The first day is the hardest – starting a bike tour

So the plan was to start early; no later than 9. However I didn’t sleep well the previous two nights so I allowed myself to catch up on sleep. So I wound up getting up at 9 and not leaving until about 11:30. I think it was worth it. I didn’t want to start the trip tired.

My parents still had reservations so I did my best to let them know I will be ok. In the age of smartphones, it’s difficult to really be out of reach. Plus, with the smartphone, we installed a tracker app (Life360) so anyone that is “following” me will be able to see where I am as long as I have my phone on. Another invasion of privacy by the smartphone. But if it makes my loved ones happy, then so be it.

I have biked across Delaware before. It’s not a big state. The wind always seems to be against you, or at least not behind you. I battled headwinds and crosswinds most of the day. I was excited when I saw a patch of trees along the road as it would provide me with a wind-block. Trees were far and few between. Most of Delmarva (Delaware-Maryland-Virginia for anyone not from the mid-Atlantic) is farmland with little tree cover. One thing Delmarva is famous for is chicken farming, which gives certain stretches of road the delightful aroma of manure.

I departed my parents’ house for a brief eastbound journey so that I could officially start at the ocean. Good old Oakwood Beach brings back memories of summer vacations. A brilliant idea on my part was to start on Memorial Day, a holiday where everyone and their dog hits the Maryland and Delaware beaches, except that most people are returning home from their long weekend. This caused some backups for cars in some spots. It took my girlfriend 5 hours to get home from my parents as opposed to the usual 3. What I’m saying is: the roads were busy.

The beach
The “official” starting point
Every restaurant in Delmarva has to have “and crab house” attached to it’s name
Walmart. My Oasis in Denton. I needed over 4 liters of water today. I refilled for free using the sprinkler.

Made it to Centreville by 6. I found that the defect in my rear rack is still at large. The left side is bent and almost rubbing on the bike. I need to find something to stick between the rack and bike to stop it from rubbing. I did hear some noises coming from the back of the bike so that may have been the root. Another thing that would help would be to take some weight off of it. I don’t know how well it will hold on a bumpy trail. Sounds like a job for duct tape.

Other than that, I got a decent sunburn on my legs and I got an awesome steak and potatoes dinner from my buddy. Food tastes better, showers feel better, and beds feel more comfortable when you work hard. Luckily he is working at home tomorrow so I can start anytime to finish up the Eastern shore, and then he can take me over the bridge. Friends are really awesome.

My body is not letting me stay awake much longer. Brushing teeth is now optional and I will rest up for tomorrow. Let’s see how well my body adapts for day 2.

2 Replies to “The first day is the hardest – starting a bike tour”

  1. there’s more steak, potatoes, and eggs waiting when you return!
    journeys and destinations and all that. proud of you man.

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