Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Four States in Week 4

I started week 4 just having entered Tennessee and throughout the week I also peddled through parts of Kentucky, Illinois and finally entering Missouri on Saturday afternoon. Most of the roads did not have “Welcome to” signs but I did get a few by looking back as I entered the next state. I still didn’t get a good one for Kentucky or Missouri, which is surprising as I may have illegally rode over the I-255 bridge from Illinois into Missouri and you would think they would have had a sign on that major road. But, rest assured I am in Missouri as I write this.

I had a lot of video footage this week so I decided to put the pictures directly into the blog instead of including them in the video review. I think it might actually be better that way. Once again there were a lot of wonderful things to see so I’ll just post some of my favorites.

It looks like I may not make it all the way to Pierre, SD in time for my family reunion on June 6th, but I should be able to get to Lincoln, NE where my sister Karen lives and ride to the reunion with her and her girls. Then I’ll ride back to NE and continue my journey from there. I still plan to spend some time in South Dakota visiting family and helping take care of Mom for a while, who is doing better by the way. She is currently out of the hospital and staying with my sister Sharon during her recovery. My sister Ann is also close by and continues to help as well.

I apologize for the delay on these videos but they require electricity and wi-fi to produce and post which have been lacking in the campgrounds. I’ll always post them at my first opportunity. And now here is week 4 in review.

Nice spot where me and the other bikers had a picnic lunch.

A camel in Tennessee? Maybe they use it for those cigarette ads.
A chilly day in Tennessee. I rode state road 69 in three different states.

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area

A rest stop in LBL Rec Area

Unusual amount of cemetaries at LBL Rec Area

Amazing sunset at Horseshoe Lake, IL

Chester, IL - home of Popeye!

Campground just north of Chester, IL
Quaint church at Nunert, IL I wonder if they had wi-fi?

One Month On Twitter

If you haven't been following my daily twitter posts, here is the first month and first 2000 miles. You will need to scroll down to the bottom and read up to get them in the proper order.

Threat of rain all day but none while on the trail. Stopped for 2 more tubes, lunch & haircut in Jefferson City. Camping Huntsdale, MO 50 mi from txt
Late start & early stop due to rain. Leisurly 34 miles on the Katy trail. Staying at a quirky bicycle dorm type place $5 in Tebbetts, MO from txt
Rested & well fed, Rodney & Gerald delivered me safely to the Katy Trail were I enjoyed 51 relaxing miles. Camping in charming Herman, MO from txt
Nice warm day & mostly flat roads. Crossed the Mississippi River into Missouri & staying with lauderdale snow bird friends in St. Louis. 79m from txt
Good weather & mostly flat until the end of day then some steep climbs @ Chester, IL - laundry then camping just north of there - 87 miles from txt
Another nice day - roads are MUCH more flat. In Paducah, KY got 2 new tubes & Taco Johns! Camping at Horseshoe Lake, Illinois. :) 70 miles from txt
A fine day biking through Land Between the Lakes Natl. Rec area. Camping in Calvert City Kentucky! 55 miles from txt
Nice day despite another flat & late start. Met 5 bikers & rode with them a while. Camp S. Entrance LBL Rec area TN 53 miles. New Video blog from txt
Hard start - cold (low 50), cloudy & strong headwind & no ambition. Set 2 goals & stopped at 1st - Perryville, TN 55 miles. Low tonight 44 from txt
Some good climbs today. Had to stop for a storm once and chasing dogs MANY times. Camping at planned dest. Shiloh, Tennessee! 80 miles from txt
I got a well rested early start with mostly flat roads & good weather. 89 miles clicked away smoothly to planned campground in Fulton, MS from txt
Late start - storms all night - nice short ride to Columbus - Miss. (woo-hoo!) 47 mi. Rest tomorrow in hotel thanks to co-workers gift card from txt
Cooler day, less hills & some nice scenery - good biking day. Camping riverside again in Cochrane, AL - very nice. 82 miles from txt
Nothing free anymore - dude just came & charged me $8.37 - still not bad. from txt
Camping at small state park 5 miles off route near Linden, AL (free!). More ups & downs but getting smoother. Maybe more rain tonight. 65 ml from txt
More ups & downs but towns with services are getting farther apart. Beautiful campground at planned dest. Coffeeville, AL 49 miles from txt
New video posted week two on my blog bikedenbec.blogspot.com from txt
All up/down hill with some good climbs and zero wind (hot!) Twice w flat tire - story on blog.. Camping city park Grove Hill, AL 78miles from txt
First 1000 miles(woo-hoo!) First real tail wind (zoom!) first flat tire (boo!) camping at planned dest. Stockton, AL 66 miles from txt
Headwinds & more hills / bridges than expected. Camping at planned destination Gulf Shores Alabama! 51 miles. from txt
Great dinner & staying with new friends in Pace, FL. Cross winds & nice weather - 2 flooded roads & 2 nice rangers to help across. 90 m ... from txt
Nice riding day - cloudy, not too hot, avoided a few rain showers. Camping at planned destination Ponce de Leon, FL 77 miles from txt
Planned a short day - threatening weather made it shorter. Camping (free!) in Sneads, FL just west of Chattahoochee. 45 miles from txt
Just west of Tallahassee, FL BTW from txt
Hills & headwinds again. Pushed myself to a campground that wasn't there. Howard Johnsons tonight - over budget. 100 miles. from txt
Camping near Madison, FL small rolling hills & slight headwind. Still did 92 miles. Hard time finding campground kept me going. from txt
I just posted a new video on week 1 www.bikedenbec.blogspot.com from txt
Staying at a friend of a friends place in High Springs FL. Perfect biking day! 90 miles. Rest day tomorrow staying at same place. from txt
Camping Palakta. FL ($10!) Spent a little time touring (lost?) in St. Augustine. Quiet scenic country roads. 75 miles from txt
Camping about 20 miles S. of St. Augustine, FL nice biking day and fantastic evening. 91 miles. :) from txt
Camping tonight in a cute little capground near Titusville, FL Too comfortable at Terrys place & got a late start. 58 miles. from txt
Arrived safe & sound & sore just north of Verro Beach, FL staying with a very generous host Terry. 105 miles! from txt
Day one - Just arrived safely at Jeff & Michaels in Lake Worth, FL Nice day for biking - 40 miles from txt

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A very nice day

I've been following several other bicycle tourists for several weeks now. Each time I get to a campground or little roadside eatery, they tell me they just had a nice couple from France, or 3 folks - 2 from S. Africa and one from Canada. The day before yesterday I met the couple from France and chatted a bit (I was in a bad mood that day and even forgot to take a picture) and then they went on ahead and I camped in a different campground.

When I arrived in Waverly TN, all 5 of them were there too! They offered me an ice cream cone because they just bought a pack of 6 and had an extra. Then they invited me to camp with them but I needed to do laundry badly (story to be revealed in my weekly update) so I stayed at a (terrible) motel while they camped behind a local church. I got up early and was ready to roll by 9:30 or so but then got a flat tire. I fixed it but decided I needed to go to Walmart to get a patch kit in case I had another flat as I had used all my extra tubes. Now it was almost noon and when I came out of the store - there they all were! I had figured they would be long gone by then but apparently they are late sleepers (like I used to be). So we decided to ride together for a while. I had a fantastic time chatting with them for several hours on the road before we decided to take a break for lunch - picnic style in a lovely spot by the road. After that I moved on by myself because I had a goal I wanted to reach and they needed to stay in a town to receive a letter. But it was a truly fantastic day. This time I took a few pictures.

Francis and Helen (France) Hanlie and Wim (S. Africa) and Derek (Vancouver, Canada)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Faith Keeps Me Rolling

Week 3 was marked by many churches and storms and of course lots of fantastic scenery. Mom had her surgery and is in a lengthy recovery but doing better - she is always on my mind. All this week I've been camping along the Tennessee Tombigbee waterway - a man made canal by the Corps of Engineers with some very nice campgrounds. There has been lot of rain here lately so the rivers are running very high and campfires are hard to start. Here is the week 3 summary video.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rest Day in Columbus, MS

I've been riding steady since Gainesville, FL and my legs and knees were screaming for a rest day so I'm taking one here in Columbus Mississippi. This is a very quaint town and I'm glad I stopped here. I walked the streets this morning and took a few pictures with my cell phone, but it doesn't truly represent this historic city. Many of the homes have signs indicating they were built in the mid 1800's - the architecture is fantastic.

I also laid out by the pool for a little while trying (in vain) to remedy these unusual tan lines I have developed. I haven't had tan lines in years ;) but I suppose I should resign myself to the fact that I will have a farmer tan for the rest of the summer.

Hopefully I will get to see the new Star Trek movie later this afternoon. I have been very anxious to see it.

I took a peek ahead on my Adventure Cycling maps and determined that I will have a challenging week ahead with some steep climbs and possibly (much) cooler weather. The weather forecast this morning calls for lows in the 40's and highs barely reaching 70. Time to break out the leg and arm warmers.

I'm using Windows Movie Maker, a program I truly despise, to edit my weekly updates. I just edited and re-posted the week 2 video because I wanted to get the titles off the pictures so you could actually see them. Please watch at least the picture section over to get a better idea of the scenery.

Here are a few pictures I took this morning on my cell phone.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Flats & Rumble Strips

As I mentioned in the last video, I had a flat tire yesterday (rear of course) and I patched it with a self stick patch because the spare tubes I got from the bike shop were a different size (thick), which really upset me. I rode over 40 miles to complete the day yesterday & when I woke up it was still good. So I loaded up the bike and was ready to head out - now it is flat again. I unload, repatch and got going much later than expected.

About 40 miles into my ride with many up and downs with 90 degree temps - flat again. So by roadside I decide to try the new tube and thankfully it works.

Now I am way behind schedule but still enjoying the day except that Alabama really wants to keep their drunk drivers on the road because every road today had serious rumble strips on the entire shoulder. I'm still vibrating.

I rolled into my planned destination of Grove Hill, AL right at sunset and my map said I needed permission from the Police to camp in the City Park so I called & of course voicemail. I stopped an older couple by the Cemetary & asked where the park was & they told me. The man asked about my trip & and was impressed with my goal & progress. As Mayor of the city, he granted me permission to camp. :)

I used every bit of the day's light to get my tent up. I'll sleep good tonight.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Week 2 in Review

Week 2 of my bicycle adventure was great - hampered a bit by a family emergency involving Mom and a fall that badly damaged her leg. I have a lot of time to pray on the bike and too much time to worry. I want to give a shout out to my siblings who are there helping her before and after her operation which was today. I tried to keep my video light despite the bad news so here is week 2 in review.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Week One Video

Week one went smoothly and I covered over 400 miles from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to St. Augustine and then on to Gainesville, FL area. I'm going to try a YouTube link instead of posting directly to this blog because I think it will be faster. I hope you enjoy the week in review.