Cruising down a steep grade past a bunch of cliffs.


The open road to Berea, KY!

I woke up early this morning to avoid any visits from the park rangers. I packed up my bivy sack and hit the road once I left “Crime and Punishment” in the crack of the maintenance door. I’m sure someone will appreciate it.  I struck up a small conversation with a white supremacist redneck who was leaving the post office.  He asked where I was headed and gave me one piece of advice.  “Stay outta rednecks’ way when ridin’…they will hit ya an’ just keep goin’…they don’t givadam.” We parted ways and he wished me luck.

Pulled off to the side of the road to take in the nice view of the Appalachian Mountains in Berea, KY.

I covered 25 miles with relative ease since most of the route was downhill at this point with minor hills here and there.  I stopped at Warrens Chapel to refill my water and charge my devices. I rested for 2 hours and hit the road stopping to ask for directions to a passing vehicle on the whereabouts of route 421.  An older gentlemen gave me directions and told me I’d have a steep climb in about 9 miles.  I kept moving at a steady pace and made a few stops for food and snacks. I grabbed pasta for later and pulled off in Berea at Frosty-Ette where I indulged in a yummy, vanilla milkshake with a delicious chili dog.  The food out in Kentucky is fairly cheap. I spent less than five dollars on that meal and it filled me, which says a lot since I’m constantly chowing down on any food in sight.

An old barn sitting on top of a big green hill.

I continued on down the road and approached a steep 6% grade hill. Luckily I raced down the hill instead of slowing climbing up it, however, I heard a loud thud as I approached the bottom half mile then I realized I had another flat tire. This time the back tube died out on me.  The two punctures were small enough to be patched so I saved the tube and replaced my back tire with a new one.  Right as I finished the repair a younger fellow who resembled the country version of peanut butter Rich asked if I needed a hand and advised me to hug the rumble strip since it’s a rough road and there were shards of glass as you approach the guardrail.  I thanked him for his hospitality, but I fixed everything and stopped at a local Baptist church in Berea.  I plan on sleeping here tonight in the back by their maintenance shed.  I am no longer worried about being seen much around these parts.  Everyone is so friendly, but just for precautionary measure I’ll make sure I am not seen.  It’s been over a week now since I paid for a place to sleep so I’m able to budget more money towards food and bike parts.  I am officially done two maps; I am in the top 100 on the Strava CTS Bucket List Challenge and I should be in Illinois in a few days.  Everything is going even better than imagined.  Just thinking about where my next adventure will lead me.


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