Friday, 17 June 2011

Day 15: Beware of the dogs, be nice to the cats

Day 15
Elkhorn City to Hindman 65miles

Woke up early this morning to get on the road. Had a bit of a crisis last night when another spoke broke on my back wheel. However, now I was nowhere near a bikeshop, and the wheel was a little wonky. A it of Twitter chat with another UK cyclist going across country who was in the same problem convinced me I could go a few miles on it. Its around 200miles to the next bike shop, so we shall see!

Today was my longest mileage day yet, which felt good. Early on in the ride I encountered something I had read about that can happen in Kentucky – Dogs! Apparently in Kentucky they have lots of dogs which are not chained up or behind fences. And I found this out very quickly. Had only just got through the other side of Elkhorn when two of them started chasing me up the rode – it was quite scary to start with.

A little later on I had another pack of them chasing me, and one sunk his teeth into one of my panniers! I think I will have to pick up some dog mace ASAP!

Todays ride was dominated by 4 tough climbs. Each one was pretty steep, and required a good few stops. Ive also taken to pushing my bike when taking a rest, rather than stopping completely, as this at least keeps me moving. Progress was steady, and the downhill sections went by extremely quickly.

Saw a few funny signs as ever...
Probably some dogs up the road...

After 2 weeks on the road, I can agree with this completely

The second part of the ride was much easier and flatter, with only a small climb near the end.

Felt really good to get over 60miles under my belt in a day. Hopefully do the same tomorrow (back wheel permitting)

Tonight I am staying in possibly the best place yet. Its a historical society which provides accommodation for cyclists. For $25 I get an airbed in a big tent, my laundry done, dinner (with ice cream for desert), breakfast and my first beer!

The place is run by Dave, an extremely helpful friendly guy. I was a bit confused as he had a shirt with “Eddie” on it!
Dave, not to be confused with Eddie
The place has lots of cats everywhere.
Think this one wanted a drink!

A couple of guys I met in Damascus have turned up now, so should be a good night. Might well end up riding with them tomorrow.

Felt good today, upping the mileage slowly as the hills slowly flatten out. Feels like each day the hills I do are not as bad as the ones that are coming, which is encouraging.

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