The ride from Jacksonville to Yulee was one with a nice wide shoulder although I had one truck come closer to me than normal. In all my time on the road this makes only the second time I’ve had a close call. There is also a small percentage of vehicles that drift over to the bike lane after they pass me. Maybe they are trying to demonstrate to me how easy it would have been for them pick me off. Or they just drift over because they are looking in the rear view mirror and not watching where they’re going. For the most part though drivers seem to share the road fairly well. If there is no on coming traffic, some vehicles will go way over into the other lane to pass.
From Yulee to Kingsland I had only a small strip of asphalt to ride on that in most places was covered with patches of grass. I didn’t eat before leaving Jacksonville and at one rest stop I almost blacked out and lost my balance when I stood back up. This happened a few more times along the way but only when I would stand back up from sitting. It didn’t dawn on me until later this was probably caused by not eating. Once I got back on the bike I was fine.
I stopped at a NAPA garage to ask for some oil for my chain and derailleur which has been squeaking since Jacksonville. I never lubed them after the rain at the campground in Atlantic Beach where my bike was out in the rain the whole time. A man named Steve who seemed to be the owner greeted me as I pulled in and was nice enough to do the oiling while I rotated the crank. I thanked him and gave him a card and had a nice quiet ride the rest of the way.
After getting into Kingsland I found a nice place to just lay down on my back to cool off and rest. I think I even slept about ten minutes. I whipped out the GPS and looked for place to eat. Subway was about a mile away so off I went. About half way there I heard someone call out. A thin guy with a shaved head was waving me over to his fruit stand which was set up inside an old DIY car wash bay. He wanted to tell me how to avoid the congestion at an intersection I was approaching.
We talked a bit about where I was going and where I came from. There was also an another older man sitting in a lawn chair back in the bay. His name was James. He was the boss of Ronnie, the guy that waved me over. I told him my name was Ron and handed him a card. He walked over to the boxes of fruit and grabbed a peach and handed it to me. “No charge” he told me.
After posing for a photo James and Ronnie wished me luck and I was back on my way to Subway to eat.
I rode around Kingsland checking for possible places to set up my tent for the night. The town is a mix of slightly depressed areas and newer, more modern downtown area. Some of the sidewalks are laid with nice brick work and the buildings had a pleasant and quaint style about them. As I got closer to I-95 the area was pretty busy. The road was lined with the usual Interstate businesses of restaurants and motels. I continued on until I came to the Walmart where I checked the bicycle section for chain lube.
I continued scouting around for a temporary place to set up my tent for the night. There were a few a places where I could set up behind some local businesses but by this time they were closed for the day and there was no one to get permission from to do so. I picked up one of those motel coupon guides and paged through my options. I found one motel back where I came into Kingsland on Rt. 17 with a great price. I called and had them hold a room for me. When I arrived I met the manager, Prem Patel of the Camden Inn & Suites who gave me an even better price after we talked about my venture. He was very generous and I had pleasant and safe stay for the night.
This morning I had breakfast at Steffen’s Restaurant on Lee St. (Rt. 17) in Kingsland. Steffen’s has been serving the locals since 1948. I liked the historic southern/retro look of the decor inside. There is a counter for the counter people and tables for those who like to sit down family style and eat. The pink and baby blue building itself gave the place a character all it’s own.
When my food arrived I was stunned that it was “truck driver” portions and one of the most satisfying meals I’ve eaten in a long time.
I was so impressed with Steffen’s I had to mention them in this entry. This is not because they did anything special for me in exchange.
Total mileage: 1,350