03/20 A funny thing happened on my way back from not getting pizza. I’d just returned to the luxurious Coachman’s Inn (jk) after having ridden to the only pizza place in town only to find out they didn’t have any pizza left. So I’m sitting on my bike in the parking lot checking my GPS to see how much suffering I want to do tomorrow when a white van pulls up next to me. The guy (Bob) asks me where I’m heading so I tell him since I’ve had people stop before so nothing new there. Turns out Bob is a photographer and asks if I’d mind if he took some pictures. OK, that was a new one for me. I figured I’m in the middle of a parking lot and he’d probably want just a couple so I said sure (I can see my family already thinking of great comments for this one). Anyway, he took a dozen or so, asked more questions and took off. If he’d asked me to start posing that would have been the end of it. 🙂 Nice enough guy but not something I was prepared for.

I have to say, Tennessee DOT, you did a great job on Hwy 60. What a glorious paved shoulder to ride on all the way to the (huge!) Tennessee River. Had one heck of a climb west of Dayton on the 30. I guess that’s why they call it the Trail of Tears. For the first mile of climbing I’m thinking I’m all that and I’d be able to climb to the top non-stop. So like 2 minutes later I’m parked at the side of the road looking for a gondola. The climb to the top was a long one but it honestly wasn’t that bad as long as I stopped every 10 minutes and gave my legs a rest. It got cold up at the top so I busted out my neck gaiter, shoe covers and windbreaker jacket and prepared for the descent. Now that was the best part of the trip so far. I didn’t go that fast, maybe 30 most of the way but it was a lot of fun. There weren’t any sharp turns either (OK one) so the jury is still out on my front panniers being too low for fast, curvy downhills but it’s something I’m prepared for and with my large front profile I can’t really go that fast anyway.

Decided at the bottom to stay in Pikeville vs. try another big climb and still make it to Fall Creek Falls for some camping before it got dark. So Aunt Leta, I’ll be there Sunday I guess. Hope that’s OK.

Not sure whose wireless I’m using in the motel right now but thanks. It’s also been almost an entire month since I started my trip (wow) and I’m very happy to say that my Brooks saddle is finally pretty comfortable. Makes for a much, much more relaxing bike ride. I really like the new shirt I picked up yesterday but for some reason I think my coordinated clothing (unintentional) and my still new-looking bike makes people around here think I’m some rich guy just joy riding around the country (that happens to like riding up steep hills in freezing temperatures and occasionally sleeping at the side of the road). It’s only been from people working in the stores I’ve stopped in and only since getting into Tennessee that I’ve gotten this vibe. It’s understandable I guess but if these people would just open up a little they’d see how much I’m so not who they think I am. Besides, if I was rich my bike would be on the back of an RV; not under my butt. At least no one flipped me off or yelled at me today.

Sorry for the long post–nothing else to do. 🙂 Maybe I’ll finish watching Punisher War Zone tonight (talk about a brutal movie). Just noticed that I broke 1000 miles today too.

Elevation Profile
GPX Track

PikevillePikevilleMy first big downhill.Looking back at what I just went through.IndeedDaytonDowntown DaytonThe color change was neat.Awesome bike path!

Mood:Good Weather:Sunny/Mild
Wind:Light Wind Direction:
Avg Speed:9.3 mph (15 km/h) Top Speed:30.6 mph (49.2 km/h)
Total Ascent:3122 ft (951.6 m) Max Elevation:2041 ft (622.1 m)
Distance:47.06 mi (75.7 km) Total Distance:1025.16 mi (1649.8 km)
This entry was posted on Friday, March 20th, 2009 at 6:33 pm and is filed under Leg 1. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Cleveland, TN to Pikeville, TN”
  1. Tom says:

    I am enjoying your adventures and check your site every day. I ride my 18 mile daily commute and dream about your trip. Your Brooks will just get better and better. Hang in there.

  2. Leigh Ann says:

    What about Bob??? White van, Bob ( yeah sure ), photographs, tight spandex any red flags yet.

  3. stephanie says:

    oh you are a supastar!! those really are some lovely shoulders you get to ride on..i am trying really hard not to crack some jokes about your paparazzi…!! i am glad to hear you are doing well, you’ll be here to see us in no time!!

  4. Aunt Leta says:

    Sunday will be fine for your arrival. You have the code to get into the house, and I have a note ready for you if we aren’t here. I made you lots of goodies. If it wasn’t for the fact we paid about $150 for the tickets to see the musical in Nashville, we wouldn’t go. I just can’t eat those tickets. You know Uncle Paul CAN’T! LOL We do expect to be back home no later than 5:30. Be careful.

  5. Anita says:

    Hi, Scott, Congrats on the 1,000 mile mark!! No, you don’t want that bike on the back of an RV – you’d be missing a lot of great photo ops! Really appreciate you sharing your trip – and your family’s great sense of humor 🙂

    Travel safe
    Anita (now in South Carolina)

    • scott says:

      Hi Anita! Thanks. I don’t think I could give up my bike as my primary means of transportation but there were a couple hills that made me wish I had an engine on it. 🙂 Sounds you like are enjoying your time in South Carolina. Take care.

  6. Aunt Lynn D. says:

    Way to go Scott! Your “let’s not call them blogs” are great and can never be to long. Everyone really enjoys reading them. Your getting closer to Nashville! Yay! I think I’m going to drive to Cookeville tomorrow afternoon just to see what Leta has whipped up for you. LOL Sam’s Club does a great job on prepared food. LOL Don’t let her fool you! LOL J/K Leta! Can’t wait to see you and I’ll tell you about the Trail of Tears.

  7. phil says:

    Hello,
    I just came across this page and its amazing!..The pictures are great!
    I am thinking about doing this ride from Pikeville to Cleveland and then back.
    How were the roads?
    How were you treated by the drivers?
    Any suggestions?
    Were their places along the way to grab food, Gatorade, etc?

  8.