Day 2, Aiken to Anderson, SC

Berea Baptist Church

It was dreary and drippy as I rode through Aiken at 9:30 in the morning. It never really rained on me, but the road was wet and small drops of water would occasionally hit my glasses. I rode north on 19 which, near Trenton, joins Us 25. I followed 25 north to Greenwood and then rode US 178 most of the way to Anderson.

On 19 north of Aiken

19 doesn't have a shoulder, but that wasn't much of a problem, except for one, possibly incompetent, RV driver. I was riding along just south of where 19 crosses I-20 north of Aikin when I head a horn blowing a ways behind me. I didn't have my mirror - borrowed helmet - but there was a convenient place to pull off just ahead of me. so, thinking it might be some kind of wide load, I got out of the way. It was just a big RV. It could have passed me safely if the driver knew what he was doing. I assumed he (or she) didn't know what they were doing - always a prudent assumption with RV drivers! - and stayed well out of his way.

I had to bail out twice on 321 yesterday. Once when a large truck passed into me and the other when a logging truck coming up from behind me let me know he was coming through my space wether I was in it or not ;-}. I had one other time when I wished I had bailed out as large truck squeezed past me too close for comfort. With a mirror I would have seen that one coming! In the other two cases, it was no problem to ride onto the grass beside the road.

I also had a half full beer can tossed at me yesterday. It was gentle toss and definitely not an attempt to knock me off the bike. It hit the ground in front if the bike - things thrown from pickup trucks almost always go in front of my bike - and only a few drops of beer hit my left hand.

In Edgefield

North of Edgefield on 25

Cedar Breaks Plantation

North of Edgefield, 25 became quite lonely. It also has a rough surface. There was very little traffic on this section and hardly any evidence of people, but there was a plantation house from 1790 and a pretty church.

Blue Skies south of Greenwood

I rode out the gray skies between noon and 1 PM, and stopped for lunch at Huddle House in Greenwood. I chose to ride through, rather than around, Greenwood, but I'm not sure that would be a good decision for most folks. The riding was a bit tricky in a few places with fairly heavy traffic and not much room for me. It was tight enough that I was glad not to have my bags on my bike. Greenwood wasn't exciting enough to justify the risk ;-{.

178 after it splits from 25 north of Greenwood

The first few miles north of Greenwood are noisy expressway, but then 178 heads off to the left and the riding is excellent. Thinks deteriorate a little when 178 goes into Abbeville county and looses its shoulder, but it gets it back when it goes into Anderson county. 178 is a really nice bicycling road!

178 without Shoulder

When I got to Belton, I looked for a motel. I'd come 90+ miles and, if I continued north on SC 20 tomorrow, I could get to SC 8 and then back on 178 at Pickens. I couldn't find a motel, so I continued on towards Anderson. Or I thought I did. The road I followed ended up heading north rather than west! When I came to a cross road, I asked a driver heading south which was to go to get to Anderson. He told me to take Broadway School Rd to US 29. I did and it was great bicycling until the pitbulls came after me.

I was cruising along, feeling a bit tired - I'd done 95+ miles at this point - and enjoying the pretty countryside when I saw three black dogs racing towards a gate ahead of me. I heard their owners calling out them to stop. The owners sounded worried and their dogs seemed very intent on doing me bodily harm, so I started sprinting. Those dogs weren't barking, they were just coming after me as fast they could go. Fortunately, I was a little faster. The lead dog got within about ten feet of me before falling back. It was slightly uphill and I was doing 25 mph by that time. I don't think I would have been able to out run him if I'd had my bags on the bike. I also don't think I'll try riding that road again.

When I got to US 29, I checked my map and then headed south towards Anderson. There was a motel just down the road, so I stopped, checked things out on my map, and checked in at the motel. I had decided that I could ride 29 back to SC 8 and follow it to Pickens where I would pick up 178 to Rosman, NC.

The motel was $30. Cash. The owner was working on his daughter's electric scooter. He asked if I had a big pair of pliers. I did. I'd found a Leatherman Supertool alongside the road into Savannah just before the first bridge. I kept it because of the pliers and the cable cutter. I hadn't needed it, but now the motel owner used it, along with his own pliers to fix his daughters scooter. We visited for a bit, and then I went to my room to clean up.

The room was fine - they had just replaced the mattresses, it was clean, and everything worked. It did stink of cigarette smoke, but it was a very nice room for $30. It was also a very noisy room because of the traffic on 29 ;-{. I really needed my earplugs, but they were with my bags. I did OK until sometime in the middle of the night when a car (or truck) made so much noise that I almost fell out of bed ;-{. I didn't get back to a sound sleep. 101 miles, 6:30 hours, average speed 15.1 mph.