Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 15: Berea, KY to Bardstown, KY (90 Miles +18 Off Route)

"Problems galore." - This was the catchphrase for today. After resting easy in a Motel 8, Jonathan and I took off towards Bardstown (90 miles away). Realizing it was going to be a moderately challenging day, we were pumped to get going early. However, we were so motivated... that we didn't realize we were riding 9 miles off route. Reading the map, we had though we were heading on Route 595, but we were actually riding along Route 21. We then took another miscalculated turn and traveled south through Paint Lick and finally ran into two locals who explained we were heading in the wrong direction... this was soul-wrenching.

After doubling back, we couldn't find any place for a hot breakfast... so we had to sustain on peanut butter crackers and granola. After stopping at a local store outside of Kirksville, Jonathan then realized his rear tire was incredibly low in pressure. We soon found that a bent sewing needle had found its way into his inner-tube. After cursing for the next 5 minutes and fixing the tire, I commented to Jonathan: "You know, these things come in three's." We then began to brainstorm what else could go wrong...

After riding another 10 miles, Jonathan's rear tire began to deflate again. After riding for another 30 miles with pump-breaks, we decided that it was best to patch both tires. Jonathan, the smart kid he is, only brought one spare tube and no patching kit. So I lent him my kit and I then took off 4 miles ahead to find a place to rest and possibly intake some food. After arriving, I felt a few rain drops and called Jonathan to inform him of the approaching wetness. Before I knew it, an epic thunder storm was directly over head. Poor Jonathan, frantically patching his tires and dodging lightening bolts, finally arrived to Burgin to join me for lunch. Laughing at this predicament, we thought our problems were over...

We met another rider, Josh, a special education teacher in Brooklyn, NY. Josh was riding an all-carbon fiber bike (super light) with nothing but a backpack. He's staying in motels/hotels every night and allows for him to keep a steady pace of 100 miles a day. He's planning on arriving into San Francisco by August 15th. We rode with Josh for the rest of the afternoon. We rode through the Lincoln Homestead Park, which is now modified into a posh golf course. Go America!

As we pulled onto highway 555, we then began to become swarmed by bugs of Biblical proportions. As we rode down through hills, a literal wall of these nats would be there to collide with out faces, shirts, bikes, etc. I must have swallowed a hundred bugs. We pulled intoBardstown a little bit before 8:00pm, covered in bug guts, sweat, and tears. We grabbed some Chinese food and then met Chris & Chris at "My Old Kentucky Home" State Park and set up our tents, showered, and collapsed.

It's the morning after and I'm in a McDonalds right now, having to pay 3 bucks for internet! Damn capitalism! To add insult to injury, this paid-for WiFi won't allow me to upload images via blogger (I'll try to upload some later) and there's country music blaring over the house speakers with lyrics like "I love mustard on my fries and, hell yes, I love my truck, but not as much as I love you," and "No shoes? No shirt? No problem!" Jonathan's in the bathroom using their sink to fix up his other tube and I'm glad this day is finally behind us. Here's to a better day!


Anonymous said...

Blake! this is jeremy H. nice blog. i feel like im actually there! i wanted to call you this morning and leave some encouraging words for you but i dont have your number anymore! text me or call me sometime when you get some downtime this week. Good luck with the rest of your trip and keep up the great posts!

kurtis.biggs said...

Wow. I'm sorry, man. Hope you things improve. I'd hate KY too.

Momma said...

Hey Blake!
Sorry for all of the troubles you experienced; Prayers from your Momma that the rest of your trip is less troublesome and more fun!!!
I am so thankful for all of the friends you are making and it just makes me sleep a lot better knowing you are in good company. Please give Jonathan a big hug of thanks from me for being a part of your journey, God bless him! Also, say hello to the "Chrises" and thank them for hanging with you! Although, I think you are a pretty great guy to hang with. Take care my buddy and remember to pray before you "conk" out at night!
Love you loads!!! Momma

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