Day 15 Sunday June 5, 2005, 27 miles (43 km) – Total so far: 750 miles (1,206 km)
27 miles and 2:54 pedal time
I woke up at 6:45 to Chuck and Laura getting ready in the very small hostel space. I ate a pop tart and a slice of Laura’s leftover pizza for breakfast
Chuck and Laura weren’t riding far today, they were just riding to a motel in Hazard about 30 miles. I wasn’t sure how far I was riding today. Either Buckhorn Lake or Booneville, but most likely Buckhorn Lake. It’s about 50 miles or so. Chuck gave me a tip about a shorcutto take, it involved a large shoulder and no steep windy roads.
Chuck and Laura left before me. I grabbed a cup of coffee at a gas station and trued up my wheels. I was riding alright; my legs are a little tired. I wasn’t crazy about these busy roads. There were grooves in the shoulder to wake up sleeping drivers. And none of the cars on this 4 lane highway were about ‘sharing the road’
Around Mile 15, I was riding minding my own business and a pickup truck drove up alongside of me real slow. They threw a bottle of some liquid at me. It turns out to be full of spit and chewing tobacco. The smell was horrendous and I was covered in it. I stopped riding and I was swearing like a sailor. I threw a rock really farinto a grassy field. I used all my water trying to get this off my skin, panniers, handlebar bag and my yellow t-shirt. The smell was making me gag. It happened so fast that I never caught a license plate.
Chuck and Laura were riding the same road about 20 minutes ahead of me. I got worried the same person was going to do something to them.
I stopped at the next gas station. Some guy and his kid came up to me to ask about my trip. I told them what just happened and they helped me clean my bike off. I tried to wash my shirt in the sink at the gas station. But I was starting to feel that my shirt was a lost cause. The man at the gas station bought me a hot dog.
I was in a foul mood for the rest of the day. I stunk like chewing tobacco and the more I smelled it the more pissed I got. I still considered riding a 50 mile day but that would mean I would have to camp. When I got to Hazard I decided I should just stop riding. It was also like 85 degrees and I was now wearing a long sleeve shirt. I saw Laura and Chuck at the motel I told them what happened. They had no problems today.
I checked into the motel. Took a shower, attempted to wash my shirt again but I can’t get rid of the smell so I just threw it out. Took a nap, unpacked ALL my gear and went over to Walmart.
The Wal-Mart was about the size of the town that I live in. I bought 2 short sleeve shirts that I can ridein for $10 apiece. I also got one of those flashlights you wear on your head (a cheap one), some food, map of Kentucky, and vitamins. I started to feel sick in Walmartso I had to get out before I puked or something. It was extremely humid today
I started putting together a package of stuff I’m sending home. I unpacked my tent so I can dry. It was still moist from yesterday morning.
My whole disaster today sucks, but could have been a lot worse. I could have gotten hurt or broken my bike or something. It forced me to take a half day off and that is something I probably should have done anyway. I need some time off the bike.
Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day riding. I have been stretching my legs all day. I’m anxious to get back on the bike. I want to ride bikes, not go to stupid Walmart.