Day 17 – This is how its done

(56 miles)

After yesterday’s torture under the sun, we were motivated to set off earlier today. We made excellent progress along US 150 (rather than back-tracking a bit onto the official TransAm route) to Bardstown and then on to Hodgenville, arriving about mid-day feeling infinitely better than yesterday. This is definitely the way to do it – up early, do a sensible number of miles, relax in the afternoon. The hills are levelling out – we even had some sustained flat stretches today! And the scenery is improving too – more open meadows and farmland rather than coal mines and dense forest-covered hills.

Ahhhhh....flat land!

We met our first couple of West-to-East cyclists today; Matt, an American who started in March and was cycling in a long-sleeved sweater, jean shorts and a fleece hat under his helmet in the 32 deg heat when we met him(!), and Kerry, from New Zealand, who was cycling shirt-less (before you ask, Kerry was a man, not a woman).

As the terrain flattens out, its becoming apparent how much quicker Matt is on his larger wheels (700mm) compared to the rest of us on 26″ wheels. Whenever its his turn to lead, its all I can do to keep up with him! So if you wanna do the TransAm quickly (and you’re tall enough…), buy a bike with 700mm wheels.

Pat, Matt and myself checked into a cheap motel room while Parry opted for the the city park – a decision he quickly regretted after he emerged from his afternoon shower to discover a horizontal river of rain blowing through the pavilion and drenching everything he had! I think most of it is dry now, but its a good example of how you have to cope with a lot more than just the cycling when attempting this trip.

Abraham Lincoln's birthplace. How convenient, being born in a monument. The US really lucked out on that one...

Not a good day for camping

Dinner was another Chinese buffet where, after realising most of the food must have been sat out for hours before we got to it, I just had to pray that we would still be in good health the next day! Following yesterday’s pizza-box wisdom, this is literally what my Chinese fortune cookie read:

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

Again we abused Macdonalds for their WiFi. I sat outside in the warm evening sun watching the locals go about their business (driving, eating, renting DVDs) and just chilling out. For maybe the first time on this trip I was thoroughly relaxed. Mental note: must make time for ‘Graham time’ in my daily schedule.


One Response to “Day 17 – This is how its done”

  1. Dan Gould says:

    lol @ the Abraham Lincoln comment!

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