Date: 16 May 2011
Woke up in: Darien, Georgia
Fell asleep in: Yulee, Florida
Miles ridden today: 71.5
Total miles ridden so far: 1,330
Weather: Cooler. Windy.
A very exciting thing happened today, around 60 miles after we left Darien; we finally made it to Florida! Oddly, Mickey Mouse and friends weren’t there to meet us at the state border, but I expect they’ll track us down soon.
Following the first puncture of the trip yesterday, on Will’s bike, Molly, my bike, Nora, managed to get a two inch nail stuck through her tyre as we continued our trip down good ol’ Route 17. Amazingly, the nail didn’t puncture the inner tube, so after a quick ‘side of the highway’ extraction, we were off on our way again. Over 1,300 miles without a puncture: extraordinary.
I think we finally left Route 17 behind late this afternoon, after having had an on/off relationship with it since South Carolina. It’s been a really interesting road to cycle, particularly in the past few days. It obviously used to be the main route down the east coast to Florida, and is full of the remnants of businesses past, such as motels and restaurants, that must have lost almost all of their trade as soon as the 95 interstate opened up.
It’s a very odd sensation, to cycle down a road that clearly used to be so important, and often be the only vehicles using it. Road safety might not be nearly so much of a problem now, but we’ve passed through what were obviously thriving and prosperous communities that had the very heart ripped out of them when the new road arrived and bypassed them, and they’ve clearly never recovered.
We’re staying in a most depressing campsite near Yulee tonight, next to a busy and noisy highway. We’re lucky though: unlike all the people surrounding us in their dilapidated motor homes and trailers, we’re only here for one night: I suspect a number of them may have been living here for years.