Being the day of the champions league final I made sure we left bright and early to get to Charleston with plenty of time to get changed and to a place showing it. We had left over hushpuppies for breakfast and, unlike pizza, they do not improve by eating them the morning after. We said our goodbyes but forgot to get a picture of Charles and Sabrina, our first host we didn’t photograph.
The ride took us along more roads that had lots of trees which was great. Trees not only provide shade, but seem to cool the breeze when there is one. While riding along I heard a noise from my back wheel, but couldn’t work out what it was. I cycled for a while with my top off in an attempt to even out my tan. The most impressive part was that I managed to remove it without getting off. A great success indeed. A little more riding and I heard another noise from my back wheel so stopped again and looked, but didn’t see anything so figured I must have run over something so kept on.
We pulled in to the car park at a Dollar General to fill up our water bottles and C went inside to go to the bathroom. I was listening to a podcast on my iPod and decided to wander to the road to take a picture oblivious of a guy who was apparently trying to talk to me from his car. He must have got frustrated by this as he opened his car door and walked over to me carrying a coffee mug. He stunk of alcohol so I’m assuming it wasn’t coffee. He made a comment to me about needing to be a man which confused me and I didn’t really say much. He then started off on a racist ramble about the evil of blacks and how he had died 4 times and after the 4th time he decided to make peace with them. He mentioned going to a VA hospital and telling the 4 black men smoking outside that they should be smoking at the back instead of out front and that 3 just ignored him while 1 told him he would have smashed his face if he could stand up. Apparently that won this man’s respect and I think he was trying to link ti in to me not answering him when I had my headphones on. Later on I figured it probably also had something to do with my pink buff. The first person outside of angry drivers who has treated us negatively.
As we got close to Charleston we passed a graveyard. All the flowers were in immaculate condition which we found a little puzzling. My guess was that the families pay a maintenance fee and someone replaces the flowers as I found it hard to believe that individuals all came over frequently enough to keep them perfect. C wasn’t sure but seemed to think it was a plausible theory.
Soon after the road became narrow and busy so we kept holding up traffic. The drivers in Charleston however must be used to it because in the few miles of riding I don’t remember any angry people racing past us or honking at us. It made for a much more relaxing ride and gave us a positive view on the city, contrasting sharply with our experience only a couple of days earlier.
Before heading to the house we dropped by the bike shop where C had got a pair of cycling shoes shipped. While she was talking to them I borrowed their pump and went outside to pump our tires up. I did C’s and then started on mine and worked out what the two twangs were. I had 2 broken spokes. I was kinda frustrated, but, with the football starting in a couple of hours, I didn’t have time to focus on them and just pumped my tyres up and headed off to the Foxes.
We arrived and were greeted by Matt, a tenant of theirs who worked at The Citadel, a military college in town. We invited him along to watch the football and after cleaning up headed out to watch the game. The details of the next few hours are kinda unclear. We drank and I found the game horrible. I’m not going to get in to it here but it can be depressing to watch your team play against Barcelona. In the aftermath of the game I heard neutrals saying it was awesome to watch and proclaiming Barcelona as one of the greatest teams of all time, but as a Manchester United fan … no. Just depressing.