Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Adventures in Missouri

We were hanging out in some little town southwest of St Louis when we started talking to a couple outside a cafe. It turned out they were cyclists too, and had flown their cub planes to a local airfield (a mowed section of cornfield) to get lunch in town. They offered to take us up, so Cat, Christine, and myself each got a 15 minute ride in the back.

A mile down the road we came across a county fair where we spent the rest of the day. Families raised pigs, chickens, and cows, and then they were auctioned off for charity. Below is a 9 year old manhandling a full grown pig at the auction. 

And a hamburger on legs

After the auction was a destruction derby. Coolest thing ever. 🇺🇸🇺🇸
The photo doesn't do it justice. An area slightly smaller than a football field was packed with more than a dozen junkyard cars that rammed the snot out of each other for 30 minutes. And then they did it again with more cars. They county fairs in Missouri are pretty awesome. 

And this gem

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day 22: Mammoth Cave Loop

Took and 80 mile detour south with three cyclists to go explore Mammoth Cave. 

The night before we split off from the group in Harrodsburg we had some Mexican food. Had the biggest margarita I've ever had in my life. Size comparison below:

My high visibility outfit

Abe Lincoln lived in this log cabin 

Survived a meal at this bar 

Inside of mammoth cave. No flash photography. Name is well deserved. This central cavern could fit a couple football fields

Posing with the bikes

Stayed with awesome hosts. Rick, Steph, and Oreo the dog run Serenity Hill Bed and Breakfast and put us up for the night. Gave us cold beers as soon as we pulled up and cooked us hamburgers and the best biscuits and gravy I've ever had. They recently moved to Kentucky from Alaska where they served in the Air Force. They love cycling and plan to go bike touring some day.  

Monday, July 7, 2014

Day 18-19: Leaving Appalachia

Been trying to post this entry for about 5 days: 

Reached Berea, KY Finally leaving the mountains of Appalachia. Stayed at with a warm showers host. Very kind people with 7 very friendly dogs. Looking forward to some pretty flat cycling for while after today's day off. 

Met about 14 very friendly dogs. 

Local neighborhood pup. About 12 years old and hangs out at the ice cream stand

She sheds a little (pounds)

And a very happy, possibly drunk, Saint Bernard 

These kind folks saw us passing by and gave us lemonade

Cicada shell

"A late one" more often referred to as "ale-8". Described as "swamp water" by the locals. Pretty tasty, almost like ginger ale, and only found in Kentucky

The dogs love willy

So much ear

It rained, we took shelter in a hay barn

Cat liked the laundry

This dog was 2/3 hair. So huggable

Whoever was hiding behind this road sign when they got shot at...
Did not survive

This town is very appropriately named. 3 miles sharp downhill. Hit about 40 mph going down. Video I took was nowhere near as epic. My eyes were tearing so badly that I was literally seeing double.  Rode past some beautiful rock faces. 

And we learned a lesson the hard way. I was riding about 20 seconds ahead of the group. Passed a property with three dogs who chased after me. After yelling at them I had to pepper spray a big black dog who was about a yard off to the side of me. Now I don't carry wimpy pepper spray, I have bear spray (planned on having it for bear country and I haven't found dog spray yet). It shoots out an incredible poweful agent 30 feet in a large mist, because you can't afford to miss a charging bear. I only sprayed it for half a second, and the dog ran off. About 15 seconds later I hear the other two cyclists coughing and swearing. The bear spray left a lingering cloud and they rode straight through it! Needless to say, they were pretty pissed off with me but after enduring 30 minutes of burning eyes, mouth, and skin, they found it in their hearts to forgive me. 

And we got a lesson in religion on the side of a barn 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Day 17: 1 (800) Dentist

Spent last night at a hotel in Hazard, KY. Got a late start to the day and then biked six miles in the wrong direction. Ended up doing 62 miles today instead of 50. Lost my partner when I stopped to help a little turtle cross the road. 

Cooking myself some lunch

When I saw it was gon' rain

Decided biking on an exposed mountain during a thunderstorm was unsafe so I set up my rain tarp just off the road. About 30 minutes later my partner came rolling by soaked and was very happy to get under my shelter. 

Had a delicious lunch of peanut butter and honey burritos. 

Whoever was hiding behind this sign definitely did survive

More of the same as yesterday. Lots of hills, not a lot of people with teeth. Set up camp in the back of a church. 

Least favorite thing about Kentucky: couldn't buy beer because it's a Sunday. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Day 14: time off

Just to catch everyone up on what I've been up to. I spent day 8 cycling to Virginia tech. Went out that night and spent the next day recuperating. Hurt my knee from overuse and stress the following day so I took the next 3 days off. Rode (in a car) to michigan with another cyclist who had to attend to some matters. It gave me time to rest and I didn't fall behind the rest of the group. Tomorrow is going to be my first day back, crossing the Kentucky border at some point during the day. While in michigan I got my bike upgraded. I basically had my front single speed replaced with a three speed. In the rare of my bike I have an internally geared three speed and an 8 speed cassette. So now I have three shifters, 72 gears, and can basically go anywhere from 1 mph to 60 mph. A little ridiculous, but it was the only affordable way I could get lower gears on my bike so I wouldn't hurt my knees again.