Tag: bike tour

1984 Bike Tour: Day 17 – Not everyone welcomes bicycle tourists

HARRODSBURG, KY. — What did I say about bicycle touring and the kindness of strangers? Forget it.

Tonight we're at the Parkview Guest House. When we walked in the front door of the two-story men's-only “guest house,” a guy told us to wait right there for the manager who would soon be home from work. We sat in a couple of chairs in the hallway. Soon the manager walks in:

“What the hell's going on here? And get that thing off the table.”

Continue reading

Bruce removed his helmet from the lamp table. We asked for a room. The old guy said he had one but didn't know whether he'd let us have it. It only had a double bed. “You're not going to get drunk and puke in bed, are you?”

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2014/05/29/1984-bike-tour-day-17-not-everyone-welcomes-bicycle-tourists/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 15 — Hill hell

BOONEVILLE, KY. — We never stop climbing hills. The route heading west crosses one ridge after another. I can appreciate what Daniel Boone and the pioneers had to endure.

We did go through some wide open bottomland nestled between the hills today, though, generally after passing Buckhorn Lake. We saw some cows in pastures today, something we hadn't seen for many days. Before it's been pigs, hogs, and chickens. Those smaller farm animals must be better suited for small farms on hillsides.

Continue reading

These hills are gut-wrenching for me. I start out in medium gears, but soon I'm in my lowest — the granny gear or stump-puller. I grind away, travelling 27 inches for every pedal stroke; don't try to think about how many pedal strokes in a 4.4-mile climb…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2014/05/27/1984-bike-tour-day-15-hill-hell/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 14 — A salute from King Coal

PIPPA PASSES, KY. — Last night's fear and loathing about spending the foreseeable future dodging coal trucks turned out to be a waste of time.

Coal is king in these parts, but even the king gives a holiday to his subjects over the Memorial Day weekend. No coal trucks confronted us today. We could see them parked in gravel parking lots behind chainlink fences, their trailer beds tilted up so they wouldn't collect rainwater. It was as if they were saluting our passage.

Continue reading

Although the coal trucks were absent, the grinding terrain still had to be dealt with. As we broke camp in the morning, an old camper who knew the area said our route would be “rough as a cob.” We didn't know how rough a cob was, but we soon found out. …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2014/05/26/1984-bike-tour-day-14-a-salute-from-king-coal/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 10 – Dickie Boyles, where are you?

Today, our stupidity almost got the best of us.

After a late start, I had problems with my front derailleur and tried to fix it as a gas station. It was 10 a.m. before we got underway. We stopped for a bite at Newbern, where several log cabins appeared to be under restoration

We continued on along a road that had a beautiful sweeping vistas of wide green valleys backed by blue tinted mountain ridges (bottom photo).

Continue reading

This led us to the Draper Country Store, “18 and 90” it said above the door. Inside, a guy cut some longhorn cheese from a huge block he kept under glass. The old store had a pool table, a cast iron stove, some well-worn chairs, and lots of unusual items for sale…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2014/05/22/1984-bike-tour-day-10-dickie-boyles-where-are-you/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 9 – Tired, tarred and dogged

Hills, dogs, tar and lots of miles. What an exhausting day.

We left the campground on our bicycles at 7 a.m. and followed Route 11 — known locally as the Valley Pike — right through to the TransAmerica Route in Buchanan and beyond. The roadway is like a trip out of the '50s — the highway is cement and weathered roadside barns painted with faint ads dot the landscape.

Continue reading

We turned off 11 and followed some low-country roads along the Norfolk-Western RR. Many dogs here. At one house, two dogs raced out of the yard chasing Bruce's bike. One mean-looking mongrel actually bit into the rear of his pannier and tried to drag him to a stop. …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2014/05/21/1984-bike-tour-day-9-tired-tarred-and-dogged/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 8 – Natural Bridge seems so unnatural

We bolted from the campground without breakfast, and coasted all the way down to the town of Vesuvius. This is one of the hardest climbs on the TransAmerica Route for eastbound riders; but going westbound, we weren't even warmed up.

The guidebook says 200 people live here, but we didn't see a soul. Vesuvius is bisected by the Norfolk Western RR, and it looks like both halves were the “wrong side” of town — everything was boarded up. We ended up at a truck stop on I-81 for breakfast, our bicycles dwarfed by the giant 18-wheelers.

Continue reading

We headed south down the scenic Shenandoah Valley, stopping for lunch at Lexington, home of Washington and Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute. (The congestion at W&L led us to believe it was graduation weekend.) …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2014/05/20/1984-bike-tour-day-8-natural-bridge-seems-so-unnatural/

1984 Tour: Day 7 – Climb a mountain, meet the Cookie Lady

This is by far the most difficult day of the trip. We rode through rolling farmland, struggled up switchbacks to the Cookie Lady's Bike House, then discovered the Blue Ridge Parkway is not level.

This is the part of the trip we should have been training for all spring, but I don't think even that would have prepared us for this.

Continue reading

We enjoyed meeting the Cookie Lady, who shared some time with us. [We had no way of knowing that her helpfulness to bicycling passersby would later result in the Adventure Cycling Association's Trail Angel Award being named in her honor.] Later, however, we became distressed to learn that we had more climbing and farther to ride to reach our campground…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2014/05/19/1984-tour-day-7-climb-a-mountain-meet-the-cookie-lady/

Canadian Olympic cyclist brings mental illness message by bicycle

A Canadian Olympic medalist is carrying her message to end the stigma of mental illness by travelling across Canada by bicycle. Six-time Olympic cycling and speed-skating medalist Clara Hughes set out on Clara’s Big Bike Ride from Toronto on March 14 to visit every province and territory in Canada. She’ll be visiting towns throughout British Columbia for the next couple …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2014/05/18/canadian-olympic-cyclist-brings-mental-illness-message-by-bicycle/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 6 – Rest day and mailing gear back home; That year’s Top 40

Six days into our TransAmerica bike tour, and we're already taking our first day off. The first five days have been a shakedown cruise — the last days of training and the first of our trip. I feel that our journey begins in earnest tomorrow.

After lolling around our hostess' apartment for a while, we boxed up some clothes to send back home. I sent back an extra sweater and other clothes that only filled space and added weight to my panniers.

Continue reading

Why did I pack so much crap? Maybe I can cheat gravity a little a we head into the Appalachians…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2014/05/18/1984-bike-tour-day-6-rest-day-mailing-gear-back-homethat-years-top-40/

Raising funds to repair memorial to fallen cyclists in Florida

In December 1996, the driver of a pickup truck crashed into a group of cyclists on a bike trip from Gainesville to St. Augustine. Two cyclists were killed — safe cycling advocates Margaret Raynal and Doug Hill — and four others injured. Cycling activists say the tragic crash was a seminal event for bicycle advocacy in …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2014/02/13/raising-funds-to-repair-memorial-to-fallen-cyclists-in-florida/