Day 027 – Wilmington, NC

It was a treat to sleep in a bed again after three nights in a row camping. I got up at 6:30 and got to have some delicious oatmeal that Lisa was making. It was really good – oatmeal, flaxseeds, brown sugar, almond slices and frozen strawberries (help cool down the oatmeal quicker – good idea) and a huge cyclist portion. As we ate I got a chance to ask more about Lisa’s cycling experience.

She has been cycling for the past ten years, but got more involved after getting a job at the Two Wheeler Dealer bicycle shop. In 2007 for her first cross country tour she road with her daughter Anna on a tandem from North Bend, Oregon back home to Wilmington, NC. The trip came about because Anna had just gotten her learners permit and was bugging Lisa about getting a car. Lisa didn’t want to set a precedent for her other three kids by buying her one, but Anna persisted to the point where Lisa said she would give her $5K towards a car if she cycled across the country thinking there was no way it would happen. Well a slightly different type of precedent was set – bike with mom from one end of the country to the other and you get cash for a car. So far Anna and her oldest son Adam (great name) have done it so far.

I really like that idea. Get a chance to bond with your kids through a tough challenge while at the same time building their character and installing the idea that wants can be satisfied through hard work and dedication. If you want to see some great pictures and learn more about Lisa’s ride check out her blog.

Lisa’s husband Robert is a commercial truck driver that owns his own truck so isn’t able to go on all the cross country rides, but is very much into cycling as well. They are leaving on off road cycling trip along the Continental Divide with their youngest son Aaron in a couple of days. This won’t count towards his car, but it will be a great taste of what he’s in for and sounds like an absolute blast. There is going to be 200,000 feet of elevation gain and they will cross the divide at least 32 times as they make their way south. Seriously read Lisa’s blog. It’s really inspiring and the pictures are great.

When Robert got up we pretty quickly got into talking about politics and religion over coffee. Lisa wasn’t having any of it so I feel like I chased her out of the house earlier than she would have left, but I love talking about the two big social no no so couldn’t resist. I had a great time talking to Robert and sharing opinions, beliefs and view points. We are not on the same page with some major areas – religious beliefs, global warming, human origins, political affiliations, etc, but who cares when you are getting to know and understand someone. We both love to cycle, believe in the importance of family and are respectful of others and what they bring to the table. I’ll say this again and again – to invite a stranger into your home and share your food, shelter and of yourself is really telling about who you are as a person regardless of anything else and I feel very honored to be amongst these types of people. Thanks so much for hosting me Lisa and Robert.

As I was packing up Robert was checking out my set-up and noticed that my rear tire was getting worn down. I knew that this would happen, but wasn’t going to look too closely until I got to Florida. I’m glad he brought it to my attention. I’m going to swap the front and rear tires tomorrow at the camp ground I’m staying at. He also thought my tires were low – they were off by 25 pound each so gave me a fill-up. I had pumped them up two days before, but either the pressure gauge on my pump is off our the heat is having an affect, because there aren’t any leaks.

I had to stop in at the Two Wheeler Dealer to say goodbye to Lisa and get some equipment. I got a new pair of gloves that I like better than my old ones, a pressure gauge and some electrolyte tablets. If you are ever in Wilmington, NC, which you should come and visits because it’s awesome, stop in at talk to Lisa and check out the store.

I am meeting Matt in Wilmington tomorrow, but wanted to camp tonight so I biked 15 miles over to Carolina Beach State Park and set-up camp. The weather was gorgeous and I was really excited about blogging next to a fire. I got camp set-up quickly, took a shower and got my wood. It took about an hour to get the fire going because I didn’t have any kindling at first. My neighbor let me use his hatched (thanks) and after a bit of splitting with no blood letting I had enough smaller pieces to get the fire going. It was a nice quite night with the glow of the fire and my laptop screen, which I’m sure seemed a bit odd to the others camping.