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100 miles, solo

Ever since I got my new Fuso at the end of June I have been enthused to ride more and ride longer distances. The last two weekends I have ridden 75 miles and I felt I was ready to try 100 miles.

It was an ambition that I had for some time now; I put the word out with the local group I ride with, that I might try riding from Summerville to Folly Beach, but no one showed interest in joining me. So last Saturday I decided to set out on my own.

The plan was if I didn’t feel up to completing the distance I would turn back early. I did not choose the direct route for two reasons. Hwy. 61 (Ashley River Road.) the direct route from Summerville to West Ashley, is not a safe road to ride a bike.

A narrow two lane highway with a lot of dangerous curves through old growth forest. A pretty road to drive, but make shift memorials of crosses and plastic flowers nailed to large trees all along the route, mark where drivers ended their days. The second reason, the longer route made the distance 50 miles one way; 100 miles out and home.

For my local readers the route I took was: 61 Hwy. for about 4 miles actually going away from the coast. Left on Summers Drive, a brand new road built in the last year or so; wide with bike lanes on both sides, and light traffic.

Left again on Clubhouse Drive, to Hwy. 165 briefly then Countyline Road another quiet country road that goes all the way down to Savannah Hwy. (17.) which is not a pleasant road to ride on, being the main route from Charleston to Savannah.

Traffic is extremely heavy, but there is a shoulder with a rumble strip to help keep cars off, and I was only on it for a couple of miles, before turning off on Main Road and over the Stono River Bridge (Below.) to John’s Island.

Left on River Road, left again on Maybank Hwy. Over the Stono River again to James Island. Right on Riverland Drive which bypasses the dangerous part of Folly Road and links with it where the bike lanes start.

Over two more bridges and finally on to Folly Beach; also known as “The Edge of America.”

Folly Beach is a narrow strip of sand that is a barrier island.

It has a nice beach, a pier (Picture below.) and a light house.

It turned out that I picked a perfect day for the ride. I had left at 6:15 am. when it was barely light. It was cloudy, overcast, even a little foggy in places; temperatures were in the 70s F. (21C.) The sun didn’t show until around 10 pm. just as I reached Folly Beach.

I took a 40 minute break and had breakfast at a restaurant on Folly Beach Pier. Omelet, hash browns and toast; two large cups of coffee, and several glasses of water. I also filled my water bottles for the return trip.

I felt good on the return trip; I started to sag a little at about mile 85. I stopped, took a 10 minute break, and drank a lot of water. That did the trick, I felt fine after and actually finished the ride at a pretty good pace.

Temperatures were around 85F. (29C.) by the time I got home; not too hot for South Carolina at this time of year. I arrived home soon after 2:00 pm. 7 hours actual riding time.

A nice sense of achievement to have completed 100 mile bike ride; my first in the US actually. The last time I rode a 100 in one day was back in England in the mid and late 1970s; and that was with a group, not alone.



Reader Comments (14)

nice one (I still haven't done one)

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpeter

Fantastic! How wonderful to still be enjoying the bike after many years!

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTed

Century is on my bucket list! Sounds silly to some but.... Congrats Dave!

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSJX426

Way to go Dave! Having lived in SC for a number of years, I know how hot and humid it can get this time of year. The weather gods were looking out for you.

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterfrankie b.

Studly!! Well done Mr Moulton. I've not ridden a century in a couple of years and have one scheduled for Sept 9th this year which features (as all rides here in Colorado seem to) several thousand feet of climbing. You're an inspiration. And a hell of an entertaining writer.

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterskylab

Congratulations Dave! Well done. My furthest in one day is only the metric ton (100km).

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlemmiwinks

Sounds like a thoroughly enjoyable ride, despite lack of company, Dave... (the pikers!). The geography of that area fascinates me, but have never been there. I guess you cross the Inland Waterway at some point, (I think that's what it's called). A bit of ducking and weaving to avoid the worst of the traffic, by the sounds. And those roadside crosses I don't think achieve anything for anyone. Here in Australia, they're nearly all 20+ males, but sometimes taking a mate or GF with them. Depressing.
Have to ask though, is that the Hwy 61 of Bob Dylan fame?

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Oh! Nicely done, Dave. Bravo! You are an inspiration.

And, what a nice testament to the maker of your Fuso. Well done, Russ Denny.

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbystander

This area is known as the “Lowcountry;” it is completely flat. The coastline is made up of many islands, surrounded by inland waterways. If it were not for the bridges between the islands (Like the one in the picture.) there would be no hills at all. Still this makes for an easy ride for an old guy like me. As for Bob Dylan’s Hwy. 61, probably not; I am sure there are other Hwy. 61s in other parts of the US.

August 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Must be a unique perspective for a frame builder to go three decades between centuries, especially when a new bike inspires the latest effort. It's nice to achieve a personal monument, then be able to revisit it much later in life.
It's been a decade since my last 100-mile ride. I'm up to 75 miles rides now, but will wait till the Tucson summer eases a bit before officially turning back the clock.

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJesse Smith

Our first Imperial century this year was last Sunday: Central London to Saffron Walden and back. 30C and humid, in fact the sort of conditions you expect there. A ton is quite a lot more taxing than the usual clubrun of 60-ish miles!

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartin H.

We all remember our first 100 mile ride. Mine was from London to Brighton and back in the UK in the early 1950s. We didn't call them "centuries" then. It was on a Hercules 3-speed. I got lost and had a flat tire half-way down and a couple of cyclists stopped and helped me fix it and sent me on my way.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn B


August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaunchpad McQuack

I ride Audax so, in theory, 100 miles is not a long way any more. However I personally think that it never stops being a long way. That's because it will always bite you hard if you take it for granted. 100 milers will always have the potential to make you really suffer. Treat them with respect, with adequate preparation and they are fun days out.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFred Dered
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