Day 14 Charleston, SC - Two Far 2019 - Coasting Along to the Maritimes - CycleBlaze

May 8, 2019

Day 14 Charleston, SC

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It was another shorter than average day - 40 miles - and nearly zero chance of rain.  Most of our route was on US 17, which, unlike yesterday, had no shoulder at all for miles.  We spent much of today riding in traffic.  Everyone continued to be patient and polite and we didn't have any problems, but Kerry had to keep his eyes glued to the road and I had to keep mine glued to my rear view mirror.  It doesn't make for very relaxing riding.  

At one point, our  route was supposed to take us on Old Jacksonboro Road.  However when we turned where directed, we found a gate across the road.  We had to stay on US-17 for another more or so before we actually came to an exit that would let us on Old Jacksonboro Road.  We thought that we would be on  OJR for a few miles, but that was not to be, as it was only paved for a short distance.  Fortunately, the pavement ended at an intersection so we just turned turned off OJR and took a short detour back to US-17.

Old Jacksonboro Road was great where it was paved.
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After being on US-17 for about 20 miles, we finally were able to turn off onto local roads which were much better.  We went through some heavy traffic in business districts, but it moved very slowly due to the traffic lights and the volume of traffic.  We fit right in.

To get into Charleston, we had to take a bridge across the Ashley River.  The US 17 bridge allows bike, but has no shoulder.  The Hwy 30 bridge has a beautiful wide shoulder, but doesn't allow bikes.  Our route took us on the US-17 bridge, but somehow we missed a turn and, before we knew it, we were on the ramp to the Hwy-30 bridge. There was no way to turn around, so we just forged ahead & hoped we wouldn't get stopped.  We did have a police car pass us, but he paid us no mind, so all was well.  

We took a short ride through the historic district on our way to Mt. Pleasant.  I didn't stop to get any pictures.  I'll do that when we walk around tomorrow.  To reach Mt. Pleasant, we crossed the Cooper River on the new (2005) Ravenel Bridge.  It has a wide, protected pedestrian and bike lane all the way across.  Kerry was impressed with the architecture of the bridge.  It is beautiful.

Approaching the center span of the Ravenel Bridge
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Details of the cable stays on the bridge. The bridge is 2.5 miles long (It felt like 2.25 miles was uphill!). Notice the pedestrian in the distance. The bridge is very popular with walkers and joggers.
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Our friends Tom and Liz from North Carolina drove down to spend a couple of days with us.  Liz grew up in Charleston and her very best childhood friend joined us for dinner.

Liz and Elaine
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We had a very good time, even if we didn't hear any embarrassing childhood stories about Liz.

Tomorrow we're going to Fort Sumter and the Charleston historic district.

Today's ride: 40 miles (64 km)
Total: 515 miles (829 km)

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Rich McKayI used Google Street View to check out the two bridges mentioned; US-17 and SC-30. I truly wonder why bikes aren't allowed on a bridge with a perfectly good shoulder... perhaps the geniuses who designated the "bikes allowed/bikes not allowed" ruling should be forced to ride a bike across both of these bridges during rush hour and then allowed to re-think their decision! Perhaps it's ruled like it is because SC-30 is a "freeway" and US-17 is NOT?
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3 months ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithTo Rich McKayWe drove across the US 17 bridge today with our friends. It was 2 lanes, narrow with no shoulder at all. It would not have been a good place to ride. We were glad that we got on 30. It was definitely much safer.
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3 months ago
Ken GassYour un-a-bridged horrors continue! We've just returned from a 5-day cycle over to the Olympic Peninsula on our tandem during which the scariest part was crossing over the narrow, high Deception Pass bridge in the rain. I really feel for you guys.
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2 months ago