SaltyGears Sunday – Anything Can Happen

SaltyGears Sunday – Anything Can Happen

Workout Date:





Billboard, UHaul, Mudslide, Spork, Jingles, Quaker (QIC)

The Thang:

AO: SaltyGears

Conditions: Perfect

SaltyGear Sundays have been a blast the past couple of months!! We’ve had a variety of Pax join in fun each week. The rides are designed to be a bit laid back and more fellowship friendly then the blistering pace Billboard invokes during the rest of the week.

As usual a call goes out each Saturday evening on Slack to see who will be in town and who can HC. With family, church, and work travel, not everyone can be here each Sunday morning, however, we usually have between 5 and 10 Pax commit and today was no different.

As soon as the first message hit the Slack-r-verse, Mudslide chimed in from the Republic with an HC and to confirm the start time. Spork HC’d a few minutes later, then Billboard committed with a, “Well, hell throw me into the mix…” Kiwi and a few other regulars (RockyTop, Shoeless, Elmers, and Skimmer) abstained for various reasons. Getting 4 HCs right outta the gate was not too shabby! Within an hour UHaul HCd & assured the rest of the Pax that he would be prompt in the morning because riding alone (like he did last we due to tardiness) can be lonely (in hindsight, it can also keep you out of trouble).

When YHC arrived at the AO(Hulk), Billboard, Mudslide, and Jingles (where was your HC last night?) were unloading their bikes.

UHaul then pulled into the lot with a sweet white panel van with ice cream music playing (I think). (#DontAskDontTell).

Spork then arrived and completed the Pax. He pulled in and unloaded his bike which always has a flat rear tire and although he carries a tire pump on his bike, Spork always opts to use other Pax’s pumps for air. (That’s not odd in any way, or is it?) As we pumped up Sporks tire, he also pointed out that he couldn’t find his helmet (2 weeks in a row) and he didn’t have a headlamp!! What could possibly go wrong??

5:59: Last minute preparations were made and exactly at 6:00am we headed out into the Gloom.

Since everyone had a mountain bike this morning, I told the Pax that I would lead & we could do some off-roading along the way. Right away, Jingles started harassing YHC about not heading towards the beach. “How will we get our famous sunrise pictures?”

I told Jingles not to worry, I had a plan, & he would just have to trust me.

We headed west down Eddie Dyer Drive, then turned on River Oaks Drive for 30 seconds, before hanging a quick left into the new Publix Shopping Center. We pedal through the ongoing construction until we reached the entrance of The Parks Development. Once in The Parks, we followed Laurens Mill Dr around the Round-About until we reach Baker Creek Loop.

Baker Creek Loop took us to the back of The Parks and eventually intersected with Revolutionary War Way (RWW) near Ten Oaks Middle School. Here we did a brief stint on RWW then went off road behind the storage units before reaching a path to Plantation Lakes. As we entered the Gloom, Jingles let everyone know that it was here that YHC ‘buries the bodies’ and we would once again never ‘see the sunrise’. Very spooky, for sure!!

We were only on the dirt path for a short distance before accessing Walcott Drive, then turning left on Welcome Drive, then turning right on Abington Drive before merging onto the main drag in Plantation Lakes: Shoreward Drive. We took Shoreward to its end then turned left on to Oxbow Drive. We also took Oxbow to its terminus, then we doubled back & took a left onto Woodburn Drive, then another right onto Atalaya Place to the back of Plantation Lakes.

Pedaling past a metal gate we entered a gravel road that crossed a set of railroad tracks. After crossing the tracks we turned right into an abandoned cement factory as the sun began to rise (Where was Jingles for a group picture?).  This location felt eerily like a scene out of Friday the 13th or the Walking Dead! It had a real post-apocalyptic vibe. Everyone’s nerves were on edge (except YHC’s) and based on the amount of chatter spewing from Jedah, I mean Jingles, he would have been the 1st victim if we were actually in a horror movie!!

We hustled out of the Cement Plant and found ourselves on Douglas McNair Blvd riding passed sketchy neighborhoods, under Route 31 before turning left into Bella Vita.

This is where the wheels symbolically came off. We got lost! So many homes have been built in this community (there were DRG signs everywhere – I blame Pikachu) that I had no idea where we were or how to find our way out.

YHC was looking for a road that would take us to the back of Berkshire Forest but it had seemingly vanished due to the explosion of development! This added more fuel to Jingles ire as he continued to complain about the missed sunrise and also YHC’s leadership.

We biked around in circles for about 2 additional miles (“Look kids Big Ben, Parliament” – European Vacation) looking for the ‘hidden’ passage to Berkshire before finally abandoned all hope and electing to ride back the way we came. Mudslide commented, “Welcome to Suburbia, this never happens in Conway.” At this point we were already 13 miles and over an hour into our ride.

As we headed back out of Bella Vita, Spork needed a pit­-stop to tend to his flatting tire. This is where the wheels literally came off!

I say flatting because his tire was still ½ filled with air and ridable. But that was not good enough!! This tire needed air!! So we pulled over and debated if we should continue to ride on low tire pressure or take the chance to fill it up with the pump Spork carries on his bike but never uses.

2 quotes ran through YHC’s mind: (1) “A pump not used is a useless pump.” & (2) “A useless pump should remain unused.” It turns out that the latter thought was most accurate because when we hooked it onto the stem of the tire, the pump released the remaining air. Now the tire was completely flat and the bike was un-ridable.

Not to be deterred, Spork furiously began pumping in hopes of getting more air in before it leaked out. He was going so hard on the pump that pieces began flying off!!

We all knew he didn’t have the stamina to keep going at that pace as sexual innuendos also began flying all over the place. The harder he pumped the more we laughed!! Jingles was totally in his element, so much so that Spork quipped, “Hey Jingles why don’t you bring some of your hot air over here and blow this tire up?”

Without skipping a beat, Jingles responded, “I don’t blow, I suck!!”  The pumping stopped, we gave awkward looks to one another, and our laughter hit its crescendo . . . We’ll just leave it right there!! LOL!!

Either way, we were about 10 miles from the Hulk and needed a solution to our tire situation, not to Jingle’s proposition.

Mudslide pointed out that he had CO2 cartridges for just such an occasion; however, they did us little help because he left them in his car. Spork told us to go on without him & he would call his M to pick him up. That’s when Billboard shut down our uncertainty by invoking the F3 Motto, “We leave No Man Behind, but We Leave No Man Where We Found Him!”

The plan was simple.  There was a gas station about 1 mile down the road and all we had to do is get there. Billboard said he can carry Spork’s bike on his back. Great, but how would the rest of us get there? Spork could ride on someone’s handlebars, but that was deemed too dangerous, especially because Spork lacked a helmet! The only logical solution was that YHC would run & Spork would ride my bike to the gas station. That is exactly what we did!!

What a sight to see!! As numerous cars on 501 sped past us they must have been thinking, “Hey look, Ma, those 5 guys are stealing that other guy’s bike . . .and there ain’t no way he goin’ to be able to catch up to them on foot!”

When we made it to the gas station, Jingles immediately pulls Spork’s pump/anti-pump from his bike frame and promptly throws it into the trash! Spork puts 40lbs of air into the tire and then another 20lbs just to be safe!

Within minutes, we were back on the road no worse for wear looking like ‘Wild Hogs 2.0’. The road we took from the gas station (wait for it . . . ) took us right back into Bella Vita!! It was like a Twilight Zone Episode!!

Lucky for us it was later in the morning and there was a runner and a dog walker this time around so YHC asked for directions to Berkshire. Once on the road to Berkshire, we realized we had passed this exact road at least three times early today.

The ride through Berkshire was uneventful until we reach River Oaks Drive at which time Mudslide, who was unable to unlatch his shoes from his pedals, took a slow motion fall in front of 4-5 cars waiting for the green light at the intersection. Once he was down, he couldn’t get back up until 2 other Pax lifted him and the bike into position. #IveFallenAndICantGetUp.

The light turned green, we crossed River Oaks, and were on our way through Carolina Waterway Plantation (CWP). At the back of CWP we went off road once more following a service road to Waterway Palms Plantation (WPP). As we entered WPP, we had to jump a curb to get onto W. Palms Drive. Once again, Mudslide stalled out and slowly fell to the ground. Everyone made a mental note, not to purchase clip in pedals.

 Back in the saddle, we rode along the waterway until we reached the end of WPP. Here we accessed another service road that took us almost to the entrance of The Bluffs.

We left the service road and took a hard right onto River Oaks Drive for a short distance then turned right once more into The Bluffs. We rode through The Bluffs to the far end at which point we jumped another curb and entered the service road that goes through the heart of the Hulk back to the beginning.

8:00am – Time Called.

COR = 6


Announcements: SaltyGear Sundays – be there

Prayers: Spork prayed us out.

NMMS: This ride was an absolute blast even if we didn’t see the sunrise over the ocean! Good times and laughter was had by all! 1% better, maybe. . . 1% wiser, probably. . . 1% tighter, definitely!!

NMMS 2: As we put our bikes away and reminisced about our adventures, UHaul makes a confession to the group. He just realized that he had 2 CO2 cartridges in the utility pouch on his bike the whole ride!! No worries, we’ll probably need them next week, ain’t that right Spork!!  

Over & Out!!