Day 24: Anderson, SC to Athens, GA

Me, Chuck, Grace and Phil (and Churchill) before leaving Anderson

We had a long day ahead of us, so Phil and I woke up relatively early.  In addition to the eggs Grace made for breakfast, I filled up on cake that she had made the day before.  We left Anderson just after 10am, for our longest ride yet.

After about 15 miles, Garmin led us off the road to a path that was marked with a no trespassing sign.  Another quarter-mile down this path were more signs posted, warning trespassers that they would be prosecuted.  Having little choice, we continued down the dirt and grass road for a mile, passing two hunting shelters and a field of cattle and donkeys along the way.  At the end of the trail, we had to push our bikes through some vegetation to get around a fence covered in barbed wire.  We emerged onto a road, directly across from the Shady Lady Saloon,  just a few hundred yards from the Georgia border.

Crossing from South Carolina to Georgia

We stopped to eat lunch in a field, and the sun came out to warm us up.  The ride, while long, was not bad aside from a 9-mile stretch on a main road with fast-moving traffic that seemed to stretch forever in a gradual uphill battle against the wind that made me envious of anyone who might be traveling in the opposite direction.  Athens is much hillier than I expected.  The last 2 or 3 miles consisted of numerous steep hills, and it felt good to finally be done for the day.

Douglass is a couchsurfer who had stayed with me a few years ago during his own bicycle tour up the east coast.  Him and his girlfriend, also named Sarah, were hosting us in Athens at Sarah’s condo.  Sarah left shortly after we arrived to see a show of REM cover bands, but we met up with her and her roommate, Lydia at a frozen yogurt place after biking downtown to a sushi restaurant for dinner with Douglas.  When we got home, we were completely exhausted.  Douglas mapped out the next day’s route to Atlanta, which is as long as the route from Anderson to Athens – and he says it’s hilly too.  At least it will be a warm day, although the wind will be against us again.

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About Sarah

Sarah grew up in Cranston - just south of Providence, Rhode Island - and developed a love for travel, music, and outdoor sports at an early age. She had started bicycling long distances at age 12, as a participant of the MS150 bike tours to raise money for the MS Society. She didn't use her bike regularly until she built her own while studying in Montreal and found it an excellent way to get around the city. After graduating from McGill and moving back to Providence, Sarah started working at Brown University's office of Environmental Health & Safety as the Biological Safety Specialist. She was living 4 miles away at the time, and for the first few weeks was driving to work. She made the switch from driving to bicycling when she realized that she could get to work faster, avoid parking tickets, and integrate a few miles of training into her day. Bicycling was better for the environment and better for her own health and mood. She found that she had more energy and felt much happier once she started biking to work. When her car broke down several months later, she never bothered replacing it. After 4 years of working in Biosafety (and on her master's in Environmental Studies), Sarah left her job to pursue her passion. She has been working various jobs in the bicycle industry since June of 2011, including pedicab driver, bicycle tour guide, bike mechanic and traveling bicycle advocate. In between seasonal jobs, she has done a few long-distance bike tours, which is the main reason for this blog. Her dream is to eventually ride around the world and sail across the oceans.

Posted on 13 November 2011, in Bicycle Touring, Providence to New Orleans. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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