Tuesday, April 8, 2008

08 Double Down: Day 1/Part 2- Sun, Swim, Pizza and Sleep Interruption

Let's pick up from where we left off when I had the realization that complaining was useless. The sun started to make a break for the first time on the ride and we were now 11.5hrs in turning a more southerly course, closing on Moncks Corner S. Carolina face into a few hours of constant strong head wind that I kept thinking would be at our backs on the morrow. Even looking at the photos I do not remember anything specifically grand happening other than my nutritional problems were gone,the pace was still strong and I looked a lot happier than I did earlier in the day. Come to think of it at around Moncks I actually felt almost normal and the Hammer nightmare was just about gone. Through the Moncks Corner we were now on the route 402 going towards Cordesville town, a small hamlet of maybe a couple hundred across the train tracks and along the low swamp. In the middle of this swamp trees popped out as far in as I could see, most of them covered in abundant light green Spanish Moss. It was when we hit the Hwy 41 South off the 402 that Ilan announced, "17 miles of this and we are home free", home free being 2 miles of Hwy 17 South and maybe three miles and something over the last bridge to the Isle. As we made the right hand turn on to 41 I had a flash back to last years Double Down and realized this was it, the last hour and change of the epic ride. As we rode in single file my energy seemed to come back well enough to get me back towards the front and regain some of the pulling time on this last push in. I felt alive during this part of the ride from the front view. Seems as if Duncan was close by at this point so I shared my required jokes with him and then he gave me two of which I can only remember one but I laughed at both. Double Down Rule 11A: The Duncan Satchell Rule: Everyone has to bring a good joke and/or a good story. So I held mine until the last under 2 Stay Alives and he laughed at both, at least I played by the rules.

We were just less than an hour from our goal over the first low creek bridge when we stopped for one last bottle fill, 5 miles left on 41 was it and it seemed to fly right by. Together the peleton turned right on to 17 S for the 2 miles to our final left hand turn. At this point in the day some 215miles or 21.5 Stay Alives in approaching 15hrs since we left the fine QC I perceived the sprawly development and over sized speeding traffic as a cartoon image of the scariest thing ever. It was completely not real compared to what we had been witnessing, there is no way it could be. The pace was cautious, we stuck together and changed to the left lane for the final turn on the 517 towards this really big bridge up over the Intracoastal Waterway and onto the Isle of Palms. The mood was light, the 12 of us were smiling and enjoying the view as we approached the bridge. At the bottom of the climb a sprint for the top started with two or three led out by Matt laughing. Although I did have something left for one more reindeer game I saved it to take in the view and stop on the apex of the bridge at exactly 1900hrs. I got off my bike, took out my camera, made some manual adjustments and snapped the above header image you have been looking at since Sunday.

A few hundred meters down the bridge and the220 miles or 22 Stay Alives were done for the day with grand thoughts of what was only hours ahead for the morrow. We were welcomed by some folks who passed out some beer, smiles and words of praise for what transpired in ourselves during the day. Jordy started doing yoga while I took out my camera, passed Dude a beer and took some post ride pictures on the lawn of the big house. Around dark Ilan helped us find his house a few blocks down on the Isle of Bouge then we dropped gear in the mud room and chatted with the friendly people in the friendly house. Jordy and I excused ourselves for a dip in the Hotlantic ocean just a few hundred meters away with Dude in tow. We walked in to the water under star lit skies and felt the power of the ocean as the thin white waves contrasty against all darkness kept coming, one after the other. A dip under and out, time to get the pizza on it's way from over in Mt Pleasant. Sometime passed and the Pizza was there, two large one medium and the three of us dined on the grass outside the mud room.

After chow around 2300hrs Dude hit his couch and Jordy and I sought outside refuge in our sleeping bags up on a porch like thing one flight up. I had multiple phone alarms set at my head for 0335hrs as Jordy and I laughed for a bit listening to the Ocean talk and watching the stars do their trick before we fell asleep. I was chasing dreams of left to right moving stacked thunder clouds being under and side lit by pink and orange sun light when all of a sudden I was rudely awoken by a drunk poop stain who yelled profanity at Jordy and I in an effort to be agro-hospitable at like 0200hrs. The clouds left as I sat straight up and in their place were meat rolls on this huge mesomorph's forehead as he yelled, "Guys, What The F, go inside there is plenty of F'n Room, why the F would you be sleeping out here, come on guys, go inside!" His voice seemed even louder than mine and infinitely more abrasive indifferent to the still of the night. Somehow I never wigged out, I managed softly to say, "Man, I have been sleeping outside since I was a kid, please leave us alone." He offered once more the chance for us to come in if it got too cold and then he finally went away. I looked over at a shadow version of Jordan and asked if that had really just happened, of course it was my 2am rhetoric, we both knew that what had just happened was as real as what we were about to take off on in around two and a half hours from that minute.

Into the wind near Moncks Corner-photo-Dude

Typical SC low country-Photo Dude

Dude's self portrait, look closely at the lime green shirt up front, that's me-Photo Dude

Low creek bridge, uner a Stay Alive left to go~

"Follow me guys, we are almost there, is this not my best Idea ever?!!"

Lined up for the final lefty onto 517, me explaining to Jordy that the bridge is as big as a big building up in the Jar-Photo Dude

Ilan and Duncan headed for the bridge, Matt's arm to right getting ready to sprint for the hill!

Paul completing his goal just before I took the Header Image

Day one over, Jordy immediately started getting ready for the morrow with a sweet Yoga line

Day 2 will be here soon and the story is amazing!

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