I am usually not too superstitious, at least when it comes to Friday the 13th, but today proved to be unique. Whether or not this is because of Friday the 13th, I guess Jamaal and I will never be sure, but consider the following circumstances.
- Jamaal and I met a fellow tourer early this morning during our ride. He was touring fully loaded with nearly forty pounds of gear by my eyes' estimate. We rode along with him and chatted with him a bit, discovering he was riding from Miami to Canada because he felt it was "a good way to spend the summer." Now you might say that this isn't odd, it's just absurd, but there is more to the story. Riding behind him, we clocked our speed at around 12-13MPH, slightly slower than the 16-18MPH that Jamaal and I typically cruise at, but we didn't mind the slower pace and the conversation and company he gave. We stopped at a red light, and he informed us that he was going to part ways with us. It was kind of sad, but to each his own, I suppose. Here's the unnerving part. An hour later, after stepping our pace back up, we were rehydrating at the van when we spotted the man on his bike again as he passed by us. Trust me, there is no mistaking this guy. Honestly, how many people are touring at this moment in time, in the same area that we are traveling in ? Weird.
- Jamaal fell off his bike. Obviously, it wasn't a poltergeist or specter or ghost or anything. He wasn't paying attention and he ran into the back of my tire causing him to fall into the road. Luckily for us, there were no cars coming at the time, but it was the first fall of the trip, and it just so happens that this occurs on Friday the 13th.
- We almost got hit by a car today. The closest we've come to this scary situation in all of our riding adventures. We rode up to a red light at an intersection and right as we pulled up to the light it turned green, so we pedalled through, but as we were, a truck adjacent to us slowly, but deliberately began shifting over to the shoulder. Luckily, Jamaal and I had enough space to stop and avoid an accident as we watched this car drive over numerous cones on the shoulder and then drive away.
- To top this all off, our hotel had rooms donated to us in Jacksonville, NC, but for tomorrow night and they had no available rooms for us tonight.
Today was interesting to say the least. It was a fun, short ride, and we were able to meet up with some friends here in Jacksonville. We will be bunking with them tonight, so thank you Ammons family. Tomorrow we ride to Washington, NC, a 70 mile ride.
Sleep well, folks, and take it easy,
John and Jamaal.