Saturday, July 25, 2009
Dog Days of Summer
On the Road
Whew, it's been a couple of days so I'll try to keep this as short as possible. The biking has been great. I got back on the bike yesterday and my legs are feeling good (but tired) and the cuts are holding up very nicely. I forsee no further complications, but knock on wood, I don't want to miss any more miles!
Kentucky continues to get more and more beautiful. Today we worked our way up to the base of the Appalachian mountains. They are much shorter than the Rockies or the Sierra Nevadas (our biggest peak is around 4,000 feet) but they are significantly steeper so it will make for some long days in the near future.
One of the many beautiful backroads of Kentucky.
Speaking of long days, we rode 100+ miles today. The first 50 took out a lot of both Dave and me, but we stopped in Berea and checked out the college there for a while. The wind was blowing very hard and we tried to wait it out; I'd had enough of head/cross winds from the morning.
After pushing on we tried to break up the last 55 miles into 30 and 25 miles segments. Lauren got lost in the windy roads though so we rode all the way in and met her in Booneville, KY. The rain started coming down in the last couple miles so we rode very hard and rewarded ourselves with a big dinner. I had a double bacon cheeseburger, fries, four cokes, a sirloin/egg/cheese breakfast sandwich, and a slive of peanut butter pie. I could have had more.
Nine order tickets in total for the table. Oh yeah.
Now we are cmaping out back of a Presbyterian Church in town. The church has set up a free camp ground for cyclists passing through complete with bathrooms and showers! It's a very welcome surprise at the end of a long day and should refresh us for a long day tomorrow. We're going 125 miles or so to Elkhorn City. It's longer than we originally planned but it gives us some good flexiblity for housing two days from now. Besides, go big or go home.
There's a little story that Dav insists I tell on the blog. Throughtout Kentucky it has not been uncommon to be chased by dogs for a little bit. Often they are small and just want to play, but we've had our fair share of dogs that look pretty vicious and just want to take a big chomp out of our juicy legs.
Well we were biking along this ridge this evening. Dave was leading by 5 bike lengths or so when a large (140 lbs) black dog starts to bark, chases Dave, and nips at his heels. Dave barely made it through. I froze at the start of the dog's property. It turned, barked, and started to sprint directly at my down the centerline.
I developed a theory early in the day while outrunning a German Shepard that likens biking past dogs to playing basketball. When you are on offense you have to beat your defender with your first step. If you can beat him with one step, you can turn the corner and get to the hoop. If, however, the defender reads your step and blocks your path you have nowhere to go. Well Dave beat the dog with his first step but I could not do so.
Anyways this 140 lbs, very fast, snarling dog is barreling down on me so I about faced and start booking it away from our destination. I managed to get away and the dog returned to its yard. A 5 minute sparring session ensued. I would try to sneak by, the dog would block my path and try to end my life. After a few unsuccessful attempts, the owner came out and managed to pin the dog- aptly named "Bruiser"- down. "He's all bark and no bite!" he kindly chuckled as I sped on by. I thanked him but didn't wait around for the dog to be released.
It's safe to say I am officially terrified of dogs.
Fact of the Day
For only $4 you can buy a one time drug dosage that will prevent the transfer of HIV from mother to child during pregnancy. This fact is one that really gets to me. Having grown up in a household with two, healthy parents who worked hard and provided me with the opportunities to get where I am today I am extremely thankful for the blessings in my life. Yet everyday children are born with HIV, have no access to the life saving drugs that we can produce, and die before they are 5 years old only because they were born in a 3rd world country. Yet for $4- $4!!- these kids can be given a chance at life. Ultimately, that's what we all want and $4 seems a small price to pay for the life of a child.
Answer to Wednesday's Question: I must confess that I have led my reading audience astray. As it turns out the men on the Kentucky state falg are NOT Daniel Boone and Henry Clay but symbolic figures of "the stateman" and "the pioneer". As I was corrected by Mrs. Evans she gets the 10 points and assumes the lead on our scoreboard! Has Nate Rooks gone silent? Will KTO make her comeback? Keep checking back to find out!
Today's trivia Question: In what year was Berea College founded (5 points)? Who was allowed to enroll (5 points)?
Posted by Austin Carroll Keeley at 6:38 PM