OK, I cheated. I took the recommended shuttle to McClellanville from our hotel in Georgetown, lopping off 34 miles. So it was just a 50-mile day, and when I got to Charleston, I felt I could still bike another 34.
But Highway 17 has been the low point of every day on this section of the East Coast Greenway, and the powers-that-be apparently felt this was a particularly tough day. And I certainly didn’t want to risk getting dropped by faster riders and have to fight Highway 17 on my own.
Not that we fully escaped that dreaded road. Sometimes there’s a narrow shoulder; sometimes we are more assertive about controlling the right lane. And we travel in packs. We zipped past roadside stands run by weavers of sweetgrass baskets (in some cases, stands is a nice word), and there was no chance to snap a photo, much less take a look at their wares and chat with them.
And even the Battery2Beach cycle route, which gets bonus points for actually bring signposted, isn’t as family-friendly as you would like. But for us, we were just thrilled to have some paint on the road marked bike lane.
Two highlights of the day: the bike-friendly and aesthetically striking Ravenel Bridge (above, and the larger photo below) and a police escort (3 squad cars and 1 motorcycle) over the decidedly bike-unfriendly Memorial Bridge as part of an event with local advocates Charleston Moves and 20 or so local cyclists. The reward for crossing was riding part of the West Ashley Greenway.
We have to ride over Memorial Bridge on Thursday morning as we head out of town — but without a police escort. We will be traveling in one giant pack and be escorted by our support vehicles. These two shots from the advocacy ride show riders headed to the bridge and then on the greenway afterwards.
Actually, make that three highlights. Two of us were sent to a delicious barbecue place about 3 blocks from our hotel. That mega sandwich (OK, just a regular portion but I swear there was half a pound of brisket in it, the smothered with cheese) pretty much served as lunch and dinner. Haven’t I always said it’s about the food? Though maybe I scarfed this one down too fast.
Here’s my sandwich, and the one ordered by Cheryl, a fellow rider: