Riding my bicycle across Vietnam
Oh man, today was tough too. Even though it was only 50 miles, it was very difficult. It was even flat too. I think that it is because it is the first day after the rest day, but I'm not sure. Good riding today. A lot of very remote, rural roads, with very few cars. I did see one modified pick up truck with massive wheels, it was pretty cool. I think that I may now be known in "The Biking Fam" as the AirBnB guru, because I scored big in Harrodsburg. For $11 total, I found a camping location with a pool, shower, bathroom, wifi, and fire pit. That does not get any better. And because we were generally awesome, the host let us sleep inside too. Now keep in mind that at this point, we had nine people in our group, so the cost for the night came out to be about $1.20 per person. Can't beat it. On a sadder note, reality is setting in that it is my last few days with these people, the people that I have met and bonded with, the nicest people. Everyone gets to know each other so well when we camp, pedal, and cook together every day for a few weeks. This sadness was compunded when another bombshell was dropped: Brian and Leah (the father daughter tandem group), had decided to cut their trip short because they were missed at home, so they decided to go to Louisville, which is off route from the TransAm trail. I decided to go with them since Louisville is closer to Cleveland than the previously decided final destination of nowhereville, KY. And so, with a heavy heart, we said our goodbyes to the other 1/2 of "The Biking Fam" in the morning. That is not to say that we did not celebrate first! We had fruit salad, and rotisserie chicken for dinner which Danny invigorated with honey and other spiced. For dessert we had smores and ice cream cones around the fire. I typed up a lenghty note to Ping and Qing in Google Translate about how if I ever went to China, I would call them! Pictures are below.
For our rest day, the Biking Fam decided to stay in the lovely college town of Berea, KY with a population of about 15,000. It is also regarded as the arts hub of Kentucky. Everyone needed a rest day, not just physcially, but mentally as well. Spending all day on the bicyle can be slightly degrading over time. I was able to book a lovely AirBnB for the Biking Fam's base of operations. Everyone was very impressed with AirBnB. I am the only one that has ever used it before. I suspect that it will play a theme for everyone in the 'Fam that is travelling all the way to Oregon. For dinner on the first night, Ping and Qing (the Chinese couple) cooked spaghetti and meatballs with a salad. The arrangement is that whoever does not cook, cleans. However, Qing is the dishes ninja. She is like the mom of the "Biking Fam". She nearly karate chopped Dan out of the kitchen when he tried to clean his dinner dish. Very funny. Luckily, I did not have any bike maintenance, and very few purchases to make, so I could spend much of the day exploring town. First I bought food for dinner, and then I went to the local coffee shop. For lunch, I went all in at the historic Boone Tavern and Hotel. Apparently, the first innkeeper there invented "spoon bread." I had a lovely meal of lobster hush puppies, fried catfish (the equivalent of southern fish and chips), and a bourbon cheesecake. It was most excellent. I ate in for dinner, along with Ping, Qing, and another weary biker we found on the road named Hannah. Qing helped me make baked chicken breast, boiled potatoes, and pasta with zucchini and bell pepper tossed in a light alfredo sauce. For breakfast, I made a whole bunch of pancakes, which is a cyclists favorite breakfast. I believe that my new trail name might be "pancakes", but at this point it is only a rumor. As always, see photos below.
Today was tough! I think that today I officially lost my "fresh legs" status. I was very upset about that. For the first time, I had to walk up the hills, and they were not even nearly as long as some of my previous exploits like Hayter's Gap. It took me a loooong time to get to the destination today. I think that I was pretty whipped from the 70 mile day yesterday, but hey, I made it. Not too many pictures today unfortunately.
Today was a very steep day. We started out going up a large hill, which is never fun. I was lucky that I planned ahead to wake up early, and so I missed some of the heat going up the hills. Yay! There were very good views today, as always. More dogs, as always. I have noticed that the big mode of transporation in these little towns is teens driving four wheelers and dirt bikes... very interesting! At our destination of Hindman, we were planning on staying at a Cyclists Bed and Breakfast, which was camping + breakfast and shower for $25. When we arrived at Hindman, an unremarkable rural town, the B&B was closed! Since it was starting to rain, we set up camp in the city park. For dinner, we went to the local pizza place. As we were leaving, we started talking to this other woman, also a cyclist. Apparently her group was staying in a church, and she offered to let us stay there as well. We were reluctant, but after I toured the area, which involved AC, couches, toilets (no shower), a kitchen, a flat screen TV, AND AND XBOX, I was all in. There were several other people staying there as well, besides our original troupe of six: Sue and Mark were riding a recumbant tandem bicycle (see picture below).
See pictures below!