Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bicycling from Rock Hill, South Carolina to Ridgeway(north ofColumbia), South Carolina Nov 22

58.66 miles in 5:30...(138.64 )...Today's mileage tested the limits of my practically non existent conditioning. Riding for the second day in a row for the first time since, probably August or September, my legs suffered more than they should have, so it's a good thing there is 100% chance of rain tomorrow, therefore a built in rest day. The weather was once again decent, but cool for these parts. It made it into the mid 50's, from a start below freezing. The sun was out all day, but I didn't see a whole lot of it because of the tall pine forests that line the roads throughout the hills of this part of South Carolina. Some interesting sights included a couple of plantations, complete with cotton that had fallen out of trucks lining the highway, and a little bit of Spanish moss in one yard, hanging from the trees. I have not yet seen the palmettos, or little Palm tree type plants that fill the forest floor, closer to the coast. It is always a telling moment when I see my first palm tree, but not yet, Keemo Sabee. ( is that how the Lone Ranger spelled it?)
Once again, I intentionally overdressed, and I'm glad I did. The only article that I took off was my camo winter gloves that I used to shovel snow, and I went with regular biking gloves. The first ten miles were around or in Rock Hill, and I was surprised to stumble into the campus off Winthrop University. I had heard of it because they played WVU in basketball sometime back. There was a lot of activity for a Saturday, so I asked a traffic guy if there was a football game. He told me that they didn't have a football team, but there was a track meet, gymnastics meet, and other high school activities occurring. Obviously, they are having indoor track meets already! No wonder Pennsylvania doesn't have that many track standouts. Their season doesn't start until after thanksgiving. Anyhow, as I left Rock Hill, I was on some back roads, which pretty much continued for about half the trip. Some of them were paved with my favorite, chip seal with huge pieces of rock, which made for a bouncy, slow trip. That stuff slows a biker down at least 2-3 mph, which is significant when you are only going 10-15 mph, on smooth pavement.  The terrain is deceivingly rolling, with almost imperceptible upgrades and down grades almost constantly. I  climbed and ( descended )  almost 2500 ft today, and that combined with a mild headwind, was more than enough to beat on me mentally and physically, especially as de conditioned as I feel. There were a lot of homes most of the way, so it was never desolate, but there were large stands of pine forests, with the tall trees ( pine and oak), along the road that kept the sun off of me for much of the trip. The last 20 miles or so, I hooked up with US 21, which really wasn't like most US highways. The surface was decent, the shoulder sufficient, but the lanes were narrow, and there some very long rolling hills, some climbing or descending over 200 ft. This is a pretty hilly area, which is a great difference from when I rode South Carolina near the coast, two years ago. I'm not sure if or when things flatten out, but I would enjoy the hills more if I was in better shape. Hills are much preferable to flat headwinds. Pam found a campground north of Columbia, because of the distance, but also because the South Carolina Gamecocks had a home football game, and we figured that it would be a zoo closer to town. We stayed at the Little Cedar Creek campground, which is a little 25 site campground, nestled along US 21, about two miles off of I-77, which is the way Pam traveled today.

This sign says it all about the local terrain!

Our campground in Ridgeway, SC

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