Monday, June 22, 2009

Tybee Roubaix

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The Iz has a gymnastics meet in Savannah this week. Actually it's the Nationals, which could have been anywhere in the US. Good luck for us it's so close. We're spending the whole week on Tybee Island, with Kathryn's folks and her sister. This past weekend I just milled around the Island.

 2-me the girls and Toni on tybee pier

They're filming a Disney movie here right now; The Last Song or something like that, starring Miley Cyrus. There's movie stuff all over town, including this entire carnival on the beach.

 3-tybee pier

The whole town is crazy. Papparazzi were arrested last night for sneaking around on private property. Woohoo.

The rest of the beach:

 4-tybee beach

My father in law, the girls and I went fishing this morning and I caught a Whiting. Or so it was called by some other folks on the pier. They were hauling them in left and right. I only caught one after two hours of fishing. Tomorrow, I'm grilling it.


After a quick swim in the pool with the kids I got on the road.

If you're staying on Tybee Island, it's probably required by law that you see the old lighthouse. Better comply with that.


 7-tybee lighthouse

After a quick spin through town I got on Hwy 80 and aimed for Savannah.

I think it's also a law that you have to see Fort Pulaski.

 8-fort Pulaski

I usually feel bad for the first couple of miles. Today I was hacking up cobwebs like never before. It was around this point that I was done with that but I still didn't feel good yet.

Tybee Island is surrounded by salt marshes with several channels cut through them. Scenic.

 9-saltmarsh 1

 10-saltmarsh 2

The shoulders of highway 80 have scalloped grooves every few inches designed to alert sleepy (or drunk) drivers that they're off the road and heading for a salty, watery grave. There's maybe 3 or 4 inches of pavement between the white line and the scallops. On the other side there are a few inches to a foot between the scallops and the marsh. The blacktop is uneven, strewn with debris and vegetation encroaches randomly. Traffic was heavy. I hit the scallops and the vegetation unexpectedly a few times and each time it nearly yanked the bars out of my hands. Basically death and discomfort in every direction.

There were a couple of bridges between Tybee and the mainland. Some had shoulders, others did not. I tried to punch it over the bridges but each time I felt strangling pain in my lungs. No good.

Some chunk of the road didn't have scallops but had grooves cut from the white line all the way to the edge. You can ride on the line, on an inch of uncut shoulder, or on the grooves. Fortunately the grooves were shallow and just slowed me down a bit.

At length I made it into Savannah. Victory Street has palm trees in the middle and southern live oak on the shoulders. Of course, there's spanish moss.

 12-victory st

One of my favorite things in the world is just riding around a city. It's got that walking-around feel but you see way more stuff. I took Skidaway Street to downtown.

Talmadge Memorial Bridge.

 13-Savannah river bridge

River Street.

 14-river st

The roads leading down to River Street are "paved" with large stones in some kind of old-school concrete that has eroded away pretty badly over the years. Bumpy doesn't come close to describing it. The actual street isn't as bad but it's still pretty rough.

The waving girl.

 15-waving girl

One of Savannah's ten billion scenic squares.


Church steeple.


Savannah is truly beautiful. Thanks Sherman, you made the right decision.

The scenery was distracting, but the ride was really feeling like a deathmarch. Was it the heat? The humidity? Did I need more rest? Had I been getting too much rest? No idea, but it was hell.

The idea of riding back to Tybee made my head hurt, but I had to get on it. At least it was cooling off a bit. Right before I crossed the Wilmington River some guys on tri-bikes caught and passed me, with authority. Ugh. I was jealous when they turned off.

Highway 80 was long. The random hand-slamming was grueling. I didn't even notice when I passed Fort Pulaski. How many bridges had I gone over? Eventually I made it back. As I sit here though, I still don't feel right. I just can't relax. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

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