BOBBY AND THANE TACKLE THE TRANSAM Day 11; Elk Garden church to Breaks: never look at the back of the map

Saturday May 11, 2013, 51 miles (82 km) – Total so far: 598 miles (962 km)

We said good bye to the beautiful church we stayed in last night around 7:30 am. The sunshine of yesterday decided once again to stay in bed so we dug out all our rain gear and asked Boo and Chester if they wanted to go back outside and play in the rain again today. Being children at heart they were totally stoked to play in the rain. Bobby and I, on the other hand, failed to share in their excitement but didn’t want to let the two of them down so off we went.

Like the true idiot that I am, I had turned our map set over the night before and studied the topography of the day. I am here to tell any and all cyclist considering riding this crazy adventure in the future to make every attempt at avoiding the back page of these maps.

Unlike the weatherman, they are always 100% accurate. According to the map. Today’s forecast was for morning mountain climbing followed closely by two more afternoon mountain climbs. Why anyone in their right mind would design a road that went vertical for over four miles and pitched in many places at over 13% is beyond me. I know we are in the south and moonshine stills dot the area like spots on a ladybug but really guys, stick to distilling spirits not designing roads!The cycling ended around 54 miles later at a little motel about 5 miles east of the Kentucky state line and truly that is where the story of this day picks back up. As we pulled our bicycles into the parking lot we were greeted by the owner of this fine establishment. A 60 something woman who spoke her own brand of English (as moostt folks round theeese haahhre partsss ahh dooooo) greeted us with a smile and the usual 20 questions anyone would ask two crazy ass dudes pedaling across the country.

On the overhang above the entry stood two 20 something kids that chimed in on the question asking. After a couple minutes of conversing Bobby and I asked if we could hitch a ride into town with them to do some much needed laundry.

This day turned out to be everything I had hoped for while cycling the transam. Fierce uphill battles that Boo and I win against crazy steep mountains and stories from some crazy ass new found friends at a laundry facility in small town America. Our taxi service was driven by a very pregnant woman who just recently learned how to drive.

She occupied the driver’s seat. Her husband and father of both her unborn child and the two year old that was running around in a room next to the hotels balcony being tended by chain smoking, beer drinking gramma, was barking driving commands at her constantly. The rear seat was occupied by myself, Bobby and a cousin of the husband who was also living with the clan at the hotel.

Conversations of their times spent in the county jail for various “little thiiinnnggs” ran rampant. “Mostly we wassss jusssst a drinkkken and then old jr he runnn straaiiggt on thruuu thisen stop sign.” “Courseee, the lawwwman then found these perscreptin drugs we dun had in this bottle that wernt quiteeee lableeed riiight” “That wassss alllll sheee rote”.

Yes sir reeeeee. Today was everthin I had hoped I wud finnnd ever once in a whiiillllle whilst I was tryyyyeen to riiideeee this heeaarr bikee cleeeann crossss amurica!

A brilliant ending to a brilliant day . Yes dear friends, it is good to be a cyclist carrying a camera and a sense of humor.

Tomorrow we are looking at a final destination called Hindman Kentucky. Yes I said Kentucky!
below

Day Eleven Thane’s Blog: that wassss alllll sheee rote

Saturday May 11, 2013, 51 miles (82 km) – Total so far: 598 miles (962 km)

We said good bye to the beautiful church we stayed in last night around 7:30 am. The sunshine of yesterday decided once again to stay in bed so we dug out all our rain gear and asked Boo and Chester if they wanted to go back outside and play in the rain again today. Being children at heart they were totally stoked to play in the rain. Bobby and I, on the other hand, failed to share in their excitement but didn’t want to let the two of them down so off we went.

Like the true idiot that I am, I had turned our map set over the night before and studied the topography of the day. I am here to tell any and all cyclist considering riding this crazy adventure in the future to make every attempt at avoiding the back page of these maps.

Unlike the weatherman, they are always 100% accurate. According to the map. Today’s forecast was for morning mountain climbing followed closely by two more afternoon mountain climbs. Why anyone in their right mind would design a road that went vertical for over four miles and pitched in many places at over 13% is beyond me. I know we are in the south and moonshine stills dot the area like spots on a ladybug but really guys, stick to distilling spirits not designing roads!

The cycling ended around 54 miles later at a little motel about 5 miles east of the Kentucky state line and truly that is where the story of this day picks back up. As we pulled our bicycles into the parking lot we were greeted by the owner of this fine establishment. A 60 something woman who spoke her own brand of English (as moostt folks round theeese haahhre partsss ahh dooooo) greeted us with a smile and the usual 20 questions anyone would ask two crazy ass dudes pedaling across the country.

On the overhang above the entry stood two 20 something kids that chimed in on the question asking. After a couple minutes of conversing Bobby and I asked if we could hitch a ride into town with them to do some much needed laundry.

This day turned out to be everything I had hoped for while cycling the transam. Fierce uphill battles that Boo and I win against crazy steep mountains and stories from some crazy ass new found friends at a laundry facility in small town America. Our taxi service was driven by a very pregnant woman who just recently learned how to drive.

She occupied the driver’s seat. Her husband and father of both her unborn child and the two year old that was running around in a room next to the hotels balcony being tended by chain smoking, beer drinking gramma, was barking driving commands at her constantly. The rear seat was occupied by myself, Bobby and a cousin of the husband who was also living with the clan at the hotel.

Conversations of their times spent in the county jail for various “little thiiinnnggs” ran rampant. “Mostly we wassss jusssst a drinkkken and then old jr he runnn straaiiggt on thruuu thisen stop sign.” “Courseee, the lawwwman then found these perscreptin drugs we dun had in this bottle that wernt quiteeee lableeed riiight” “That wassss alllll sheee rote”.

Yes sir reeeeee. Today was everthin I had hoped I wud finnnd ever once in a whiiillllle whilst I was tryyyyeen to riiideeee this heeaarr bikee cleeeann crossss amurica!
A brilliant ending to a brilliant day . Yes dear friends, it is good to be a cyclist carrying a camera and a sense of humor.
Tomorrow we are looking at a final destination called Hindman Kentucky. Yes I said Kentucky!

another morning mountian rain

another morning mountian rain

bobby capturing the beauty of this day

bobby capturing the beauty of this day

boo getting a little love

boo getting a little love

Day Eleven Bobby’s Blog: Merle it’s been a long time.

Saturday May 11, 2013, 51 miles (82 km) – Total so far: 598 miles (962 km)

Got out early from the Church and started with the rain. Not a driving rain but one of those that Just soaks you through.

Stopped in Haysi pronounced (Haysa) I was corrected yet again on the correct pronunciation. In spite of that we had lunch at this store which consisted of bologna on hot dog buns,mustard that put up one hell of a fight when I tried to get the top off. Everything seems to be a fight when you are soaking wet and exhausted from climbing mountains all day. I should say all week.

Anyway one of the locals who said he had ridden bikes in that area for years and he gave us the low down for the rest of the day. That forecast was for pain. He said there was a difficult climb out of Haysi and that was the easy one. The one going to Breaks was going to be tuff. Well Virginia threw everything she had at us and we didn’t crack.

The sun finally came out for the climb up to Breaks just to keep things interesting. And interesting they did get.

When we got to the motel on the state line we met a couple young boys who were working on the bridge going in here and Thane said he would give them five bucks for a ride to the laundry which was 5 miles down the road in Elkhorn. The pregnant wife had to come along as neither of the boys had a drivers license and unknown to us the truck was full of dirty clothes. Like four 33 gallon garbage bags full.

We climbed into the back seat with RJ and Chris and Lydia got in the front. Lydia backed out and Chris hit the button on the stereo and Merle Haggard started belting out Branded Man full blast and both boys fired up their smokes. Thane and I looked at each other and smiled and said this is part of the adventure.

Lyda had just gotten her license and it became quite evident the minute we hit the road. Long story short Thane and I ended up moving clothes from the washer to the dryer then to the folding table where we helped Lydia fold while the manley men stood out side and smoked.

Tomorrow we will be in Kentucky in about 4 1/2 minutes and say goodbye to the beautiful mountains of Virginia. I shall miss them.

Heavy with moister.

Heavy with moister.

Nice little overlook at Breaks

Nice little overlook at Breaks

See a lot of this around here

See a lot of this around here

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