Day 29, Apr 29

I passed through three states today:  Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia!  They had some common traits: dangerous hilly roads, stray dogs, and few services.

I had a very nice night of camping in the back yard of Woody’s Bicycles.  Woody was a wonderful host, offering me a shower, facilities, campground… and even a hat!

Woody’s Bicycles- Sewanee TN

Before taking off today, I was forced to replace my rear tire/tube, as it had a slow leak– it was worn out in multiple spots and had a piece of yellow glass in it.

It was a beautiful 29 miles of riding out of Sewanee and into the valley.  Then, I faced two steep mountain passes (8% grade).

I had no business riding on some of these roads!

I crossed into Alabama between Sherwood TN and Stevenson AL. I took in some beautful views.  It was an amazing pass over the Tennessee River.  I took shelter from the storms in a shed alongside a gas station in Hammondville, AL.  My sag team (Jane) arrived very late.  I decided to take her to Rome… Georgia, that is!

Interesting scenes:  bees surrounding a dead carcus on the highway, armadillos (dead and alive) prevailing, and of course… chasing dogs.

Statistics: 55.4 mi, Max 42 mph, Time 4:59, Avg 11.1 mph

Southern Cuisine

Day 28, Apr 28

Ride, Ride, Ride!
Sometimes you have to “stop and smell the roses,” but I have only seen one patch in a small town in Missouri.  So, I am going to ride, ride, ride!

Missed Treasures
I am known to stop at all costs to pick up items along the road.  I has been really tough to pass by some of the treasures that I have seen on this trip: a set of new crutches, bungi cords, wool blanket, coolers, a pack of batteries, etc.

Killer Hills
It is really humid today. The first 10 miles were really flat.  The next 10 featured rolling hills, and finishing up with very steep rises and falls on treacherous road conditions.  the last 3 miles were 11%  grade.  I had to walk my bike/buggy up a couple of blocks, which is far more difficult than riding.  It was a killer hill terminating at the Sewanee University Campus.

Cooling Off

Southern Cuisine
I must be in the south, as boiled peanuts are showing up at the local gas stations and stores.  Speaking of southern cuisine, I have also seen local-packaged apple turnovers and other taste treats. In fact, a guy delivering to a station gave me a couple of apple turnovers…and passed me on the highway 2 more times honking.  Fun!

I have also seen evidence of homebrewed moonshine.

Act of Kindness
I was directed to Woody’s Bicycles, a local bike shop owned by Woody Deutsch.  He allowed me to camp in the shop’s back yard, take a shower, and left a key under the mat for anything else I might need.  What a great guy!  He also gave me a treasured “Woody’s Bicycles” ballcap!

Woody’s Bicycles- Sewannee TN

Statisitics:  58.9 Miles, Max 34 mph, Time 5:59, Avg 9.8 mph

Birds and Bees

Day 27, April 27

State Birds of Kentucky and Tennessee
While the state bird of Kentucky is the cardinal, and the state bird of Tennessee is the mockingbird, I beg to offer my opinion about more fitting selections.  It has been my experience in both states that the giant bird-sized bumble bees and hornets should be considered, as they are everywhere!!  I was very glad to have my fairing (windshield) to deflect these annoying buzzers.

Dangerous Riding Conditions
The weather was warm and humid today. I faced strong headwinds all day, which reduced my mileage. I was hoping to get the 60+ mile ride in to Murfreesboro before the storms set in again.  I was able to meet my goal.

Today’s roads were uncomfortably unsafe, with no shoulder, heavy trafic, and loads of hills.

I am staying at the Jackson Motel in Murfreesboro tonight, as we are experiencing more bad weather.

Today’s Photos
I’m including a photo of Legacy Farms (a historic manor in Lebanon TN) as well as two shots depicting the rolling hills with heavy traffic and unsafe riding conditions.  It is interesting to note the numerous country churches in each town (white building in center photo).

Statistics: 63.4 Miles, Max 31 mph, Time 5:58, Average 10.6 mph


Hello Tennessee!

Day 26, April 26

Oh, what a day!  It was very hot and humid, causing me many rest stops.  I was sandwiched between storms, so I wanted to ride as far/long as possible.  I was able to get in 76.8 miles in very taxing riding conditions.

Kentucky Blessings
In Pembroke KY, a very nice guy named Adam said a special prayer over me.

Fun Photos
I have incuded some interesting photos today. That is one small turtle and one large golf ball!! 🙂

Hello Tennessee
I crossed into Tennessee and made it to Portland.  I connected with a police contact and the mayor to try to figure out my lodging for tonight.  There are no hotels or camping sites here, so they suggested that I go to a church shelter east of Portland, as storms were approaching.

Hello Humid Tennessee!

Living Waters Mission and Food Ministry
I went to the Living Waters Mission and Food Ministry.  It is an old gas station that has been transformed into a small Christian church/shelter.

  • The minister (Bobby Sloan Jr.) lives there with two homeless men.
  • Three beds are crammed into the food/drink cooler.  The minister lives on the opposite side of the building
  • The church is in the middle of the facility.
  • There was a small kitchen in the back of the building.
  • I helped set up the food drive which starts at 6 am tomorrow.

Statistics: 76.8 Miles, Max 32.5 mph, Time 6:38, Average 11.6 mph