I’m going to document some observations and experiences from my ride from Albany, GA to St. Mary’s GA. I did this ride to have fun and to see more of Georgia.
The most recent observation about the ride came this morning when I rolled my bike out of the hotel to put in on the truck. My rear tire had gone flat. I had put new Gator Skins on the bike on March 20, 2015. I was sad to have a flat, but glad that it did not happen on my ride. I did not want to change an inner tube in the dark when I was almost to the end of my ride. Riding in the dark can be tricky. The roads between Waycross and St. Mary’s had lots of wood chips that fell off the log truck and parts from tire carcasses all over the road shoulders. There is no telling what I rolled over as I was trying to be careful, but at night I just had to keep rolling along. I am going to try some 30 mm Schwalbe Durano Plus HS 399 Racing Bicycle Tire on my next long distance ride.
I want to complain publicly about the Garmin turn by tun function in my 810. The Turn by Turn function in the Garmin 810 is crap. Every time that I have planned a route and downloaded into my device and tried to follow it it tries to take me on a shorter route. Sometimes it gets so confused trying to take me on a shorter route to my destination that I have had to re-boot it. I usually know where I am going, but when I am riding in an area that I am not familiar with I want to have directions that I can get to quickly. The turn by Turn feature is one of the main reasons that I bought the Garmin 810. On this bike ride I had to use Google maps to navigate though Waycross and find the hotel in St. Mary’s. I will get a phone mount for my bike and a set of Bluetooth headphones that do not cover my ears so that I can hear directions for my next long distance ride.
On my last long ride to St. Mark’s FL I ran out of power to my phone, headlight and Garmin. This trip I had plenty of power. I had my dynamo which I used to power and charge my Garmin during the day light hours after is showed 20% battery life at about mile 168. I was on my third phone battery at the end of the ride. I had two battery bricks that I could have used if I was on a longer ride. Using the Garmin Live Track with my phone does use more battery on my phone and Garmin, but it is worth it. The Live Track allows my wife +Sylvia Wormley see where I am.
The most nagging physical part of the ride was my left big toe. I had developed a large callous on it a few weeks ago. I have been riding with the minor pain on the bottom of my toe for several weeks. I thought it was getting better, but I would learn a valuable lesson on this ride. I had the fore thought to pack a package of Dr. Scholls pads in my bag for this ride. I put one under my toe at the start of the ride. I have always known that my feet swell up when hiking, running and cycling, but I had to re-learn that lesson on this ride
I aggravated my toe by wearing new cycling shoes too tight at the start of the ride. I did not realize this until the temperature rose to 97 degrees and there was a lot of pain on the bottom of my toe. I was not going to let this stop me so I kept riding. I stopped in the town or Ray in front of the Fire Station and put all of the remaining 6 pads all over my toe. I got back on my bike and started to ride. The pain subsided for about 10 miles then it cam back. As I was riding trying to find a comfortable position to pedal without a lot of pain I got the idea to loosen my shoe. Sometimes I have to have an experience all over again before I really take it to heart and learn it. Eventually the pain in my toe got better, so I loosened my shoe more. After some time I kept riding and I forgot about my toe. Later on that evening when I was riding in the dark I had the realization of why my shoes did not bother my toe during my rides in January and February, it was cold. Now that the temperature had cooled down to the low 70’s my foot was smaller and thus no pressure against the edge of my shoe. I will not forget this lesson.
I appreciated observing and talking to people at the Adel Wendy’s and all of the stores when I was eating or buying water. I always take my time when I ride on long trips. Notice in the statistics below my actual riding time and the total elapsed time. I stop and take pictures and I talk to the locals. I was surprised at the Wendy’s when a woman came over to me and said she liked my cycle cap. She said she had one just like it that she purchased in Italy. I also got a comment on the nice Bicycle Commuter Cabal kit that I was wearing. I usually do not go out of my way to tell folks where I am from or where I am going unless they ask. I did get a kick out of telling a few folks that asked how far I was riding, mouths dropped open.
Road conditions change from county to county. Sometimes you can be on a really smooth road and then you get to the county line and the road can change to crap. One of the main complaints that I have about roads in Georgia is rumble strips. I wish that they were not used on any road. I have never seen so many named creeks in one day. I got to the point where I did not want to ride over another bridge with a tiny creek under it with a name.
I am always testing things for myself. I usually do not believe hype unless I experience it for myself. Sometimes when I jump in with both feet, I still want to test things to see if they really work. My Seven 622 SLX is what I wanted to test on this 200 mile ride. In 2009 I ran The Bandera 100 KM (62 miles) in 16 hours on a tough rocky trail in Bandera Texas. I had always wanted to ride my bike for at least 16 hours and see how far I could ride and how I would feel. This is the ride where I put to the test that I had purchased a bike that would deliver a smooth ride over a long distance and not give me any fatigue. The bike delivered and truly is an extension of me as fitted by Matt. With the exception of my toe I did not experience any major pain or fatigue during or after the ride. I did had the usually numbing of my handle and seat bones, but changing positions regularly made this issues non issues. My Seven is a long distance bike that delivers a comfortable ride.
Moving Time 12:59:01
Elapsed Time 17:51:11
Avg Speed 11.6 mph
Avg Moving Speed 15.8 mph
Max Speed 25.0 mph
I will ride more endurance rides in the future. I will ride to St. Mary’s again, but I will pick another route.
Here is a list of some of my stops during the ride.