Loaded the car last night so I could leave early this morning and drive to Orangeburg for the 2nd Annual O'burg Rivers Bridge Ramble, a fundraiser hosted by the O'burg Department of Public Safety to raise awareness of gangs. Their goals include educating the public on recognizing such things as gang presence and recruitment. They (DPS) did a fantastic job of hosting about 100 riders doing several different lengths of rides like 27-, 63-, and 100-miles. We enjoyed breakfast, police escorts, SAG vehicles, and lunch from Subway when we returned. Spoiled, I tell you! This is a picture of the Edisto River which runs through Orangeburg and Edisto Gardens, which was our starting/fin- ishing point. A lovely place, I think the family needs a picnic there in a couple of weeks! We departed the park about 0930 under police escort, with the police chief at the front on a bicycle, no less! We were led out of town to some of the most beautiful countryside I think I have ever seen. There were farms, forest, wildlife, etc. The only part that worried me was about 85 miles out, when I was good and tired, I happened upon a couple of buzzards (or vultures, whichever) which were dining on a raccoon; I must have looked bad, because the began to ignore the raccoon and watch me. Freshness factor, I guess.
Anyway, the weather was incredible, the roads were, for the most part "like buttah!", and the day was a delight. Here is a photo representative of the views I enjoyed today:
Something else I like about these rides is the social aspect. When you do a ride like this in South Carolina (not a large state) you get to see old friends. I ran into (figuratively speaking) folks I have ridden with from the mountains to the sea and in between. This is a pic of me and my friend, Benjamin Buttons. His real name is Loris, but it seems the older Loris gets, the faster he gets on a bicycle. When I was in nursing school down on the coast, I rode with a fantastic group out of Grand Strand Bicycles in Murrells Inlet. That's where Loris and I became friends and I have been trying to catch him ever since.
So, it's been a good day, to say the least. I rode like I have never ridden before, covering 100 miles in 5:47 with an average speed of 17.3mph. I am totally happy with that seeing as it was for such a distance. And, I liked the fact that at 65 miles out, my average speed was 19.0mph! I have NEVER run a metric that fast. I am slowly but surely becoming a better, fitter cyclist. Mt. Mitchell, look out! I am coming for you! But,the best part of all today, was coming home to my family to enjoy a nice dinner, some desert, and to hang out (after some thermal hydrotherapy- a long, hot bath!). There may be things in my life I don't enjoy and wish would go away, but I know that I am blessed. God has been good to me, and I thank Him. Don't be jealous, He's been good to you too.
Be blessed, be safe.