Everyone else took a right to set off for the day. A left turn took me back to the Berea Tea and Coffee Shop to do some writing for the blog. The hours staying behind led to seeing old friends but scorching riding temperature.
The Daily Summary
On Day 8, June 1st, the 50-mile ride went over steeper rolling hills from the college town of Berea to the State Park in Harrodsburg.
Mark, one of the four rider's from the Wounded Warriors Project, jingled the bells of the coffee shop with his safety vest on and sweat glistening on his face. His approach to the trip is focused on people instead of athletic accomplishment as he "talks his away across America."
The next rider to enter is Morris from the Adventure Cycling group. They are a large, roughly sixteen person group guided by the wonderfully bubbly Emily who is part of the non-profit that put this entire trail together.
Mark sets out after we cheers with our breakfast sandwiches. The sun is getting brighter and bringing the heat with it.
I finally pack up the MacBook Air, leave Morris with his iced coffee, and quickly swing by the Appalachian Gallery since the director, Mr. Greene, is a fellow Type 1 Diabetic.
Reaching a Breaking Point in the Heat
The issue with setting off later in the day is that the midday sun hits hard upon your exposed body. Our group's daily strategy is to get on the rode by 6:30 a.m. and have lunch or a break during this time of day.
The bright yellow and sky blue paint on an vintage bread truck stands out in contract to the wooden barn as a backdrop. A right turns continues the TransAm when a rubbing sound is heard beneath my saddle.
You continue to take strides and put your helmet and head below the handlebars: "Is it the front breaks? What about the rear breaks? Ahhh stay in your lane. What is that sound?"
A pool of water forms as I pull over. The 3L camelbak bag is caught dangling off the rear pannier and two holes are visible. I drain the remaining water into the bottles and figure there is enough to reach town.
This camelbak has reached a breaking point after serving me well for over three years. Later, I try to use a patch kit to fix the leaks only to discover two more holes.
A Shelter for Cyclists
A skid mark is left in the road as I wave to Mark, "I have to stop here."
Annalisa gave me a heads up about a shelter specifically for cyclists. She even left behind some cheese and corn tortillas.
You arrive to a little shelter with a cooler on top of a table, "Free - anything in cooler. Take as much as you want. Need anything? Call..."
The random acts of kindness on this trip are exceedingly generous. Inside the cooler are cold water bottles, soda, chips, gatorade packets, and a notebook inside a plastic bag to leave your blog information.
Annalisa met the husband who was on a tractor taking care of his long horned cattle. He told the story how his wife would watch so many cyclists go by that eventually she wanted to set up this little oasis for them.
There is even a porta potty on site that has everything a cyclist could ever want - baby wipes, soap, saddle cream, and a shelter from any storm. In the future the couple is looking to install a shower.
Staying in a State Park
Anderson Dean Community Park in Harrodsburg, KY is a gem for any cyclist to sleep at.
The park is about 4 miles outside of town. I thought we would be arriving to some grassy patch to pitch our tents.
We turn the corner to see baseball fields, soccer fields, a skatepark, tennis courts, and A WATER PARK. T and I grab our towels and sprint down towards the water slide. Unfortunately, a private party kept us from the amusements. A nice warm shower in the bathrooms made up for this.
There is a shelter with electrical plugs and a bathroom there. Robert, from the Warriors Project, has an uncle who lives nearby that dropped off too many hamburgers and fries for the group. Gobbling fistfuls of fries before bed caused the appropriate overnight high.
The Blood Sugar Review
No info today.