Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day 49 - Vancleave to Dauphin Island

Today I'm off route. After consulting the internet I found a route to the bike shop that the camp hosts recommended. It's only about 12 miles from camp but doesn't open till 9:30.

After getting breakfast taken care of and packed up. I headed out. A quick stop at the bank for some more cash and then on down the road. The road has the same rumble strip design that we encountered upon first entering Mississippi and is somewhat busy. A few miles down the road I turned off to head toward Ocean Springs where the bike shop is. Thankfully, the rumble strip didn't follow me.

I got to the bike shop a bit before 8. Now to kill an hour and a half. I went next door to a Waffle House and had steak and eggs for breakfast. After which I still had more than an hour to kill. I then rode up the street to a drug store and bought a few things, including some batteries.

After that I went back to the shop and spent some time replacing the batteries and waiting. Eventually, the owner of the store showed up. He assured me that he had spare chains, but his mechanic wouldn't be in until 11. I told him I could install the chain myself and then he asked me what size I needed. Chains are different widths depending on how many gears you have on the rear cassette. When I told him I had 10, he said that he didn't carry that size.

He did, however, know of a shop a bit further to the west that might. He called the shop and indeed they had the chain I needed. I thanked the owner and headed on down to the other shop which was only a few miles further out of my way.

I arrived at the shop and the mechanic/owner offered me several options of chains. I choose the one that seemed best to me. I unloaded my bike and he proceeded to work on it. First he tuned up the rear wheel which turned out to only require very minor adjustments. Then he cleaned up the rear cassette installed the chain and also adjusted my rear brake and checked my tire pressure, which was a tad low. The whole thing cost just under $60 and it looks like I should be good for the rest of the trip.

At the end he took my picture and posted it to Facebook. You can get to their Facebook page here.

After getting everything done I headed on down the road. I had a cross head wind most of the way but made pretty good time. It was a long ways to get to Grad Bay where I would get back on route. On the way I crossed into Alabama. One more state.

I hit Grand Bay just as school was getting out so ended up riding with a lot of school buses for awhile.

As the day wore on it was apparent that I was again flirting with darkness. I'm glad I put those new batteries into my lights earlier in the day.

I got to the bridge to Dauphin Island just before sunset and was near the top of the bridge just before the sun disappeared behind some clouds. Before crossing the bridge I got sprinkled on a bit. I'm hoping we don't get rained on tonight. The clouds were moving north so I was out of the rain by the time I hit the bridge.

In this picture you can barely make out the bridge in the distance.

The sun was still fairly high in the sky at that point, but quickly departing.

At the top of the bridge just before the sun went behind the clouds.

I made it into camp just about dusk.

We are staying at a private residence here on the Island. The couple has a bunch of dogs and cats which were quite friendly. We enjoyed this stop, although it would have been nice to have had a bit more time to see the island.

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