Miles – 17.5
Avg. Speed 11.9
We rolled out of Cadiz, KY a little before 8am still tired and with tight legs after a grueling day up and down the Tennessee hills. Our spirits were high after being touched by the generosity of the lovely Jenny and Bryan Hyde, but unfortunately, our spirits took heavy blow when my back tire fell victim to a tiny, yet nasty piece of metal lying on the road shoulder within the first 10 miles of the day.
A flat tire is normally a 10 minute fix and a chance to stretch out in the shade. We weren’t so lucky today. In the last two days, either due to sheer coincidence or mechanical fault with our bikes, we have suffered 5 flat tubes and tire punctures. With no more tubes, we were in a sticky situation. Without a bike shop anywhere nearby, and in the middle of the Kentucky countryside, we were once again saved by a local kind enough to stop and ask if help was needed.
Roger Garner informed us that the closest bike shop was 25 miles north with nothing in between, and so offered to go fetch his truck from his house around the bend and give us a lift. Roger was not only a savior in a time of need, but also an amazing man who’s knowledge of the surrounding lands, rivers, and recreational activities turned our terrible start to the morning into a glorious day full of smiles and hope.
Roger spoke with a warm, charming accent and with poetic language that made our drive through the “Land Between The Lakes” a magnificent story filled journey. Tales of the past, and thoughts on the future made the miles flow by. With our bikes mended once again, we said a heartfelt goodbye to our new friend Roger on the banks of the Ohio River.
After a Mexican lunch, and a TV interview with WPSD in Paducah we set our sights on trekking onwards to Karnak, Illinois. The only way out of Paducah was over an IMPASSIBLE bridge, so once again a local, Susie, offered to zip us across in her truck! A big thank you to Susie for conquering that ole’ blue metal, bone jangling bridge for only the fourth time in 18 years. (The Rockport Bridge really is terrifying)
After bagging another picture on the Illinois state line, we pedaled away along a busy 2 lane highway that had a heavy flow of traffic. In my estimation, over half of the drivers that passed us shouldn’t be allowed on the road. Because of this our road ride turned into a off- road finger numbing adventure over grass and gravel alongside the highway until we reached a hotel in Metropolis. Some days you just can’t get out and ride the distances you want to.
Tomorrow we cross the Mighty Mississippi and head into “the west.” Over 700 miles so far, and we’re still rolling!