Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Racetrack Discovery

It was beastly hot on the concrete track.

Think Vegas heat combined with Florida humidity and that was the fiery sizzling combo when we discovered a racetrack on a Savannah island across the river from Savannah's touristy River Street.

It was mid-Monday morning in Savannah where Debbie and I crossed the Talmadge Memorial Bridge even though technically bicycles are not allowed. But Debbie saw a bicyclist come off the bridge ramp into downtown Savannah so off we pedaled to cross the span.

I know lots of routes across the country but Savannah is a blind spot. So I googled two routes, including a 37-miler that started in downtown Savannah and crossed the bridge. This is a view of Savannah from the downtown side of the Savannah River as we biked toward the center of the span.

But when we crossed the bridge, I saw Hutchinson Island and its quiet roads, the convention center and a Westin hotel. So, we took the first ramp off the bridge to explore.

I love that about bicycling -- ad-libbing a ride and letting the ride take you for the voyage. Debbie was game and we biked a few miles on the island, passed the Westin and then entered the three-mile race course when decided to explore.

The heat radiating off the concrete, no grandstands in sight and not a soul around, the raceway had a post-apocalypse feel. But a flowery aroma that smelled like gardenias wafted around the track as we pedaled the loop.

A few motorists did drop in to speed a section of the course because half of it was closed (but we bicyclists simply passed the barrier to ride a complete loop).

I used a point-a-shoot Nikon Coolpix for this photo, which caught Debbie and the bridge in the backdrop.

These photos give you a sense of what it's like to bike on the racetrack.

Since Debbie is from Indy, I got a kick out of her re-enacting the Indy 500 win with the victorious bottle of milk pose.

The heat got to us. So we took a break at the Westin and then hopped a free ferry for a quick trip back over to downtown Savannah and River Street.

Man, the furnace blast heat was getting to us as we pedaled around some of the 22 town squares that Savannah is famous for.

In the few days there, I didn't see too much bicycle infrastructure in Savannah. But they must be doing something right since the city received a bronze level bicycle-friendly designation from the League of American Bicyclists.

And they do have something called the Savannah Bicycle Campaign.

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