2018 Ride The East – Walterboro to Savannah

Total mileage – 74.1 miles

With just 3 riding days left of this tour, today we were heading the 74 miles to Savannah in Georgia (another State grave for me) and our final rest day. The route seemed pretty straightforward as we would be spending the majority of the day on Rte 17A S although there were some long stretches to cover and rain was forecast for the day.

We loaded at 07:00 and set off shortly afterwards. I immediately found myself near the back (as usual) and my legs seemed tired and heavy this morning. I trundled along at around 15mph just taking the time to take in the surrounds and to enjoy the peace and tranquility. I could see riders in the distance on the long straight roads that we were riding but couldn’t be bothered to try to chase them down. A little while later I saw Judy and Pam from ABB approaching from behind and as they passed and pulled ahead I took the opportunity to grab a wheel to see if I could up my pace. They are both steady but very strong riders and I was grateful for the pull all the way to the first SAG at mile 25.5. I felt better now that the first part of the ride was behind us and it had only taken just under 90 minutes of riding to get to the SAG.

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Heading out of the SAG we crossed I-95 and picked up the frontage road that ran parallel to the interstate. This was a really long and straight road, undulating slightly with the roar of the interstate traffic to our left. It was warm but not too hot and once again I travelled along at my own pace. At about mile 40 the sky darkened and up ahead you could see what looked like a fog descending – it was the rain that had been forecast for the day. It was wet (as rain usually is) but pleasantly warm so it wasn’t too bad and I continued to ride until I saw John in the distance and caught up with him. We sheltered together for a few minutes for respite and yen continued on. The road was horrendous at this point, bumpy and very unpleasant to ride and you just could not get into any sort of rythymn. I was therefore glad and relieved to reach the second SAG of the day at mile 54.1. By now the rain had stopped and the sun was shining but the sky was threatening and there were rumbles of thunder in the air. John, Harry and I set off together for the final 20 miles to Savannah and at mile 63.4 we left South Carolina and went into Georgia. Sadly there was no state line sign to take a photo.

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We crossed several bridges and around mile 68 the heavens opened again. I was riding tail gunner and shouted to John and Harry that I suggest we take shelter as there was lightening flashing around – neither heard me so I found a pull in on the opposite side of the road and took cover for around 30 minutes whilst the storm passed. The rain was very heavy but because of the humidity the roads soon dry out and as soon as the rain ceased I got back on my bike and cycled the remaining 7 miles into Savannah.

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We are staying at the Hotel Indigo right in the centre of Savannah and tonight we ate at a local burger restaurant – the food was excellent. Afterwards, Michael and I took a walk along the river to get the lie of the land for our day off tomorrow.

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Altogether a good day, despite the rain and bumpy roads but I am feeling tired now, I guess the accumulation of over 1,500 miles on the road and only 2 rest days. I’m looking forward to a lie in in the morning and a relaxing day viewing the quaint town of Savannah.

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