4:14 AM: Wake up. Wide awake. Convince myself it’s too damn early and semi-sleep for another 90 minutes. Get up, pack up.
6:00 AM: Free breakfast always tastes better. Even though I know I’m paying for it in the room rate. So, I guess it’s not free. In that case, it was mediocre. Back to the room to go over the route for the day. 587 miles. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Realize I’m really goddamn tired. This is gonna be a long day. 5 Hour Energy is my BFF on this ride. (Gatorade’s my mistress, FWIW)
7:11 AM: Load up the bike, gear up, fuel up, head out. I don’t know what it is, but “Music Highway” (I-40 between Nashville and Memphis) is all sparkly. Like it got laid down by a steamroller with a bedazzler on the back. Also: WTF, Tennessee? Did your road crews never learn how to make a nice smooth transition between the road and a bridge? On half the bridges it’s like driving over a friggin curb at 80 miles an hour. Thanks a bunch, a-holes.
9:50 AM: Need gas. Need caffeine. Need to stand. Stop at a Citgo in Bucksnort, TN. Yes. Bucksnort. Pretty sure it’s right down the road from Cowfart. Actually, This was one of my favorite stops of the day. When I rode up, there was a group of bikers taking a break. They were from Pittsburgh. Taking the southern route out to California, then heading up the PCH to Oregon, and taking the northern route back. A month. Hard fucking core. Also, cool people. Then, another group rode up. Also from Pittsburgh. We hung out, talked about rides we’d done. I told them about my whopping two rides– The Three Sisters (last weekend!), and the one I was currently doing. Ok. Enough time in Bucksnort.
11:30 AM (ish): Stopped for gatorade, gas, and a snack (trail mix– fruit and nut mix. No baby shit trail mix today, thank you.). Called the kids and talked to them for a few minutes. Lily informed me that they had put on all of their temporary tattoos and that Cohen’s feet smelled like BBQ chicken. Also, it’s not nearly as hot today. Bu I’m definitely getting tired. And sore– hands, upper back, and ass. I was going to type “butt” but it looked weird. So you’re stuck with ass. And mine was sore. Left cheek, to be specific. Probably has something to do with posture due to the fact that my left highway peg is actually just a nubbin. See Day 1 for details. Or not.
2:17 PM (eastern time zone!!): Dark gray clouds hanging low over the Kentucky hills. Getting sleepy again. Need gas. Maybe some beef jerky, too. Stopped right across the street from the Bullitt County Fairgrounds. Was gonna take a picture, but it started raining so I GTFO. Here’s a crappy Google Maps streetview of the entrance– it’s the sort of arch-y-looking thing. Had white metal cut-out letters: Bullitt County Fairgrounds. It sorta sprinkled all the way through Louisville, but pretty much cleared up once I got to…
4:18 PM: Florence, KY. Nice enough place, I’m sure. But it’s like I stepped out of a DeLorean after hitting 88 miles an hour with a brand new Flux Capacitor. 1994 was a good year. Just not sure I’d wanna re-live it today. 120 miles left. Home stretch. Fuck. I’m tired. Earbuds in, and what’s the first song that plays? Bloodbuzz Ohio, by The National. Oh. Hell. Yeah.
5:00 PM: Shoulda taken a leak in Kentucky. Rest stop this time. Wanted to keep making decent time, so didn’t even take off my helmet. People stared. Oh well. Back on the bike. Dark Ohio rain clouds up north. This could get interesting. I can smell the rain.
5:30 PM (ish): Big fat raindrops start plopping onto my windshield. Onto my helmet. I can see the rain curtain. Coming up fast. Decided to just keep going. I have a perfectly awesome rainsuit from my brother in my saddle bag, but all the overpasses were already taken by the weekend joyriders with their bandannas and sleeveless shirts. Fuck it. After about 10 minutes I can feel it seeping through the seams on my leather jacket. Starting to feel it on the fabric vents on my leather pants. Gloves are soaked. Hands are chilly, but as long as I keep moving them I’ll be fine. Road was shedding the watter pretty well, and I was able to ride in the tire tracks of the cars in front of me. By 20 minutes in, I could see the other side. 10 minutes later, I was back into the dull evening sun. That was actually kinda fun. A little road baptism, I suppose.
6:20 PM: Made it! Pull in and roll on the throttle. Who needs a horn when you can make the pipes roar?
I rode 1,337 miles in two days. And made it in one piece– not even any close calls, really.
An excellent adventure, indeed.