Day 3 – The Hare and the Tortoise

(49 miles)

Light drizzle accompanied us as we packed up this morning which meant packing away wet tents 🙁

We were on the road by 9:30 and soon eating up the miles. Today was going to be fairly easy because we were stopping at the town of Mineral as there’s nowhere obvious to stay for the next 50 miles after that.

All day we would pass, stop and get passed by the ‘tortoise’ members of the ACA tour group who never seemed to stop, ever. We would always zip past them, then get caught as we stopped for a drink/chat. A number of them are retired and have basically packed up/sold everything and just set off on their bikes indefinitely. I don’t know whether to be inspired or appalled!

The countryside is changing – as it becomes more hilly, there is less farmland and more forests. We are getting more adept at zipping down the downhills to get enough momentum up for the uphills. Its still fairly easy going though. I think in the back of our minds we’re all nervously thinking ahead to the impending Wall, known as the ride up to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Thoughts also turned to the wild dogs awaiting us in Kentucky. I have a terribly history with dogs, having been bitten by them three times. We’ve all got ‘Halt’ with us (kind of like Mace for dogs) but Matt did propose a new idea, based on those anti-avalanche backpacks that skiers/mountaineers can wear that will instantly inflate into a protective ball around you should you find yourself in an avalanche. In our case, it would be an instant dog cage that would surround the bike and protect you from any approaching dogs. Obviously it would be more satisfactory if you timed it just right so the viscous dog bumped his nose against the cage as he charged at you. But the consequences of being slightly too late with the timing and ending up being trapped in a moving cage with a rabid dog just don’t bear thinking about…

People we pass along the way are invariably friendly and interested in what we’re doing. But they do have an overly-optimistic tendency to start conversations that invariably end all too abruptly with something like ‘Hello to you too. What’s that? Oh – we’re….’ as we hurtle past and out of ear-shot. Whenever I get the chance though, I do like to throw in the old ‘Excuse me. Is this the way to Oregon?’ line. Always a classic.

Anyway. Mineral has been great. The Fire Station folk let us camp out the back of the station and use their rest rooms (another hose-shower – I’m getting addicted!). Later we headed out for dinner – $6.95 for an all you can eat pizza and salad buffet. Lets just say I don’t think they made a profit that night.


One of many hills - still fairly small at the moment


Obligatory name-check




Mineral Town Fire Engine


Mineral Fire Station

Passing train at dusk


7 Responses to “Day 3 – The Hare and the Tortoise”

  1. Dan Gould says:

    I’m trying to work out whether the ‘one of many hills’ photo (a flat scene with a house and a railway line) is you being witty and ironic, or whether you’ve just posted the wrong photo!

    Those are proper fire engines they are!

    Keep the posts coming El’Grahamo. It’s inspiring me to make the 0.4km journey to work on my bike each day.

    • Graham says:

      Grrrrr! Nope – just another example of WordPress completely screwing up everything I attempt to do! It really is useless!

  2. Mum says:

    Loving all the blogs, tho’ I had 3 arrive all at the same time (middle of last night). Seemed to be a delay in Day 2 and the railway one getting through.

    • David M says:

      No delay in the posts showing for me. Sometimes the browser shows a cached copy of a page and you may need to refresh it manually. You can do this by pressing Ctrl and F5 together. This should show the latest page.

    • Graham says:

      That’s because I have to post them whenever I have WiFi access! So they’ll always come in ‘clumps’. Ignore Dave’s comment – not relevant.

  3. Mum says:

    Ah now I understand about clumping. And I think the last photo is a classic with that beautiful sky behind the train.

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