Cycling over the Cooper River Bridge

Well, here I am in Charleston SC and the biggest icon in this city is the Cooper River Bridge. So, I spent the 1st few days here in the waiting room at MUSC looking at maps, and trying to map out a safe way to come from our condo in Dunes West on Mount Pleasant, over the bridge, and down to the MUSC hospital. The other night, I gave it a shot.

I was super prepared. I had my headlamp on the helmet, the blinking taillight in place with fresh batteries. Lets do it!I rolled out from the condo, only to turn back after 100 yards because I realized I hadn't checked my tire pressure before leaving. Sure enough, the humidity and temperature difference in the low country compared to the upstate had had a significant impact on my tire pressure. I was down to 70lbs of pressure. I quickly pumped it back up to 115psi and was soon on my way.

I quickly noticed how incredibly flat this area is. Sure, you notice it while driving around, but something about rolling along on your own power makes it rapidly evident. I was hauling! I mean really moving! This flat stuff was fun!

Then I got winded... and fast. Apparently, the heat and humidity even at 10pm was something my body didn't like. I had to ease off of it a little bit. My average speed fell from 23mph to hover right around 20mph.

My route headed out east from Dunes West through the Park Wes community. I crossed over hwy 17 at the publix stoplight, then took the access road from there to the backside of walmart. From walmart I hooked up with Rifle Range Road which carried me down to Coleman Blvd and the Cooper River Bridge. From the bridge I picked up Bay St, then headed south on Calhoun

The climb over the bridge on a bike is really kinda disappointing. I have run the 10k Bridge run before, and that was some work! On the bike however, the incline came and went in just a minute or so. Then back to the flat again.

All told, I enjoyed the ride. I had one scare where I hit a pothole in the dark that nearly shook my teeth out of my head. I stopped on the next side street to make sure I had not damaged a wheel, pinched a flat, or lost a water bottle. This is the downside of riding at night. My headlamp is pretty high in lumen's, but at 20mph I feel like I am riding ahead the light at times... this is a bad feeling.


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