Today’s mileage: 51.2
Total mileage: 981.6
Today was full of ups and downs. Literally and figuratively.
Since we decided to split up the 96 miles to Marion over two days, we only had to bike 51 miles to the next town that we planned on staying at. We slept in a little bit (not much) and then hit the road.
Once again, the elevation profile was very deceiving. The profile showed rolling hills, but none with notable elevation gain. Piece of cake, right?
We were getting slammed with hills one after another, after another…right from the beginning of the day. I was getting frustrated because these hills are nothing compared to the Appalachians– there’s no reason I should be struggling with the rolling hills of KY. I was texting Craig and he reminded me that we *have* biked about 1,000 miles in the past 17 days.
One reason, and possibly the main reason, that I was struggling was because I didn’t have much of a supper last night. We got in super late and, after setting up camp, didn’t feel like doing anything but going to sleep.
The closest store was 17 miles away. I usually have tons of snacks, but I ate them all. 💁🏼♀️ It was such a struggle to ride those 17 miles, there were several times I almost stopped, got out my pocket rocket, and cooked something on the side of the road at 10:00 am.
There were about 5 minutes where my mind was on something other than the hills. I almost got bit by a boxer. KY is notorious for people having loose, aggressive dogs. Some cyclists even ride through TN to avoid KY. We haven’t had any issues until today.
A boxer and another smaller dog were chasing Masherra. I could tell they were aggressive and not like our other dog encounters. Masherra got past them, so they came after me. The boxer was barking and growling and was literally right at my heels. I had no choice but to use my dog pepper spray.
It had no effect.
The next thing I know, the back of my bike is being pushed around by the boxer!! He was literally trying to attack me. I felt like I was going to wreck, but thankfully the dog stopped. In the whole crazy process, I dropped my spray. I never ever litter. Even if I drop a tiny piece of paper, I always pick it up. But there was no way I was going back to get that dog spray.
We encountered a much nicer dog after that.
We finally made it to the store and restocked on snacks. They didn’t have much food, so we ended up getting the pocket rocket out anyway and cooking on the front porch. Lots of people stopped to talk to us about our trip.
We took a pretty long break. We were hanging out on the porch for about an hour and a half. We were taking our time since we didn’t have as many miles to cover today.
The food definitely helped. But, I still felt like my tank was empty. My body said “no” all day long, but we didn’t have a choice; we had to just keep pedaling. Even when it was flat, I felt like I was out of energy and couldn’t really make good time.
I didn’t take many pictures today because I was just focusing on getting to Sebree. It was a tough day for me personally, and I was frustrated because it shouldn’t have been a tough day. My body definitely needs a rest day! Today’s quote that I had on repeat in my head was:
Oh, and I was told by my cousin Don Carrigan to add “and you’re a Carrigan” to the end of that quote! 💪🏻
As we got closer to Sebree, I started feeling a little better. The sky was pretty as the sun was setting and it was cooling off.
As we arrived into the town, a lady saw us and gave us some baby wipes for us too cool off with. I thought it was the sweetest thing ever!!
We went and picked up food at a dairy bar, and guess what?! The lady had driven to a store and bought us some cold fruit drinks, and came and found us to give them to us!! It made my day.
We picked up food and rode to a
cyclist hostel inside a church.
We walked inside and were completely blown away!!
When we walked in, we noticed that two other cyclists were staying here. They were out to dinner.
When they arrived back at the hostel, we definitely hit it off. Everyone meet Sarah and Thomas:
They are from Louisville and just got married 3 weeks ago! For their honeymoon, they are biking the TransAm from Louisville to Oregon! We talked about gear, the nice people we have met, and pretty much everything else we could discuss. I could tell they really loved each other and that they make a great team. 💚 I have a feeling we will be seeing them some more on our trip!
So, today was a hard day…but the people always make it better. The countless people at gas stations telling us we are brave and wishing us good luck, the people waving at us out their car window, the people who give us free Gatorade and water, the hospitable churches giving us a place to sleep and a place to take a warm shower, and the other cyclists we meet on our journey…..they are all making this trip amazing.
Seeing America by bike has been great, but seeing and experiencing the good in others has been amazing.
***We have about 46 miles to ride tomorrow. I will update everyone around noon on our mileage and an ETA and will update periodically after that. It’s hard to pinpoint a particular time because we aren’t sure how we are going to feel, what the terrain will be like, or if any other things throw a wrench in our day…but I will give plenty of notice before our arrival time–we are super slow anyway. Our families will be meeting us and picking us up in Marion where the farmers market is…I think it is just past McDonalds–anyone is welcome to come!***