, GA to Lawrenceville, GA - 00.00 miles (00.00 KM)

Didn't have a good night. It was a lot colder during the night. The good thing was that I didn't have any loose bowels because the antidiarrheal pill worked. I still felt pretty weak. I didn't feel like packing up and going back into town. Being that it was a pretty big church, I didn't feel like I would get any help from them with regards to finding a place to stay the rest of the day. I didn't want to stay but I didn't think I had the choice till I felt better to move. At least it was a little warm in the afternoon. I tried to rest during the day but it was hard drowning out the traffic noise close by. I was maybe camped out less than a hundred feet from the road.

It got a lot colder during the night. I had to use the sleep sack as well as my sleeping bag.

November 04 : Lawrenceville, GA to Bogart, GA - 37.65 miles (60.24 KM)

It got a lot colder during the night. I had to use the sleep sack as well as my sleeping bag. The good thing was that I was exhausted enough that I was able to sleep some. I woke up between dreams.

I took my time packing up because I wanted to see if it would get any warmer. I still layered up. I got on the road a little after 9 AM. It was just a couple of miles ride to GA 316. This was a divided highway with a speed limit of 65. There was a paved shoulder but I didn't feel comfortable. After a few miles, I got off and headed through Dacula and got on Bus US 29 to Winder. I was looking at stopping in Winder but I didn't see any low cost motels. I didn't see very many churches in the downtown area. I only found one and that was the Weslyan Church. The minister wasn't in today. It was around 1:45 pm when I headed out to see if I could find the Snows Mill Guesthouse of Missionary Care Ministries. I was happy to find my way without much problem.

I got to the guesthouse a little before 4 PM. There wasn't anybody around. I was hoping that somebody would be around but the first car that showed up was for guests. They told me that they wouldn't expect the person that was running the guesthouse until around 7 PM. I hunkered down in the cold. I was really debating whether to try and find a place to camp out on the grounds. After about another hour and nobody showing up, I got a cell phone number from the other guests. I was able to contact the lady in charge. She gave me permission in one of the upstairs rooms.

November 05 : Bogart, GA to Madison, GA - 31.94 miles (51.10 KM)

I was happy being allowed to stay. The room was comfortable once I got the upstairs heat turned on. I waited up for the hostess but she never showed up. I was hoping to get on their wifi but there was a problem with their modem. I went to bed around 10:30 PM. I was hoping to stay asleep till around 6 AM or longer but somebody who had the room before me had set the alarm clock for 5 AM and didn't turn it off. I wasn't able to fall back asleep. I waited till around 7:30 AM before I headed downstairs but when I checked the parking lot. I was hoping to get my clothes washed and dried. I left the guesthouse around 8:20 AM.

It was a cold ride to Watkinsville. In Watkinsville, I got on US 441 going south. I got in about 24 miles in by noon. I stopped on the side of the road for a short break. I got into Madison around 1:30 PM. I caught the Methodist pastor coming back from lunch. He suggested I got to the First Baptist a block away to contact a guy there who was in charge of the ministerial association funds. An offer of a room at a motel on the southwestern edge of town was made. There was a laundry about a block away.

I'll be riding to Milledgeville tomorrow.

November 06 : Madison, GA to Milledgeville, GA - 41.24 miles (65.98 KM)

This was a motel experience from hell. Instead of being given a room in the Budget Inn complex, I was given a room at another motel on the other side of the road. The owners from India own both motels and they don't want to spend any money on maintenance. The first bad thing to happen was that the key that I was given didn't work. I had to go back across the street to have somebody let me in with a master key. About 10 minutes later, the janitor came by with another key for me.

The room was in really bad disrepair. The window blind was filthy and there was evidence of bugs. The bedspread had holes in it. The bathroom sink was paint splattered from a poorly done job with no cleanup. I killed a roach crawling up one of the bathroom walls. I'm hoping that this was the one and only one. The television didn't work well. When I tried using the microwave to make some popcorn, it almost caught on fire. In a few seconds after I turned it on, it started to spark inside and make an awful noise. There was also an electric flame coming from the microwave unit. I quickly turned it off and unplugged it. At least it didn't catch fire and create any smoke. At night, the room didn't get dark at all. There were several street lights near the motel and there was a light at each door, I covered up the light by my door with a towel and it helped some. I slept very little because during the night I thought that I felt some thing crawling on my legs. I didn't take the time to turn on the light to find out.

I gave up trying to sleep around 5 AM. I left the motel around 8 AM. The ride South on US 441 was a little hard because there was a lot of traffic and there was a rumble strip to deal with. I was able to get into Eatonton around 11 AM. I stopped at a gas station for a break. Before I left, I got into a discussion with two guys. They were impressed that I had almost 60,000 miles on Alice. Before they left, one of the guys pulled out his wallet and slipped me $20.

By noon, I got around 26 miles in by noon. The rest of the way to Milledgeville went okay. About five miles out of Milledgeville, I stopped to check out something peculiar on the side of the road. I spotted what looked like a money bag in a pile of grass. It must have been there when the area had been mowed because it was cut some. The outside of the bag didn't have anything on it. When I opened it up, there was a bunch of currency and coins. There wasn't any checks or deposit slip so I wouldn't be able to trace who owned it. I put the bag in one of my rear panniers. A couple of miles down the road, I stopped at a parking lot of a fishing wharf to count the money. It came to $13 in coins and a little over $270 in currency. This amount was almost the same amount that I found in Virginia back in May.

From the parking lot, it was a few miles into Millegeville. The rumble strip became a lot rougher so I had to walk. Along the way, the rear tire went soft. I stopped at a real estate office parking lot to fix the flat. It took me about 20 minutes to fix it. I decided to stop at a motel chain that I had stayed at before. Hopefully, I'll have a much better night than last night.

November 07 : Milledgeville, GA to Dublin, GA - 57.43 miles (91.89 KM)

The room was much better than what I had to deal with the night before but I still didn't get much sleep. Before turning off the light, I caught a large roach crawling up one of the bedroom walls. I checked everything to see if there were any more roaches. I didn't find any more. The room didn't get really dark because the top of the curtain was fitted right over the window so there was a lot of light coming into the room. The heater element in the unit clicked loudly when it turned on. Because of these things, I slept lightly. Breakfast wasn't much. I passed on the cereal because I didn't know how stale it was. There wasn't any juice. I grabbed a glass of milk and a couple of glazed donuts from the fridge.

I checked out around 8:20 AM. On the way into town, I stopped to buy a few things including a new innertube for the rear tire. It was a slow ride through Milledgeville because it was lightly misting. I stopped for a break to get out of the mist. The mist lasted a couple of hours. The ride South on US 441 went okay even though there were quite a few hills to climb over and I was able to ride up all of the hills. Traffic was light and most of the way I had a smooth shoulder to ride along. I got 23 miles (37 KM) in by noon time. The sky was pretty overcast most of the afternoon. The sky cleared up some when I got into the Dublin area. The temperature was in the high 60s most of the day.

I got into the Dublin area around 3:50 PM. On the way into the downtown area, I passed three motels but these looked like they were horror stories (roach motels). It was a little after 4 PM when I got into the downtown area so I decided against trying to connect with a minister. According to MS Streets and Trips, there was a collection of motels South of Dublin near I-16. I saw a sign for a Super 8. Right before I got to the Super 8, I rode passed the Kings Inn that had rates starting at $35.99. The advertised rate was a little off but the manager gave me a couple dollar discount. Because of this, I still got the room $4 less than what I paid last night. The motel is a lot better and the room is really great. It's by far, one of the best motel rooms that I've stayed in the past couple of weeks.

I've got about a 31 mile (50 KM) ride to McRae tomorrow.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between November 14th and November 21st.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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