Bicycling the TransAmerica Trail

Cycling Across the US, Coast to Coast

Bicycling Adventure #3

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

Ray Jardine

2010-08-26Kentucky page 42 of 54

Day 42, Kentucky

From Glasgow to Somerset

I left Glasgow in the very early morning, and got back on the Cumberland Parkway. And I should note that riding a bicycle on a highway with limited access is not legal in most states. I'm just describing what I did, and not recommending anything.

Mid-morning I passed a patrol car parked at a speed trap. I waved, and the officer did not pursue me.

Taking a break behind a guardrail.

I had set off without carrying any food (I don't care to eat an early breakfast) so was famished by the time I reached the first off-ramp with a c-store at Columbia. The gal had cooked a selection of items, so I enjoyed a late breakfast of fried eggs and potatoes, sausage and fried chicken - all washed down with a quart of chocolate milk. Then I bought several things for the road, snacks mostly but one sandwich. These high-mileage days require a lot of food to keep the fires burning.

But today did not seem one of them. I was running low on energy, and the hilly terrain and strong headwinds weren't helping matters. About noon I was dragging along, and thinking of taking a nap. So that's what I did, carrying the bike into the forest, out of view, and crawling into my spitfire.

My spitfire, after the nap.

45 minutes later I was back on the road feeling at least somewhat refreshed. It would have been a good day for a zero.

I was about halfway from Russell Springs to Somerset when a patrolman pulled me over.

The officer was most congenial, but worked by the book. No riding a bicycle on the parkway. Never mind that I had not seen any signs forbidding it. And that I had a wide shoulder protected by a rumble strip. "Its too dangerous," the officer said. "Now to figure out how to get you out of here. There's no exits nearby." So he called for a pick-up. Meanwhile he instructed me to pedal on, while he followed close behind (no ticket issued).

Talk about a weird feeling, pedaling with a patrol car in the rear-view mirror, lights flashing. We went like that for a mile until the pick up truck arrived.

The pick-up driver was friendly also, and said he tried to talk the policeman into letting me go - no harm done; but without results. Nonetheless in a short ways we reached the off-ramp, and with that, I was back on my own.

Now I was pedaling road 80 to Nancy and beyond. And this road had a lot more traffic and no shoulder. And because some drivers were impatient to get home, this road seemed a hundred times more unsafe than the parkway. By the time I reached Somerset, the traffic had mentally worn me out. So at 5:00 pm, I called it a day.

Miles pedaled today: 75

The story has 54 pages. This is page 42.
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