in bell buckle for a day off, after just one day on the road!
the prologue consisted of a serious bicycle trek.
my 6am sunday morning start was delayed 8 hours due to the rush to get all my work out, and actually pack. 3am sunday saw me finally go to sleep, with a few more hours of computer work to do sunday.
with a 2pm start, 290 miles to the cantrell's in TN no longer seemed like a 2 day option, but without the experience necessary to guess an ETA, i just started off into the hot sunday afternoon sun.
1am found me in calhoun, ga - and in need of some rest. i hit the motherlode when i found the hotel pool gate unlocked, and the shower house open! i got to feel clean and lay down on a lounge chair next to the pool for 3+ hours.
4am and i was done with resting...and took off into the cool morning, heading west through the chattahoochee national forest. later, when the sun came up the views of the ridges in the area were really nice. i struggled to navigate efficiently around chickamauga and lookout mountain, but found my way to hwy 41 and along the tennessee river.
at sullivan's bait shack i found three old codgers shooting the bull and having a beer (at 10am)...so of course it was miller time for me as well.
after 20 hours of sugar drinks the beer was really refreshing. i followed that with a jump in the river, where the current was much stronger than i'd guessed it would be.
the hilly last few miles to nickajack lake were another surprise, especially as the mercury steadily climbed.
i got a 2 liter mountain dew in halestown, and the attendant was vehement that murfreeboro was going to be a "hard haul."
god he was right!
climbing up from jasper i walked my bike for the first time ever. the short steep pitch about 3/4 miles from the top took me from the redline...to the gage bursting. as i traversed the mountain towards monteagle i continued down the path to dehydration, and in tracy city i was absolutely having an episode. i had a quart of chocolate milk and then started at my food for over an hour before i could take a bite. sure enough though, the miracle of recovery happened again, and i was back on my way.
plunging down from monteagle, i had another beer in hillsboro, and doused myself with cold water for the umpteenth time as the temperature finally started to fall (slightly).
the last 15 or so miles were really nice, the scenery through bedford and rutherford counties was inspiring.
just before i would have needed my headlamp, i arrived.
31 hours for 290 miles. lounge chair nap included.
i must have spent $35 on food and cold drinks!
this effort earned a day off, before i catch the bus to denver.
the good thing is, 200 mile days are now on the "doable" list.
even better, not having ridden the bike in several months, the legs actually got better as the ride went on.
check in again from CO.....!