Back in the Eastern time zone!
Seth and I woke to sprinkles about 3 a.m. and got up to put the rain fly on. They stopped before we were asleep again, but when we woke at 6 it was drizzling. Again it only lasted a few minutes and we packed up and headed to the restaurant where we had dinner last night. This may be our last riding day to enjoy a leisurely breakfast since this might be our shortest day for the rest of the trip at 66 miles. The bacon, eggs, biscuits, and coffee were delicious!
The morning was gray and damp, and Seth and I were dripping sweat as soon as we started peddling. We stopped to wait for Josh and Claudia (George had left before us) after about 10 miles. We made a turn onto KY 84 and the road was horribly bumpy and very hazardous for bikers...there were huge 3-4 foot potholes surrounded by gravel and other rough patches. We had a steep downhill section with sharp turns and I was on my brakes the whole time, still afraid I would hit a rough spot and fall. When I got to the bottom, Josh and Seth were waiting; Seth had fallen on the way down! He said he was going too fast as he approached the last curve, and on the wet road he couldn't stop; he laid the bike down in the grass. He re-opened the wounds on his arms from his first crash but was otherwise okay since he landed in the grass.
Once we got to the top of the next climb it started to rain. It was a light but steady warm rain that saturated our clothes in minutes. It lasted an hour and stopped just as we pulled up to a gas station for a break. Soaking wet, it was cold inside in the air conditioning!
We said goodbye to Claudia at the store as she is doing an alternate loop to visit Mammoth Cave National Park. We may see her again since we are planning to take a day off once we reach Virginia, so she may catch us.
We were sweating profusely in the hot post-rain air and took another break once we reached Elizabethtown. Towns are always hectic with inconsistent bike lanes but we made it through with only one small incident: Josh nicked the curb with one of his pedals, knocking him off balance, and he fell onto the sidewalk. He was very graceful about it and was unscathed. The eastern side of Elizabethtown was much more pleasant, with a two-lane road and forests.
The climbs became noticeably longer today and it is obvious in the forest that we are approaching the Appalachians! I was having trouble shifting into first gear this afternoon, barely able to twist my grip shifters using all my strength. Seth looked at it tonight and made a simple adjustment to the barrel tension, which will hopefully solve the problem. The new cable is tight!
I will say that one negative aspect of grip shifters is moisture. When it's humid or raining, it is very difficult to get a strong enough hold to shift gears! Even with gloves on, my hands slide when I try to twist. It wasn't an issue at all out west, but the eastern humidity has been frustrating!
We made it to Bardstown and discovered we had crossed into the Eastern time zone! We got a hotel room at the General Nelson Inn, complete with laundry and a buffet restaurant right next door.
I was tired when we got into town tonight; the last two days have spoiled me with low mileage! We are going to push to Berea tomorrow to get some miles behind us!