This Heat Is Making My Brain Not Work – Day 21

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Day 21 Monterey, TN To Gordonsville, TN       
June 13, 2016        
54 Miles for the day
867.1  Total miles for trip   
4:21   Ride Time

Headwinds, 100 degree heat, climbing mountains and cycling on busy roads! …that’s Michael Riscica’s natural habitat! Sure is better then a day in that air conditioned cubicle. Atleast the wind keeps me cool! Headed towards Nashville. Should I stop or just keep riding?!?? #transam2016 #mikeriscica666 #biketouring #bikepacking #trekbikes #adventurecycling #duderobot #quityourjob #heatwave #punkrock #mcdonalds #gatorade #cokeinacan #icecream #cheeseburgers #hydration

Check out in the hotel wasn’t until 11am, so I checked out at 11:02. I paid my hard earned money for that room so I was going to use it right up to the end. Luckily there was a laundry mat next door so I now have clean clothes!! Atleast for a minute.



The heat was brutal right out the gate. It slapped me in the face the moment I rolled my bike out of the hotel door. I guess the jokes on me, now I have to ride bikes through the hottest part of the day.


I didn’t really have a plan today. Nashville was too far to make it as a destination, so I guess my plan was to just ride closer to Nashville.

I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at google maps and calculating distances between this town or that town. I’m looking forward to getting back on the transam and using my cute little GPS again. I haven’t seen another cyclist in awhile. While I have no regrets about skipping Kentucky and visiting Tennessee instead. I do miss the trail. I miss the structure of the Adventure Cycling routes. Yet, I’ve also had some really amazing experiences getting off them. I guess the grass is always greener.


I came up with this crazy idea today aboutjust  skipping Nashville all together and just hauling ass until I get to the Mississippi River! All the people I have reached out to in Nashville haven’t responded. Nothing has been pulling me into Nashville, unlike a lot of other cities. So we’ll see what happens.

Part of me also just needs to find some people to drink beer with to drink the beers that I have earned for all these hard days of cycling through the Tennessee mountains.


I learned yesterday I fell back 1 hour. I’m now in central time. I don’t know how I feel about that. I think it’s a good thing, I can’t remember.


Towards the end of the day it was starting to get dark and cold. I saw a bird jump off an overheard wire, catch a bug in its mouth and then jump right back on the wire. It was pretty amazing.


When I arrived in Gordonsville the temperature dropped and it was starting to thunderstorm.  As I rode into town I scoped out a few places to potentially sleep at parks and churches.


I found a Mexican restaurant and ate a burrito the size of my head. It was delicious. I’ve eaten too much shitty fast food, because there are no other options and I’m not carrying a whole lot of food. I need to hit a Walmart City.  Where the hell are the Walmarts?!?


All hell broke loose with the weather while I was in the restaurant. I decided to call the comfort inn across the street. They wanted $85 for their cheapest room. That is not happening.


I went down to the park and sat a picnic table, while feeling comatosed. This heat is brutal, its making my brain not work by the end of the day. I’ve been pushing pretty hard. I sat there until the sun went down, then pulled out my sleep pad and slept on top of the picnic table.

I don’t think I’ve setup my tent since I was in Mineral Virginia. It’s too hot to get inside a tent. When I get up on top of Hoosier Pass in Colorado at 11,500’, it’s going to be snowing and I’ll be freezing. I’ll be happy I have my tent when that happens. Right now I just don’t need it.


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Flat Tires and Riding the Wrong Direction for 20 Miles – Day 20
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About the author

Michael Riscica

Hey, I’m Michael Riscica and I live in Portland, Oregon with my Labrador Retriever. When I’m off the bike, I make my living as a Licensed Architect and also write a architecture blog at

I took my first bike tour in 2003 when I rode from Boston to New York City, and at that time I learned about cycling across America. My life was forever changed. I have successfully ridden and blogged about Coast2Coast bike rides during the summers of 2005, 2007and now 2016.

Thanks for following along. I would love to connect with you on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Linked In! Also check out my new project Young Architect Gear, designing architecturally themed gifts and products.

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