Day 29: Riegelwood to Wilmington

Yesterday morning, after saying goodbye to Lee, I started riding around 6:30 AM, the earliest starting time so far on the trip. I stopped by a gas station convenience store not too far from Lee’s house and got some bacon, bologna, sausage, scrambled eggs, and a cup of coffee. I needed the protein since I’ll be riding for a long time in the morning.

Lee had warned me that there will be lumber trucks on the road and he was right. I stuck to the shoulder of the busy road for 12 miles before meeting the East Coast Greenway.

Beautiful weather on a morning ride

I stopped by another convenience store for an ice cream bar about half way to Wilmington, then I rode on route 421, which is a very busy road with trucks and cars going 60 miles per hour. I also had to be very careful when crossing the Isabel Holmes Bridge to get to Wilmington. There was an exit on the right and I had to wait a long time to cross to the left lane and cycle into the city. I arrived in downtown Wilmington after riding a total of 38 miles and it wasn’t even 10:30 AM yet. I made good time.

Downtown Wilmington

The battleship in Wilmington

While finding a place for lunch in downtown, a local couple tried to recommend some places for me to eat, but most restaurants don’t open until 11. I ended up going to Anne Bonny’s Bar and Grill that’s right by Cape Fear River. I chose a seat on the edge of the barge and had a great view of the river. I had fish and chips and they were not bad.

River side lunch

I texted my Warmshowers host Steve about an arrival time since I’m early. He didn’t get back to me until a couple hours later. I decided to ride to Wrightsville Beach on the other side of the town, about 12 miles away.

I rode on some bike paths and went through the University of North Carolina Wilmington. After crossing another bridge, I arrived at the beach. I walked on the beach briefly and took a couple of photographs before riding my bike to the south end. Along the way, I took a rest at an ice cream place and had a root beer float. I ended up charging my phone using my power bank for the first time since I wasn’t able to charge it at the restaurant.

Wrightsville Beach

At the south end, I walked on the beach to the ocean. This is the less crowded part of the beach with only a few people. I wondered what it would be like to live in a place like this, somewhere close to the ocean. I’m still debating where I want to settle. Sure, I like the Greensboro area, but Wilmington also seems like a great place if I want the beach life. Though, I’m not sure what would happen when the ocean rises and hurricanes strike.

The Atlantic Ocean in Wilmington

I decided to head over to Steve’s house that’s about 10 miles away in Myrtle Grove. I arrived there a little after 3 PM. I rode a total of 67 miles.

Steve’s wife, Mary Beth, was home. After showing me around the house, I took a shower. Steve got home as well and I did my laundry while chatting with both Steve and Mary Beth.

Steve is 70 years old and doesn’t want to retire yet. He’s a manager of a building company that builds houses around Wilmington. Mary Beth is retired.

Steve just signed up on Warmshowers not too long ago and I am their first guest. He will use Warmshowers to do a self-supported tour going to Florida later this year.

Mary Beth made a huge salad, a potato dish, and pulled pork for dinner. The food was so good that I had two servings. After some dinner table conversations, I was so tired that I went to bed around 8 PM.

Mary Beth and Steve

This morning I woke up at 6 AM. Steve was already up and was making breakfast. I had two fried eggs, bacon, and some toast. After the meal, Steve had to go to work. I will leave soon as well.

I have no idea which town I’ll be staying at today since there are no Warmshowers hosts until south of Myrtle Beach, and I don’t feel like riding over 100 miles there. I’ll play it by ear. I guess that’s what an adventure is.


  1. What I like about your trips Hiatt is they are as much "food tours" as bike tours. You rarely miss a meal. Do you keep a food budget?

    1. I keep a total budget of ~$50 per day that includes food, lodging, and others. But right now my spending is about $63 per day, with food as being a majority part of the spending. It costs about $20 per meal these days with tips.

    2. When I went across country in 2018, my food cost averaged only $20/day but I remember how it jumped up as soon as I hit Colorado. You can see how coastal states are just more expensive than the midwest.

    3. Yes, agreed. Also with inflation, it's very common to have the total tab to be around $20 depending on the restaurant. I usually give 20% in tips to support the waiters and I try my best to eat at local restaurants rather than fast food chains.


Post a Comment