Bicycling the TransAmerica Trail

Cycling Across the US, Coast to Coast

Bicycling Adventure #3

54 days, 3,783 miles, Jul-Aug 2010

Ray Jardine

2010-08-24Kentucky page 40 of 54

Day 40, Kentucky

From Wickliffe to Cadiz

I packed up my camp on the banks of the Mississippi River, and carried the bike and gear to a nearby road. It was then that I noticed the rear tire was low. Removing the tube, I found a tiny wire embedded in the tire. It was not showing on the outside, but was extending 1/8 inch in the inside. I had to use my small pliers to remove it. I swapped the damaged tube for a new one, then I was ready to roll.

The day's riding was very beautiful. The land was forested in hardwoods, and all along the way were houses with beautifully landscaped yards. These were big yards covered in neatly mowed grass. The road I took was also hilly. And the sometimes strong headwinds subtracted from the day's mileage, but that's to be expected.

The cart lady

I regret not taking a better photo of this nice woman and her home-made cart. That's her dog laying in the cart. But the wheeled cart was, according to her, "becoming nearly inoperable." She came and sat with me for a while, as I was eating a snack. I asked about her trip. She didn't say where she had started from, but presently she was going to Maryland. She was amazed that I was covering such mileages each day, but said she was "too old to ride a bicycle," so was traveling with the cart instead.

I saw her talking with several many people, and I saw several offer her rides. Why she didn't take them up, I have no idea.

I mention this only because she struck a certain note with me, in that she seemed to be enjoying her trip as much as I was enjoying mine - meeting interesting people and talking with them for a while, then moving on to enjoy another setting. I've seen many motorcycle travelers do much the same.

So here's an important lesson distilled from my experiences:

If you want to have a bunch of fun, as in - Next FUN Trip - get away from the internet, get out of the house, leave your car behind, and go on a trip. You can go long-distance hiking, canoeing or kayaking, cycling, motorcycling, or as this woman was doing, even traveling with a cart with which to carry your gear. Doing such a thing, you'll get plenty of sunshine and exercise for good health, you will visit pretty and interesting places, and most of all you will meet friendly people.

Traveling in a car, even a super expensive car designed to impress everyone, will isolate you from the benefits which life has to offer. These benefits are free for the taking. They can't be bought. But you have to travel outside your comfort zone of home and your favorite chair, and your impressive, comfortable car. You have to travel outside your zone of certainly. Out there, uncertainly becomes the order of the day. But as time goes on, you will learn to thrive on uncertainly because of how it makes life so interesting.

I found this interesting turkey feather alongside the road.

For the record I pedaled the 121 to Mayfield, the 58 and then the 80 to Hardin then Aurora, then across the Land Between the Lakes to Cadiz. It was a beautiful route all the way, until nearing Cadiz which has a big city ambiance. Once past Cadiz I kept on the 80 to interstate 24 where I found a motel.

Bridge over Kentucky Lake

One lane was under construction.

Heads up! The paved bike path was under construction. Approaching Lake Barkley and its bridge.

The guy pulled up to the gas pumps, driving his lawn mower.

Miles pedaled today: 88

The story has 54 pages. This is page 40.
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