THREE WEEKS AGO today, Andy and Andy, and I woke up in a barn. By now, this whole format is probably getting predictable. We do epic sh!t, we’re a mess, and then it all falls together.
Today was different! And I’ll tell you all about it in a minute.
First, I’ve got to tell you about this barn! It was red, wood, and surrounded by grass. It was on the side of a hill. And there was evidence that animals had once lived there. It was well kept and clean, and in one of the rooms, there was a box of encyclopedias. It looked like the set had been new when they were placed there. In one of the other rooms there was a bucket and a shovel. The barn had a single, hallway-style opening down the middle, with some nails lining the walls. We couldn’t have asked for a better place to put our bikes and hang our clothes.
On one end of the barn, there was a ladder that lead to the second floor. That’s where we slept. There was a decades worth of dust on the floor, which got all over our sleeping pads and bags. But it was a usable space, and we really enjoyed it. From the top level, we could hear the small creek that divided the property as well as the highway that lined it. Chasty didn’t need to use his phone’s white noise app up there! I think the three of us would’ve been happy living there with just a few modifications.
We got on our bikes slightly later than normal, around 10 AM. The temperature was in the 40s with clear, sunny skies, so we knew we’d be able cover some ground. And that’s what we did!
During the day, we had a few climbs, and lots of flat riding. What a treat! We made excellent time, averaging 13 mph instead of our normal 10 mph. We stopped a few times for pictures, and I shot a lot from the saddle. It’s a bit frightening steering a bike based on what you see through your camera lens, but it worked out okay and I got a few fun shots of the guys!
Burr accomplished his longest ever bike ride that day. 94 miles in about seven hours. His achilles was killing him. Man, that dude can suffer. And sometimes I think he chooses it that way. What an animal! We had been hoping for a century, so it would be an extra special day for him, but it didn’t happen. I think we were excited to get some much pedaling in, nonetheless.
There were two memorable happenings from the day: the Gauntlet of Dogs, and the kid on the motorized bicycle. There aren’t any pictures of the dogs, or the gauntlet they formed. And that’s probably for the best. It was terrifying. Imagine a stretch of road where there is a dog that wants to “play” on every property. Give that dog a ferocious bark and a thirst for blood. Make those properties that line the rode the aesthetic of a junk yard. Now, place those dogs on chains that end only inches from your ankles. Oh yeah, and systematically place the dogs so that they don’t overlap, but where there is no way to enter the property without being consumed. It’s like a really bad dream, which is why it’s good thing pictures don’t exist! Check out the following gallery to distract yourself from more thoughts of the Gauntlet of Dogs…
We pedaled into the dark, ate at another “Chipotle” (Burr’s name for Tex Mex joints), then got a hotel. This one was probably out of laziness. I think we’d all admit that one. We were right outside the Red River Gorge and just didn’t want to pedal anymore. First thing in the morning we were to pedal to the route we’d rock climb, so our tired brains rationalized that it would be a better night of sleep. Totally laziness.
All words and images ©Adam Koble