Day 39: Brunswick to St. Marys

Yesterday after leaving the Red Roof Inn, I rode briefly to Sunrise Diner that’s less than a block away from the hotel. I took a seat near my bike so I could see it and had a shrimp omelette. Unfortunately, that seat was next to some old local men who enjoyed talking politics. I finished my breakfast as quickly as possible and got out of there.

I started riding at 7:45 to St. Marys. I was just seven miles out of town when I heard a snapping sound. Not again! I stopped the bike and inspected my rear spokes. Indeed, one of them was broken. This is my third broken spoke on the trip and I just had a spoke replaced in Savannah two days ago. This is getting ridiculous.

Another broken spoke!

I texted my Warmshowers host, Niki, regarding my situation and searched for the nearest bike shop. There was one in St. Marys, the only one in town, and it was about 40 miles from where I was.

I wanted to get to the bike shop as soon as possible so I rode with few stops along the way. I mostly took water breaks and didn’t even stop for ice cream at convenience stores.

Keep on riding

Around noon, I arrived in St. Marys. I decided to get lunch first so I went to Compa’s Mexican Grill and Cantina. I got a beef taco and chicken quesadilla combo, along with sweet tea.

I rode to the Camden Bicycle Center after lunch and met the shop owners, Terry and his wife, Darlene. The first thing that Terry said to me was that the load on the back of my bike was too heavy and I should transfer some weight to the front. I agreed with him since I had three spokes broken on me now. I would do that once I’m at Niki’s and maybe even ship some of my stuff back to King of Prussia. I also thought about selling my bike since it’s not a touring bike. I chatted with Darlene for a while to inquiry about Trek bikes while Terry replaced the spoke.

Terry and Darlene of Camden Bicycle Center

When Terry asked me where I was staying for the night, I told him I’ll be staying at a Warmshowers host’s place. He asked who it was and I replied Niki. Terry immediately told me to avoid Niki’s place. Darlene called another Warmshowers host that I’ve already contacted, but wasn’t able to host. Terry recommended the hotel. I didn’t know what the issue is with Niki and Terry, but it was obvious that they didn’t get along.

After leaving the bike shop, I decided to go into downtown St. Marys to take a look around. The town had a nice waterfront park. Then I rode to Niki’s place. Just as I was about to pull into the boatyard, where Niki lives, I heard another snapping sound. This sound was so familiar to me that I knew what it was. Another spoke broke, and I only cycled about 9 miles since the bike shop.

St. Marys waterfront

Niki was with her friend, Jeff, when I met her after riding about 57 miles for the day. After the introduction, Jeff showed me where the shower is inside the boatyard. After taking a shower, Niki showed me her boat that’s dry-docked. I spent the night inside her boat while she slept in her van.

Niki and her cat Lucy

I was glad to have a roof over my head since it rained, but I didn't have any dinner. During the breaks between the rain, I sorted out my stuff and will ship the rack bag with the tent, the sleeping bag, some clothing, and the sleep bag back to King of Prussia. I will need to get a box tomorrow and think of a way to ride to the UPS store that’s about 10 miles away. Then I might also come back to Terry and Darlene’s bike shop to fix the broken spoke.

Niki's boat

Grateful to have avoided the rain

I woke up at 4:45 AM today. I’m not definitive about my plan for the day since it might also rain. I’m supposed to arrive in Jacksonville Beach at another Warmshowers host’s place, but that’s 60 miles away. If I can get my spoke fixed then maybe I can arrive there, but I’m not certain.


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