Day 1, Savannah, GA to Aiken, SC

A bicyclist riding towards Hardeeville on 321

After three very nice days in Savannah, with one afternoon in Hilton Head at an international piano competition, my friend gave me a ride back to Hardeeville - he was headed back to the piano competition - and I rode back the way I'd come on 321. I could have ridden back over the bridge, but the traffic was bad enough on Sunday not to make me want to do it during the week. I left Hardeeville at 11 AM.

A lumber truck on 321 before it has a shoulder

A logging truck farther west on 321

I had a good tail wind, so I was cruising in the high teens to low twenties, and, with light traffic, riding was easy if a bit boring. I did see on bicyclist coming the other way. He wasn't having nearly as much fun as I was ;-}. After Robertville, 321 had a small shoulder and the pavement was smoother. The railroad paralleled the high way all the way to Fairfax where I, and the railroad, headed towards Allentown.

Coming into Estill

I stopped in Estill for lunch at 'Our Daily Bread.' It was good food in a very friendly place. Estill also has a nice looking motel, so it could be a good place to stop on the way to/from Savannah.

The train I 'raced' to Fairfax and Allentown

As I rode towards Fairfax, I caught up with a slow moving train hauling lots of freight containers. I was cruising around 18 mph and that train was going around 15 mph, so I got a good look at it as I slowly passed along its length. I finally passed the engine just before we reached Fairfax and, since I didn't want to wait half a hour for it to pass through town, ended up going around the bars that were down at a railroad crossing. The train had slowed down going into town, and was a least a 100 feet away as I crossed in front of it. Then I raced it to Allen town and crossed a hundred yards or so in front of it as I turned north. After Fairfax, I was riding on US 278.

I rode 278 to Barnwell where I had planned to stop for the night, but, since it was 4 PM when I got there and the great tailwind was still blowing, I just took a rest/snack break and rode on towards Aiken on 278. I'd come 70 miles to Barnwell and it was 36 miles more to Aiken, so I figured I could make it before dark.

Riding US 278 north of Barnwell

I rode 278 - most pretty good riding, and getting hillier as I got neared Aiken - to SC 19, 19 is an expressway going into Aiken from the south. It was easier - flatter, better tail wind - riding than 278. I reached a suitable motel just before sunset, after 6:20 minutes of riding at an average speed of 17.1 mph.