August, 2021 – Tennessee/ Kentucky – I’ve been on the road for 10 days and am now pedaling back to Wisconsin after chasing the historical demise of Bonnie & Clyde in Louisiana.
Most of the time I’m able to cobble together a story or two about the great people I meet and some of the adventures along the way.
Below are some of the things you really don’t see. So I’m pulling back the curtain a bit on what it’s like to tour cross country by bike.
Glamorous: It’s not glamorous at all. Lots of lovely sun and stinky sweat. When I land in a church or campsite I wash my clothes in a sink and hang them to dry… usually the clothes dry best on the back of the bike. I wedge the clothes under a bungee cord and they flap in the wind. I feel and look like a hobo.
How many things can you identify on the back of the bike? The white plastic bag is food ie grapes, a peach and extra water. Normally I don’t carry a fan but I found this one on the side of the road, it’s light weight and it works.
Water break: Because of the heat, about 100 degrees in Louisiana, I’d take water breaks which also include a brief soak. It does make a difference but only after you start pedaling again and create a breeze. The initial dousing is like a shower of hot water – almost as hot as McD’s coffee. #notkidding
– I clean my bike chain after every ride and pump the tires the next day. There’s a lot of debris on the road and I want the tires at 100 psi; the tires are rock solid. It feels like I’m riding a lumber truck.
Thwap: So odd, I got thwapped by five dragonflies while pedaling. Happened in Louisiana. They were all around – like the cicadas were everywhere.
What do you call a bunch of dragonflies? A fleet, a symphony, a magazine, a team of dragonflies? What say you?
I meet so many people each day and I’d love to write about all of them.
Ran into Trudy today in Dyersburg, TN. I loved her orange fashion and her bike. She didn’t even know me and invited me in her second sentence to the open house at her new antique store.
Don Fisher was in the Air Force. Met him at the McDonald’s in Dyersburg.
Don helped me with directions. Then mentioned how he moved back to Tennessee with his wife in 2004 and she, Lily, died three years later. Cancer.
Conell has a personality! Met him at his antique store where I took a break. I felt like we became fast friends. He told me his life story about living on the homestead where his family had been since the 1700s. He had family in Wisconsin, including Madison and Brown Deer. His shop had something for everyone, including a lot of carnival glass and dishware.
When I ask to take his picture he said, “No, not today… my hair and I’m a mess.” Then he said, “Well… go ahead. Make me beautiful.”
– I hate rumble strips at the side of the road. Tough enough sometimes to find a good paved shoulder. Pedal on a rumble strip and you’ll never forget it.. very difficult to hang onto the bike much less steer it.
– Second week on the road and I’m wearing two pair of shorts. Not only does it double up the shammy to help provide a little more padded comfort but some of the nylon in the shorts has worn thin… I lied, worn sheer is more like it. Since I don’t want to give a show to traffic coming up behind me (pun intended…and I forgot my glitter) I figure the added layer would help.
– I like it when farmers and truck drivers waive. It is odd when I’m in a community overnight and I’ve met people and then I run into them the next day at the store or gas station as I’m leaving town. Or people will beep their car horn like 5 or 10 times… as if to say, “goodbye, good luck, that girl is crazy…”
These are a few of my favorite things:
I like stopping at historic markers and reading about the history of the community.
Look at this big fella. What a show-off. Had to be about 8-feet tall.
Totally thought I stumbled upon a NASA space center. I love aeronautic history. Then I realized the clever marketing.
These history murals are always impressive.
Have I not commanded you? … Be strong and courageous. … Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
The 2021 Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s is raising money this year for music programming for seniors at Cedar Community, a 501c3, so all donations are tax-deductible.
Donate via the secure website through Cedar Community. Donations should be marked “Amazing Ride 2021.” Click HERE to make a secure online donation.
Checks may be made payable to “Cedar Community Foundation” with “Judy Bike Ride” in the memo line and mailed to 113 Cedar Ridge Dr., West Bend, WI 53095
Be sure to include the Federal Tax ID Number for the Foundation: 39-1249432
You may also find a downloadable donation form HERE.
Cedar Community is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and donations are tax-deductible.