The day started off with a bang, or rather, a knock. The bearings in one of Michae’s pedals was voicing it’s displeasure in being forced to move in circles.
At the convenience store about a mile from our lovely campground, Collin asked the owner whether there was anybody nearby who might have some pedals to sell us. This was a tall ask considering the only buildings we’d passed to get to the store were a church, a motel, and some vacation homes.
As it turned out, the store owner told us, the owner of the motel also ran a bike shop. We pedaled back to the motel and ended up chatting with a nice man who got us sorted with some pedals and told us some stories about building a bike frame at a local arts school.
We were fortunate that Michae’s pedal quit when it did. The Parkway remains fairly isolated from most services if you’re mode of transport is a bicycle.
I won’t go into detail about the ride today. It was simultaneously pleasant and grueling. The hilly terrain is unrelenting, but the views at the overlooks can be spectacular.
What got us through the day was knowing we’d be ending our ride at a Mexican restaurant. During the ride we bragged that we’d eat so much food they’d have to shut down the restaurant early. Of course, we did no such thing. Each plate we ordered came with so much food that we had to save some for breakfast. We did however finish a pitcher of margaritas. A small victory.
Lucky for us the campground was right around the corner. It was an immaculately manicured RV park full of Floridians. Michae told me the Floridians are called Halfbacks in these parts because most of them are actually from the north east, then they retire to Florida, then they come to North Carolina in the summer because Florida is too hot. It’s a great nickname.