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Sweatman's BBQ in Eutawville, SC

Sweatman's BBQ in Eutawville, SC

If there is one thing I have learned in the last month, it is that prolonged rain is directly proportional to sloth.

A month ago it started raining and it didn’t stop raining for at least a week. When you are trying to make an outdoor activity, like bicycling, a daily part of your life, this is not good. In my case, it produced no parts miles and seven parts sloth.

By the end of that rainy week, sloth had a lot of momentum going.

Things weren’t helped by the fact that it kept raining, every day, in the afternoon when I was in the habit of riding. Rain every afternoon for a second week produced no parts miles and seven more parts sloth.

Then I took a road trip to see my buddy Bruce. He and I grew up next door to each other in Columbia SC. We played baseball, basketball, and football with the other kids in the neighborhood, when I wasn’t doing yard work. We both went to the same high school and to the University of South Carolina.

He became a mechanical engineer and I a journalist. A couple of times we climbed mountains in the Appalachians with other friends. Over the years, we have stayed in touch.

Bruce is now retired in Charleston, SC. He, too, rides bicycles. But he also knows all the good places to eat in the area and this, again, produces sloth. So, although I took my Brompton folding bicycle on the trip, we never got a ride in.

We did, however, drive all over the low country finding places to eat.

One of them was Sweatman’s BBQ in Eutawville, a few miles from Holly Hill.

Sweatman’s is legendary in the barbeque world. If you guidebook doesn’t mention Sweatman’s in the restaurant section, get another guidebook.

For $9.95 you get all the barbeque you can eat. The line features light pork, dark pork, ribs, rice, hash, cole slaw, banana pudding and iced tea. They bring you white bread at the table. That is white bread as in white sandwhich bread from the grocery store in case you want to make a sandwich. No biscuits and gravy. No corn bread.

There are two kinds of mustard based sauce and the ribs are already sauced with the stuff. If you don’t like mustard based barbeque sauce, either admit that you are alergic to mustard, your religion won’t let you eat pig, or that you are so cullinarily impaired that you would pass up a Cracker Barrel for a McDonalds.

In any case, Sweatman’s engenders legendary sloth.

And sloth is happy happy. With a full load of barbeque, I’ll lay back on a couch and watch cartoons – and I hate cartoons.

So now that I am back, after a few days of sloth since I actually did a road trip, I realize that I am a month in arrears on the mileage issue and that all my friends are salivating in anticipation of me giving up on my goal of 3,000 miles.

And here is the but …

Young Matt has demonstrated that it doesn’t take a lot of days to post a lot of miles and I have half a year to go.

I’d give it up today if miles was the point and Channel Wasson would be he winner. He predicted May because nobody ever follows through on their New Year’s resolutions and he thought I would give up by May. But Channel Wasson is a bicycle dealer so he has as many light sets as he needs. And that isn’t the point.

The point is to make the ride part of my day and the contest is just so my friends will reinforce that.

And I thank you.

But you lose. In half a year, I am a third of the way. Better than I thought.

And I am inspired.

Ride report:

Date Miles Total Remaining Percent
June 12 14.03 1054.5 1945.50 35.15

Written by Charles Keefer

June 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

8 Responses

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  1. I would give up biking completely for a good, reasonably priced all-you-can-eat BBQ restaurant with mustard and vinegar-based sauce in Palm Beach County.

    If you had brought back a slab of ribs for me, I would have gladly given you 250 of my miles.

    Rode this morning: 40 miles @ 18.6 mph. Summer is here. My heart rate was 15 to 20 beats above where it was two months ago at the same level of effort. I drained two bottles and 32 ounces of coffee just to keep hydrated. Even rolling out at 7:30 am, it’s nearly too hot to ride.


    Matthew Steinhoff

    June 13, 2009 at 10:14 am

  2. I may be the next person to fall by the wayside. I think I had July 1.

    I can’t mock you for lack of miles.

    First, I had all kinds of prep work to do before my brother-in-law came down to do some repair work (including a new bathroom for Norris).

    Then we were in New Mexico for a week-long vacation.

    B-in-law started some minor repairs to siding that was replaced a couple of years ago and found that termites had been chewing on the new stuff. He’s ripping off half the back of the house and figuring that he can now buy a yacht instead of a boat.

    As far as Matt’s observations, I concur. Hot weather will bump my heart rate a good 10 to 15 bpm and, worse, keep it from recoving when I stop.


    June 13, 2009 at 10:36 am

  3. Ah, you poor non-recumbent drivers.

    My heart rate is never a concern. The heat is just environment. My water intake is determined by the water fountains at both ends of the trail.

    I ride a recumbent at a reasonable pace – 9 to 10 miles an hour or so.

    My legs get between 12 and 20 miles a day of spinning.

    And I can smell the flowers.

    Since my head also is in a normal position, I see the sights. I never look at my front wheel or the road directly in front. I am always looking around.

    You have now discovered my secret weapon. Summer means I sweat a bit more. But there is virtually no impact on my riding.

    I have to learn to use sun screen, but I can do that.

    I did 18 miles today. It was no more stress than any other day.

    I don’t need high-tech sweat-wicking clothes or packets of high-energy stimulants.

    I just need to ride two hours a day.

    I also need to start lifting heavy metal. Riding doesn’t do a lot for upper body strength.

    For the BBQ, try Shane’s in Royal Palm Beach. 11051 Southern Blvd. Open 11-9 every day.

    Charles Keefer

    June 13, 2009 at 9:55 pm

  4. I’m with Chuck here on riding styles, if not mileage.

    I AM thinking of switching to late afternoon or evening riding because of the heat…I just wish I were sweating out fat rather than water, I could be skinny in a week.


    June 15, 2009 at 8:30 pm

  5. […] buddy, Chuck Keefer, has been bragging about South Carolina BBQ, so I felt it was time to write about the best barbecue sandwiches in the universe and set him […]

  6. […] about Wib’s Drive-In BBQ in Jackson, Mo.; the other from friend and a native South Carolinian Charles Keefer, writing about Sweatman’s BBQ in Eutawville, S.C. (Officially on the web, it’s in Holly […]

  7. S. Carolina, isn’t that the state where the GOP governor, who ran on a “trust me,” god, flag and family platform and who made a big deal of turning down stimulus money just went missing for almost a week?

    First, he had to get away from his kids on Father’s Day to “do some writing.”

    Then, he was hiking.

    Finally, and I’m surprised that Keefer didn’t break this story with his BBQ connections, it came out that he was actually in Argentina looking for hot sauce.


    June 25, 2009 at 8:40 am

  8. I like the guy. After 6 and a half years, he said “Screw it. I need some relief.”

    A pity more of us don’t do that. Keeping your nose to the grindstone only grinds your nose.

    I’m not saying what he did was right. I would at least have taken a beeper in case of prison riots (surpressed violently in South Carolina), natural disaster, or an uprising of the Klan.

    But otherwise, I can identify. He got down to the basics. Monogamy isn’t for everybody. God won’t strike you dead. And, usually, a shot of Patron, and a little salsa, doesn’t hurt.

    I hope he learns from this that humans are human and gods are myths and to style yourself as one is but hubris.

    While he is at it, I hope he tries marijuana. It is past time that this insane war against being happy comes to an end.

    As for the state, they have a perfectly good nose-to-the-grindstone lieutenant governor, another Republican, who will represent the moneyed interests of the state quite well.

    And they have the slowest, most screwed up web site I have encountered. Lt. Governor Andre Bauer (wonder if he is related to Jack) put out a statement but only the first line of each paragraph is visible and only after an unacceptably long wait. Thus you get

    “Summer begins later this month, however as all of you know the summer weather we ”

    and then you go on to the next graph.

    And what the hell does summer weather have to do with jumping ship and screwing your mistress?

    Maybe we should have just said “Who cares?” in 1860.

    Charles Keefer

    June 26, 2009 at 3:49 pm

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