Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Water Towers and Wipeouts

Blackshear GA to Hinesville GA (57 miles)

Let's start with the Wipeout. Splatted me and the bike on the ground today going through the city with construction going on. Very smooth move with many on lookers to laugh at. Had 4 lane highway narrowed down to 2 lanes and tight shoulder, so had to ride the sidewalk. That was great until they decided to finish the last 15 feet of sidewalk with a pile of sand ( instead of concrete for me to ride on). No worries, I see a break ( but I also think I see an elderly lady behind the wheel coming up from behind). So, I make my move, hop down (inch, inch and a half lip) on the "pre final surface coat of blacktop off the concrete curb. Sprint around the last 15 feet of unfinished curb, hop the front tire back onto the concrete curb ( inch inch and ahlaf again). But the back tire decides not to play along , wah wah wah.... :( Bike twists, J-dog falls right, luckily most of it up and into the sand, but left a quarter size piece of my left palm on the ground. Hop me and and the bike up as quick as possible to make sure we don't get run over. Laugh, dust myself off and enjoy the shear excitement of a bicycle wipeout in front of many. Then stop at the C-store, clean off the blood and dig into the my bags for a band aids. No worries, no I can't tell if my partially paralyzed left hand the whole trip is hurting or not.

Water Towers (more cool pics and how they work here)....been meaning to bring these up. Some time after Austin TX, I started to notice the water towers again. It's too bad I had forgotten what they really were all about. My smartphone, google maps, interstates, bill boards, and getting to my destinations as fast as possible had fainted my childhood memories of these wonderful statues.

As I've ridden off the new beaten paths and back on to the old ones the past 3 weeks, I've simply had to watch the horizon for the water towers to know I was approaching the next town. I started remembering traveling as a kid and how I'd have my Atlas Map, following our path and tracking the next town, always wondering when I'd see the Water Tower. What color would it be? Would they have a town logo? What was the zip code? Back then just like it's been the past 3 weeks, I'd see the water tower long before the town and know I just have a few more miles to town.

So, as the last 3 weeks have progressed, I've remembered how the Water Towers are the Light Houses of the land and realized that the water tower symbolizes a lot of this trip for me. The past 6 weeks has been so refreshing to 1) live simple ( no car, a bike and 2 small bags, OK I got all my gadgets, but you know what I mean!), 2) admire and enjoy the rural towns and all the things they symbolize to me, and 3) be entertained and cared for by all the people I've met along the way.

Way to go Water Tower for always being there.

Screven GA 31560

Waycross, GA 31501

Normal start of the day ( it's not Waffle House, managed to stay away from them)

Another beautiful Georgia morning.

Cool place, just didn't realize it at first. It's a locomotive repair shop. Probably had 30 engines out on the ground 10 bay doors where the engines come in, and a huge yard in the back with 40-50 engines back there.

Not creative enough :(

Apparently this town knows how to party.

Almost done with Georgia pine forests

Orange barrel dodging before the wipe out.

I don't think I figured this one out.

The secret's out now.

Rolling into Hinesville.

My man CT from Jazzy's barber shop. I had a great time in the back of the barber shop in CT's chair. Here's what I learned....CT's from DC ( but he's a Cowboys fan ). People from here split their loyalty to the Jaguars and Falcons. CT's got 2 boys and a 5 year old girl that "owns him" already. I'm next to Fort Stewart, largest Army base east of the Mississippi. CT's wife is an Army RN and served 13 months in Iraq while he took care of the kids ( you rock CT!!). Women are the #1 conversation in black or white barber shops ( CT's worked them both). My gray hair's the easiest hair to cut. We shared stories and decided we're all alike, we work hard, we want the best for our kids, and we need to take responsibility for our decisions, doesn't matter what color your skin is or how much money you have. Thanks CT, I'm glad I found your chair today.

Stats - 57 miles (2,421)
Calories - 3,428 ( 135,859 )
Time - 3:42 (191:16)
Total Climb - 344 ( 61,343 ft )


  1. John, welcome to the home stretch! I've enjoyed keeping up with you and I'm proud of you for going out and getting it done! Looking forward to lunch when you get back so we can hear all the edited versions.

    Oh, and I'll tell you about this bike trip I'm going on...

  2. Hair cut?? Sprucing up for THE meeting day ?? John, I so admire you for tackling such a task, and I'm proud to call you my son-in-law. I can't wait to hear all the stories that didn't make it to the blog.

  3. Probably better that you skipped the Waffle House; Kevin did a major barf on the trip to Pensecola when he was 3 after eating waffles there (okay, he was really just car sick but the waffles precipitated it).

    Sorry about the crash, I know exactly how it feels!

    Have a great ride today and look forward to your arrival in HH! Sorry we couldn't be there to congratulate you! And thanks A&A for keeping John company; you guys are a real blessing!

  4. Whitey,

    I have enjoyed keeping up with your surreal adventure. You are the man. Congrats on the journey and thanks for taking us all 'along for the ride'.

    TK in MN

  5. Yes I have heard about the army base in Mississippi and there are other bases around the world. To army bases in Georgia you need not to spend too much time rather can go to their website and can get the location easily.