Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day 22 Clarksville TN, to Harriman, TN 191.2 miles

Wow, what a day. Knowing I had a long day ahead of me, I made sure I wore my haulin’ ass socks to keep me going. This day is the kind of day cyclists dream of and hope every day will be. What makes this day even far more exceptional is I had 13 hours of the best ride. After 5 weeks of riding I finally felt like there was no hill big enough to tire my legs, I felt like I was in shape at last. Every cyclist knows the feeling, sometime in the middle of the summer each year the legs become strong and impenetrable. These Rockies seasoned legs finally got the feeling. There were a couple climbs today, one 5 mile climb had a local ask me if I’d like a ride to the top. He was surprised to hear I came from Seattle. Each of the climbs were flattened by my gears, I cruised up and down the hills with ease.
I made it to Crossville and caught a flat from a heavy staple. Fortunately I was forced to stop in front of the fire chief Mike Turner’s house where his daughter called him and he was there in 30 seconds to help. A fellow cyclist, we shared stories of adventures and he also told me about how he was riding along on the same road and some kids had shot him in the back with a pellet gun. I am glad I still don’t have any stories like that to share. Big thanks to Mike and his daughter for their help with the flat.
Also along the way I saw the typical bicycle route sign but this one had another sign below it indicating a campground 3 miles ahead. I think this is a perfect way to give cyclists a heads up on what’s ahead by posting signs with the bike route sign. The advertising funding similar to what we see near interstate exits could help pay for the proper signage for cyclists finding their way around the state.
I had high hopes I would make it to Knoxville or Maryville by the end of the day but Harriman was the furthest the light would take me. I decided I wouldn’t do anymore night riding in the interest of preserving my life for natural causes of death. I’m sure the life insurance company also appreciated my consideration too.
I went to a Mexican restaurant this evening, they brought out three plates of food which I didn’t intend to eat so much but I did anyways. The expediter was a little confused who he should deliver 3 plates of food since it was just me and one other person in the restaurant. I had 3 tamales, a plate of rice and beans, a burrito, a basket of chips, and 32 oz of beer for around $15. Not bad at all. Other calories included a bowl of cheerios, 2 muffins, a banana, 1.75 gallons of Gatorade, and 1 M&M pack.
Tomorrow I will meet my wife in Asheville 155 miles away over the Appalachians. I expect it to be a tough day since it should be all uphill. My wife and I love the restaurant Laughing Seed so we’re looking forward to a good dinner tomorrow!

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