Saturday, April 23, 2005

South Carolina Bike Trip

I thought that I'd leave a few words here about our trip to Greenville, SC. We decided that a visit to Kay's folk's place on the North Carolina coast was overdue, so we decided to make a week of it and spend some time in the Greenville, SC area bicycling before heading to the coast for a few days.

I picked Greenville after deciding that Asheville, while a much more hip destination, was likely to be too cold for cycling in early March. Having been to Asheville in April of 2003 and being subject to 6 inches of snow, I decided that another location was in order. I managed to find a number of ride maps and even corresponded with a Greenville resident who pointed me in the right direction.

We stayed in Greenville at the Mainsail Hotel. Its actually an apartment complex with some unrented units that are rented out for $85/night (one BR). The accomodations were very nice, even though the staff couldn't seem to find their own ass with both hands after the computers failed. All we asked for were new towels and that was evidently too much to ask for. Outside of that, the place is very nice.

When I return to the area, however, I will not stay in Greenville. For a town of 60,000 or so there is way too much traffic. The place has these 6 lane, 45 mph boulevards all over the place; and cars are everywhere. On the upside, there is a nice downtown with coffee shops.

About the riding.....

On Saturday I hooked up with a shop ride at The Great Escape bike shop in Greenville. There were about 9 of us that did an easy-paced 24 mile ride. The group consisted of a group of college kids who were new to riding and a few shop empoloyees. They all made me feel welcome and I enjoyed being able to jump on.

The rest of our riding was in the area north of Greenville and into North Carolina. My local resident and maps had us starting rides in Tigerville, SC and heading north to places like Saluda, NC (which we both absolutely love) and Tryon, NC. On the weekends I saw 40 or so bicycles and I even saw 6 riders when I rode on Wednesday. Clearly its the area that the roadies go to. I've heard that there have been car-bike incidents in the area, but I found the area to be a good place to ride. Here is a typical road in the area and, yeah, these two guys did catch and pass me:

In Saluda we met a group of local people at Frank and Amy's place, a coffee shop/antique store combo platter. One of the people indicated that she has a cabin a few miles outside of Saluda that she rents, so we committed to returning in early 2006 and spending a week.

Kay had been recovering from the Flu and was only able to ride 22 miles. She served as an excellent soigneur. I owe her the same when I am recovering.

This is going way too long. Out for now.


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