Metter, GA to Swainsboro, GA
I didn't feel as bad as I feared I would this morning. I walked over to Hardee's for some apple-cinnamon-raisin biscuits since it was a Friday during Lent. Meatless Fridays are the way I remind myself I'm still Catholic, even though I'm not much of a parishioner these days. Anyway, the sweet biscuits didn't taste so great  -- I didn't even finish them. What I really lusted for was a bacon, egg & cheese biscuit.
I was just about to finish loading up when I discovered a bulge in my rear tire. Something had put a tiny slit in the sidewall. If I didn't do something about it, I was sure it would come back to haunt me, so I hurriedly removed the wheel, popped off that portion of the tire and put a tire boot on the inside. A tire boot is basically like a patch that goes on the inside of  a tire as opposed to a patch for the outside of the tube. I'd never needed one before, but I bought some " just in case" for this trip. I should have replaced the tire, but it seemed a shame with less than 500 miles on it. At least the bulge was gone, so the tube wasn't pushing out anymore.
I rode back to SR 46 to head west. It was a beautiful day, and my heart begged me to ride all the way to Dublin. My head refused to listen, so I went toward Swainsboro instead. I finally had a bit of a tailwind, and I made good time in spite of my ankles. My left one hurt more on Thursday, so it followed that the right one, which I  had been favoring, hurt more today. Nonetheless, I had a short, pleasant ride to Swainsboro. The roads had decent shoulders and the trucks gave me breathing room. Plus it was warm enough that I was able to shed a layer of clothing. It was disappointing  to waste such a great day with a short ride, but I had to look at the long term. What good would it have done to ride twice as far today if I really messed up my ankles in the process? The key to injuries is to listen to one's body, and the message from  my ankles was coming in loud and clear.
I rode mighty US 1 into town, checking out the many motels. I tried the Budget Inn, but the woman there said all the rooms were taken. I tried the Western Inn a couple doors down. They had vacancies and the price was low--$25.00, including tax. I saw the " no refunds" policy, so I asked to see a room. I feel like I'm distrustful or something by asking, but I don't want to stay in a real dive--I'm not down on my luck, just trying to save money. Well, the room was quite  reasonable, so I took it. The furniture was a bit worn and the highway outside wasn't muffled much (I'm surprised that these motels don't have a little weather stripping or something around the doors--I'm sure it would save them a lot on utilities). However, it was clean, the bed was firm, it had a fridge, and it was only $25, so it was like staying two nights for the price of one.
Since I got into town early, I had time to run a few errands. The most important stop was the post office, where I stuffed a box full of superfluous clothing and mailed it home. I think it was three or four pounds. The weight wasn't as much of a problem as the bulk. Not only was it difficult to repack every morning with the panniers loaded to the gills, but it  discouraged me from fishing out things like my camera in the middle of the day. Now I would have plenty of space, and I really didn't need that fifth(!) jersey or that fourth pair of cycling shorts anyway. Overpacking seems to be  inevitable among cycle tourists. Most people get it pared down after a week or two.  I also shipped home my only souvenirs to date, five seashells plucked from the windswept beaches of Tybee Island. I'd like to gather a few shells when I visit the Pacific as well.
After I left the post office, I walked a lap around the town square. It was pretty disappointing--apparently the big chains have drawn most of the shopping and dining Swainsboroans away from downtown. I went to a grocery store on the way back to the motel, taking advantage of my in-room refrigerator by purchasing meat and cheese for Saturday's lunch with the remainder of the hamburger buns. The deli counter offered hot food including macaroni & cheese, rice and peach cobbler, so I bought a tub of each for my meatless dinner. Back in the room, I watched more bad TV as I ate. The mac & cheese wasn't so great, but the peach cobbler was awesome (but then, how could anyone mess up peach cobbler?). By midnight I was finally caught up with my journal. I planned to spend a rainy Saturday eating my sandwiches, resting my ankles and turning my photos and text into a web site.
Totals for the day: 30.41 miles in 2:16:28 for an average of 13.3 mph.
No photos today. See March 2 for a few Swainsboro photos.
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