The Long Road to Nashville

Saturday, 15th May, we woke early at our church campgrounds in Rockwood, TN.  It’s hard to hard to say what it is, but the comfort of sleepng at on church grounds is always the most refreshing rest we get. 

Our early start set the stage for a highly progressive day of cycling.  We began the day knowing that our hotel in Nashville was already booked, and 140 miles away.  Getting there seemed at first to be a daunting task, but once we started moving, we began putting the miles behind us with ease.  Spending extended periods in the saddle has become easier, and easier, and our confidence is growing.  That’s not to say that we are without pain and anxiety, but our bodies and minds are becoming tempered to the elements.

Our day of cycling began with an immediate climb to the top of  the plateau of mid Tennesse.  I’m not sure if the plateau actually has a proper name, but all the locals just call it “the plateau”.  Compared to the Blue Ridge Parkway the climb to the plateau was miniscule.  Altogether the climb ammounted to about a 1000 foot ascent.  We neared the top of the plateau and came upon a small town of two buildings, Ozone.  The day before, we talked to a local man outside of a Rockwood strip mall where we were stranded in a hail storm.  He told us ablut the road ahead, and suggested we sto to check out the waterfall in Ozone.  Again, I am at aloss to know if the falls have a proper name, so we endearingly dubed the falls, the Falls of Ozone.  Check out the pictures for this one, this place was beautiful.

After stopping for the falls the day proceeded to be a day of never-ending rolling hills.  One after another, some larger than others, and some a greater grade than others, we assulted the rolling hills of mid-Tennesse.  As we rode closer and closer to Nashville, the towns along the way grew larger and more dense.  We knew we were nearing Nashville when we came to the town of Lebanon.  We rode directly through the historical district of the small down town area.  In the center there was a square surrounded by a traffic roundabout.  With high spirits and optimism we made a lap around the square before continuing on towards Nashville.

Throughout the entire day we were constantly in and out of the rain.  One storm after another poured on us long enough to soak our shoes, and then the sun would shine again.  The short 40 miles between Lebanon and Nashville were no different.  Brief periods of rain sprinkled tiny drops on us and then nothing.  To make these conditions better Justin’s GPS had began giving us problems.  I’m not sure what all the complications were, but it was serious enough for us to turn to Adam’s iphone for directions. 

Unfortunatly Adam’s iphone was set for walking directions that took us through a park that was badly damaged by the recent flooding here in Nashville.  The paved walking paths in the park were covered in inches of river mud.  Under different circumstances I would enjoy a bike ride through mud, but on a road bike converted to a touring bike, with 40+ lbs. of gear, the experience was frusterating.  Finally we made our way through the park and crossed paths with a local cyclist who was happy to show us a safe, unmudded way to our hotel.  She led us through the neighborhood that surrounded the park and pointed us in the right direction.  We were happy to on our way once again but knew our bike were in serious need of some TLC. 

Finally we arrived at our hotel, releived and exhausted.  Quickly we checked in, met with Justin’s wife, Ally, and his mother-in-law, Sandy for a binge feast at the closest Shoney’s buffet.  Honestly, the food was probably sub-par, but I wouldn’t have noticed, for the food passed my taste buds unnoticed into my stomach.  

That’s roughly the story of our last day of cycling to Nashville.  Now, for those of you who ae alos interresed in the cold hard facts and figures, here they are unaltered:

Arrived day 9, apprx. 140 miles, apprx.9 hrs. in the saddle, average speed apprx. 15.7 mph

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~ by danranschaert on May 18, 2010.

2 Responses to “The Long Road to Nashville”

  1. Hey guys, so glad to hear that you’re safe. Can’t wait to see you. Wanted to let you know that your 2 boxes of Gu arrived. Also, on Monday I received another package addressed to Adam and from Amanda Bryer, Operation Smile in VA. I will have plenty of (good??) home cooked meals waiting for you. Need a list of your favorites, and due to your current cuisine, don’t want to upset your stomachs.

  2. Daniel – I’ll cook so it will be GOOD cooking – let us know where you are and when to expect you – call my cell phone – i always carry it – be safe

    Ky step dad

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