April 24 - May 1: Kentucky

4/25 - Berea (56.5 miles 735 total)
it was raining again when we got up this morning in booneville. half of the riders decided to ride in the van to berea, so their bikes were loaded onto the top of the van. i decided not to take my camera on my bike today because of the rain, so have no photos from the route.
we had our usual delicious oatmeal-etc. breakfast under a motel overhang & fixed snacks for the road. patti made some delicious chicken salad for us to use for sandwiches; the salad had capers in it. i've never eaten so many capers, but they sure perk up lots of ordinary dishes.
i cleaned up my chain & lubed it, then took a little trial spin around the motel parking lot only to find that i was having trouble with my brakes. gloria adjusted them. she also noticed that the brake housing is broken. fortunately the brakes worked quite well during the ride today, but i'll have them looked at at a bike store in danville tomorrow when i have the brake housing replaced.
phyllis, sari, & i lumbered up the first hill out of booneville. i think the wear & tear of the last few days was starting to take its toll. we shortly turned off onto a back road that wound through a lovely canyon filled with trees & a bubbling stream along the road, plus lots of wild geranium & wild phlox brightening the wooded areas. it rained off & on, teasing us for an hour or 2. we were so anxious to ride in DRY conditions. since we never quite warmed up from yesterday, we had dressed as if headed for the arctic before we left booneville this morning, which meant that in less than an hour we had to stop to start shedding.
the early part of the route was very hilly...some of the hills with inclines that belonged on the scariest roller coaster. phyllis & i ended up walking up at least the worst parts of 2 or 3. i must say that my thighs today were like lead slabs; i couldn't get them to work well to save my soul. gloria reasons that it's due to cumulative fatigue. i suspect that the tension of yesterday's ride was almost as wearing as the physical exertion.
by midday the route straightened out & the skies brightened. for the first time in what seems like days, i put on my sunglasses. what a treat. we rode thru a beautiful valley for a long ways; there were cows in pastures & even some very cute long-eared goats in one barnyard. traffic was almost nonexistent, as were winds. but dogs....oh boy, lots of them. they would see us & start running & barking, usually in two's or three's. some would stop short of coming up to the bikes, but others would seem to be at our pedals. usually we could just shout at them sharply & they'd drift away sooner or later. or else we would simply speed up & ride as quickly as possibly out of their territory. once phyllis & i got surrounded by 3 three loud dogs who kept darting in front of our bikes. finally i grabbed my dog dazer & pointed it at them; it worked---they backed off & ran home. but the whole dog component of today detracted some from the beauty of the ride in all other respects.
sarah again took a spill. she was riding downhill in front of a large truck. she didn't notice 2 large dogs galloping up silently alongside her. one ran in front of her bike & threw her off onto the side of the road....fortunately not in front of the truck. the trucker, in fact, stopped to help her. evidently those particular dogs are already notorious; the trucker knew of other mishaps they'd caused. i suppose we saw them today, too, but we saw so many that i don't remember those particular 2. sarah ended up with a sore shoulder & a banged up hand. but she managed to ride the last 10-12 miles into berea. don't know if she'll feel like riding tomorrow or not. she definitely needs a new helmet.
there was a little more traffic on the road the last 7-8 miles into berea, but not much. berea is such a beautiful little town. we're staying at the boone tavern hotel, a national historic hotel.
in the first photo you'll see some of our riders working on their bikes out in front of the hotel late afternoon. the hotel is right across from the campus of berea college.
there are lots of cute shops just around the corner, many of them selling the interesting crafts for which this area is well-known. for supper tonight we walked a block or so to a nice italian place.
the 2nd photo shows my roommates for tonight, anne (left) & judy, in a corner of our lovely room.
believe me, these are not the sort of digs we're used to. it even has a phone with a phone jack that works for my iBook ;->
at tonight's map meeting gloria told us that the bike shop that many of us had been looking forward to in bardstown (our layover town on friday) is closed. she called several lexington, ky, bike shops to try to find a mechanic who would make a trip to bardstown while we're there & fix several of our bikes, but none would make the trip. so those of us who need our bikes fixed will take a different route tomorrow & go thru danville. gloria has talked to a bike shop there that is willing to help us on a first-come-first-served basis. unfortunately the route has more traffic than the route we would have taken to harrodsburg (our overnight stay tomorrow night), but who knows when we'll next come upon a bike store. i'm not willing to pass up this one since i don't know when another will appear.
also at tonight's map meeting gloria acknowledged the problems we've having with dogs. she & we knew this would happen. she suggests that a round of rabies shots is bad but doesn't have the potential for real disaster that falling off a bike does, so she recommends that, when confronted by marauding canines, we get off our bikes & keep the bike between us & the dogs rather than run the risk of running into the dogs while on our bikes & taking a spill. i dunno. so far i've been pretty lucky at getting past them & staying ahead, but each group is different. i'm very cautious & with my dog dazer i think i'll be ok.
enthusiasm runs high amongst us bikers tonight. the forecast for the next couple of days is dry & warmer. we'll sure enjoy that for a change.
Did you miss Monday's update?
Higher quality versions of the pictures from my trip are available here. If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, feel free to e-mail my son Mark with your request. Stay tuned....

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