Old Flying Farts Bicycling Club
Up early and at breakfast by six.  However, a heavy fog hung over Hazard.  We delayed the start by about an hour and a half.  We had a pleasant 20 mile ride to begin the morning, mostly following a stream.
Again we passed an odd collection of nice homes next door to junkyards that pretended to be homes.  Pat and I discussed how the neighbors might relate.  On Saturday nights do the neighbors come to your house to swim in your pool and the following Saturday do you go over to the their house and sit in one of their abandoned cars.
The area is infested with Kudzu, the Japanese plant that has invaded the south.  It looks beautiful to us but is smothering the local vegetation.
The hills are hollers are endless.  There are no straight roads.  The roads we have been traveling on fit one and a half cars abreast. Approaching cars warily pass each other with one set of wheels on the edge of a shoulderless road.  There are few flat roads and that was my problem today.  After our initial 20 miles we began a long steep climb out of one of the hollers. About 2/3 of the way up I just didn't have the energy to turn the crank and got off and pushed my bike to the top.  A quick downhill and a few more rolling hills and we started the next steep climb.  I slipped into my lowest gear and started up.  Again I had to get off and push.  This time as I was walking I felt something on the back of my leg.  A small dog trotted up quietly and gave me a lick.  I tried to get him to go back but he was happy with his new friend.  With a little renewed energy I climbed back on the bike and continued up.  He happily jogged along with me.  It was a little disgusting me working really hard and the dog trotting along oblivious to the hill and wagging his tail.  I lost him on a fast downhill.
On the next serious climb I threw in the towel for the rest of the day.  I know that part of the climb was over 13%.  I was soaked with sweat and struggling to push the bike.  Rod picked me up and took me to the top where Pat was waiting.  I told him to go ahead. He sailed down the hill made another smaller hill and rolled into Elkhorn, Kentucky. 
We drove to Piketown, Kentucky because there were no motels in Elkhorn.  Tomorrow we will start from Elkhorn.  Hope I have a little more stamina tomorrow.
Thank you all for your kind comments.  We look forward to bei
7/28/2010 08:44:55 pm

Donald, part of what you experienced can be summed up like this: 1) you're a Yankee in Kentucky, 2) you've got too much book learning, 3) you were in Hazard County, and 4) the Duke boys and Boss Hogg were looking for you. I am just waiting for you to tell us the hound dogs came ambling out from under a porch and gave you a good chase for a mile or so. A small dog licking the back of your leg just isn't television worthy.

I think the long and short of it is that some days you've got it and others you don't. This is why when I make my coast-to-coast ride on my 70th birthday I am going to use an electric wheelchair. Better yet, I may use an electric car. Those should be fully developed by then.

Hang tough, my friend. Just a little further to go.

Bonnie Damnit
7/29/2010 08:05:41 am

I was trying to be kind when I mentioned that I preferred Tennessee!! All I can remember is looking down into a hollar where the road suddenly fell off on one side and thinking that something important was going on below. I imagined banjo music and possibly a dulcimer. It took forever to wind our way back and down to the small crowd, and it turned out to be a COCK FIGHT. Oh yes, and we were not invited.
I have never seen such a sad looking couple of counties. You couldn't help but wonder how Ken Jones ever got to the place where we knew him.
I like Roy's electric wheelchair idea, but to be honest, there should be a combo bike/hot air balloon that would take you up, up and beyond any crappy ole two lane steep hill that you wished to conquer.
Loved talking to Sal. Take care of each other. Hope the road has become flatter. Love by blog--that sounds dirty!


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    Don Ballingall

    I am a retired elementary school teacher.  Married with a daughter and two wonderful grandchildren.
    I have ridden across the United states at  ages 38, 50 and 60.
    So why not try it again at 70.


    August 2010
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