Big day planned for today and we (with the exception of George, who left at 6 a.m.) were highly unmotivated. It was hard to get out of bed and we didn't until almost 8! We had breakfast and left Bardstown at 9:30.
We had a route planned that was only 79 miles, and George called this morning to warn us not to follow it, as he had ridden for 5 miles and the road and traffic were horrible. He said it was so bad he didn't even want to ride back; instead he got a hitch back to town and followed a state road to connect to U.S. 150 in Springfield, 25 miles away. We did the same and it was pleasant riding, although we did have 2 dog encounters.
It had rained this morning so we were hoping for a cloudy day, but the sun came out and with it the heat. About 5 miles from Springfield, we passed a truck coming the other direction and he told us he was forced to turn around a mile back because a semi was in the ditch and the road was blocked. Not wanting to add more miles to our long day, we decided to take our chances and continued east. The road was indeed blocked, with lines of cars waiting to pass in both directions, but we squeezed by in the grass next to the road.
We ate lunch in town and then took route 150, which had a wonderful bike lane. It was easy peddling and we made good time on the rolling terrain. The towns here in Kentucky have been very interesting, with historic sites and buildings. I wish we had more time to stop and look at everything!
Josh has been wanting a hair cut and we found a salon in Perryville so he decided to stop. Seth and I waited inside and read magazines, enjoying the A/C.
We continued on and the clouds started rolling in...the shade was nice but we knew a storm was coming. We had some steeper climbs than we had this morning and I was having trouble shifting into first gear again. I was very frustrated, and in second and third gears I was hearing a grinding, clicking sound. I have been noticing it off and on the last few days but thought it was just the new chain. Today it was definitely metal on metal rubbing and I knew something wasn't right. I stopped to discover that the new chain was fed incorrectly through the rear derailleur! I was furious! This is the second time this has happened on this bike (Seth fixed it the first time; the bike was put together incorrectly at the store). It is so frustrating to pay a mechanic to fix your bike, only to find such a careless mistake. Josh and Seth started to fix it for me, but with the storm right on our heels, we decided to wait. We rode the next few miles to Lancaster...it felt like Colorado again, trying to outrun the storm! We pulled over at a gas station and went inside. Five minutes later it began to downpour and I was so happy to be dry! We waited inside until the storm had passed and hit the road again at 7 p.m. with 20 miles to go.
We had gotten another warning from George that our intended route was a curvy, busy road, so we found another option on less traveled roads...only the roads weren't marked, so at every intersection where we thought we were supposed to turn, we got our phones out and checked our location. It was slow going and we had more dogs run at us (we're up to 9 encounters in KY, but that's not counting each individual dog)...but the roads were beautiful! We rode through the sunset and into town with our lights on...only to discover we had come in on the wrong side of town and had to go 3 more miles! I had taken my gloves off when we stopped at the edge of town, and without them my hands and handlebars were so wet that I could not shift at all! I had to stand and power up the hills, exhausting my thighs after such a long, tiring day.
We finally made it to the EconoLodge where George had gotten a room at 9:30, and he had pizza waiting for us! We ate like animals, showered, and told stories about our day. 86 miles over 12 hours and I am ready for bed!