It’s possible, if not actually feasible, that we may have a strong enough link to the blogosphere (just made that word up), to get some words off. I have already tried downloading pix with no luck. I’ll get this written up, even if the blog stays here til we get to Austin.
By “map count”, I have now ridden 1298 miles, which completes the 3rd map set of the 7 maps of the Southern Tier. The basic math equates to 65+ miles/day. The last 3 days have added to the daily average with rides of 70+, 75+, and 85+. NO, I have not gotten into a bigger hurry. The “rule of riding” is: You NEVER squander a good tail wind. Two of the last three days have provided just that. A building low pressure system somewhere to the northwest of us is sucking all that wind into it and making my ride much faster and easier.
These random observations are some of the things that occupy my mind during the 6-7 hours of daily riding. I think I’ll remember them by the time I quit for the day, but experience has told me otherwise. So, in no particular order:
- The most common road kill in Florida was deer, feral pig, and raccoon.
- The most common road kill in Alabama was deer, vultures (surprised me too), and raccoon.
- The most common road kill in Mississippi was deer, turtles, and raccoon.
- The most common road kill in Louisiana was otter (a really big surprise, didn’t even know they were this far south), all manner of birds, and raccoon.
- The most common road kill (so far) in Texas is armadillo, possum, and deer.
The absolute “must have” toy for folks in these parts is a Tricked out to the max, 2 or 4 seater, Extreme ATV with tires you could plow a rice paddy with. Of course, the “accessories” include a 4X4 pickup truck and trailer to pull and haul it around in.
Those Pick’m’up trucks aren’t REAL pick’m’up trucks unless they are incredibly loud, jacked up front and rear, and equipped with tires that roar like a crop duster on take off.
There is a small percentage (5-7) of drivers (a little higher for pick’m’up trucks, maybe) who just don’t like bicycles and/or bicyclists. This is based on the number of shaken fists, “middle finger salutes” and long horn blasts directed my way, even out in the middle of nowhere. I lay a little of that blame on my fellow cyclists, who, since the law ALLOWS them to ride in the driving portion of the lane, will do so even if there is ample room to ride farther to the right, or on a shoulder. My front tire is grass stained from riding on the absolute edge of the shoulder, but I get the Bronx cheer anyway.
A cow-pie sized asphalt “dropping” on the shoulder of the road is nearly invisible. That does not keep it from launching bike and biker “ass over teakettle” into the road ditch. Yes, this is experience talking.
Those stalwart souls who do this journey “self supported” have my utmost admiration and respect. They do NOT, however, have my envy. Having Cathy as support, and more important, as constant company, is what makes this journey the wonderful thing that it is.
Some have asked about the “daily routine”. It’s pretty simple. Rise 7ish. Breakfast of dry cereal, milk, fruit and coffee. Review weather forecast for area to be ridden. Check over planned ride for the day. Pick a “lunch stop”. Check charging status of needed electronics for the day (phones, warning lights on bike, battery charge packs). Most have been charged overnight if we are in park with plug in services. Water fill and sanitation dump. Check bike over, tires, chain, etc. Strap on behind the seat bike bag and one (usually) saddle bag. Bike on the road 0830-0900. Cathy leave when she has her plans loaded in GPS. Review/confirm lunch stop en route. Meet for lunch, looking for “local good food”. Back on bike after review of possible camping sites (rest stops short). Cathy adapts to “recon mode” and makes call on best/only site. I try to get there by 1730 to be sure of adequate light. Hopefully showers available (not always). Beer Time!! Supper in STella, with cold cuts, cheeses, fruits and veggies. If wifi available, work on blog. If not, work on blog anyway and put in drafts. Lights out by 2100. Asleep by 2102.
Will try to send this out.
Thanks for coming along!!