Savannah Ga. is a regular vacation stop for me. The main attraction is my daughter and her family but I always take my bike. They live just west of Savannah in Ellabell, just east of Pembroke. Ellabell is endless unspoiled country roads, cotton fields and pine barrens, off the grid. The early morning ride I took on Friday 6/22/2012 was great. It was cool and even chilly down in the hollers. I noticed route markings on a road right by my daughter’s place so I decided to follow along. The local riders come and go from Hendrix Park located on Wilma Edwards Rd. About 20 miles out I came to an intersection where the route branched into markings for a 32 mile or 52 mile route. “Why not take the 52 mile route“ I says to myself, (great conversations with myself on the bike). 15 miles later at Route 67 the marks disappear. No worries though, I’d been off the bike since last Sunday so my pent up desire to ride is stronger than any doubt I have about finding my way. With no way to navigate except to follow my nose, and after a few wrong turns, I back track, stop and ask for directions. It turns out that route 67 south will take me back to Pembroke. My 50 mile ride turned out to be a Metric Century + ride, 75 miles.
The only thing better than the roads was the weather, calm and cool. But I swear everyone let’s their dogs run wild. “ Who let the dogs out, Who, Who….. Who Who “ They’re everywhere! Fortunately they announce their charge and they were all pretty slow. Except for one, a very covert and determined Chi-Wa-Wa. Sneaking behind some hedges unseen by me, he gathered speed and courage and made his move, an act of great valor. He pounced fearlessly and with reckless abandon. A clinical study in The Little Dog Syndrome if I ever saw one. Alas, his down fall was being a Chi-Wa-Wa, no legs. To his credit he kept after me for about 1/10th of a mile, great stamina.
Everywhere you look when riding around Ellabell you see the old and the new. There’s no urban sprawl and the area remains very rural. Lots of country estates and fallen down shacks. Semi’s loaded with pine trees rolling down these country roads headed for the mill. Fort Stewart’s large military presence is located just south of here, which brought my daughter to the area.
Saturday I met up with the Coastal Bicycle Touring Club. Their ride that day was in Richmond Hills Georgia , a suburb of Savannah. They met at the Fort McAllister boat ramp, went to the Kilkenny Marina and back, round trip 36 miles. They have a different Saturday ride every week with an 8 week rotation. Nice group of riders that split in to 2 groups. I went with the fast group as it was referred to and our average speed for the ride was a respectable 18.5 M / hour. More low country riding, nothing to climb and wind was calm. Got to talking about Wheels and Wings which they all thought sounded interesting. We stopped for lunch at a place called Fishtales after the ride, a nice dock side pub. I thanked them for the great ride and promised to look for them the next time I was in town.
Sunday I was feeling it in the quads and needed to ride the stiffness away. I got on the bike and noticed my sit bones were also barking at me. After about 5 miles the juices started to flow, things began to loosen up and I felt much better. The world is still sleeping around Ellabell at 8AM on a Sunday. I take the roads I know to Pembroke and back. To picture Pembroke think of Mayberry or any place where time moves slowly forward, maybe even stands still or goes backwards. Episodes of the Twilight Zone where you are the last person on earth come to mind.
While I didn’t ride downtown Savannah, it’s alive with cyclist. Urban road warrior bikers, taxi bikers and bikers making deliveries zipping in and out of the dense traffic.They make it look easy, fun. While I prefer the road less traveled, urban cycling looks exciting, maybe next trip.
Thanks for the great comments on previous post. BE SAFE AND KEEP IN TOUCH.