Tuesday, May 17, 2011

April 14: Tyler, Tx – Nacogdoches, Tx (78mi)

Ok, long day, gotta pace myself. Unfortunately, I slept late. Woke up at 9 and after eating, packing and hygiene time, I hit the road around 10:30. My late start turned out to be a good thing but I didn’t see the results of this until my day was nearly ended. I pedaled 25 miles south to Jacksonville then directed myself east. The weather was amazing, the wind wasn’t too terrible, spirits were high, and the country side was gorgeous. The shoulder was wide enough for most of the way that I could have the flag flying and for everyone to enjoy. Occasionally passing motorists and bikers would honk or give a thumbs up and boost my mood. After a good ways, the shoulder narrowed then disappeared and I had to ride the white line and roll the flag up a bit. Traffic is pretty considerate; they pass and give me enough space.
The day passed by and it was getting closer to sundown and I passed through a few towns and made a stop at one of the restaurants to gather intel and  met some more cool people of course. I cruised down the road and made it to the end where I turn south to head to Nacogdoches and made a brief stop to sip on water. I posted the bike up against a road sign and while hydrating, a vehicle pulled up and a guy got out. His name was Billy and he had passed me when I was riding through Jacksonville. He saw the flag and wanted to take pictures for his photography class but didn’t have time to stop. So when he finished what he needed to do, he came back looking for me. We did a photo-op on the roadside and I asked him where I would be able to get some food and meet people in town. Flashback CafĂ© was his recommendation. I rode in and found what I was looking for. I didn’t want to leave the bike outside so the manager allowed me to lock his bike up in the office. I was starving and sat down at the bar and ordered food. I was talking to the bartender trying to figure out my best option where I would be able to stay. I wasn’t feeling like spending money on a hotel so she was helping me figure out where parks or places would be to relax without being bothered. She left to get my food and a girl sat down at the bar, Rebecca. We got to talking a bit and of course the ride came up and I explained a bit about it and such. We talked briefly and she got her drink and left. I was eating my burger and looking at my phone, examining my maps when Rebecca came back 30 min later with a guy in tow.
“Hey Levi! I want you to meet my friend Sean! Sean, this is Levi, hes the guy I was telling you about!”
Sean sat down next to me.
“Sean Bibby! Nice to meet you! Man, that’s awesome what you’re doing! Where are you staying tonight?”
“Im not sure yet, still figuring that out.”
“Well, I have a couch, you can stay at my place tonight!”
“Aw man, awesome! Thanks!”
“No problem, come hang out with us!”
And that’s how I met Sean.  We rode our bikes back to his place that night and I crashed out. Up until this point, I hadn’t taken a complete day off from riding since Roswell, Nm and was in need of recuperation. He said I could stay a second night if I needed to. I woke up that night at 3:30am, it was raining. Thank goodness I wasn’t stuck in the outdoors getting soaked. The roof overhead and comfortable couch was even more appreciated after that and I fell back into a deep sleep.