04/28/2010 — Hint of flats to come

April 30, 2010

After checking out our current location and trying to decide where we would meet back up with the Transamerica Trail, we decided that we would just continue our current route westward to Berea, KY – and from there we could continue with the maps.

The rain was gone, and although the morning was chilly – it warmed up pretty quickly to the mid 60s – which made for a fantastic riding day. Not only was the weather near perfect – this terrain was quite easy to ride through as well – mostly flats with only slight climbs and downhills sparsely throughout. The plan was to take Rt. 114 West out of Prestonsburg and then pick up the Mountain Parkway, which would take us to Berea. However, our plans changed when we arrived at the parkway to find that biycles are prohibited from traveling on that road.

Using Dawson’s trusty Iphone (has come in quite handy in countless situations already) we calculated a new route, riding smaller state roads Southwest to Jackson, West to Irvine, and then Northwest to Berea. We headed into Saylersville, KY on our way to find the route we needed, and stopped at a gas station for snacks. We were pleased to talk to a number of very nice people here, including a man who gave us directions (a fellow cyclist) and warned us of a potentially dangerous traffic situation on the way.

We hopped onto Rt. 30 West just outside of Saylersville, and headed towards Jackson – although we didn’t have a clue how far it was and if we’d actually reach the town today. The riding was fantastic through this area – quite scenic, and the terrain was easy to ride. Although the area was quite hilly, the road tended to curve around most of the hills rather than going up and down over all of them.

We rode for hours – and although the area was beautiful and the riding enjoyable – we began to get curious about how many more hills we’d through, as the terrain just seemed to repeat itself and seemed endless.

As the hours went by, the miles did as well – and we seemed to be covering a good amount of ground. Around 5 PM or so we stopped to ask a woman who we saw working outside of her house, and she informed us that we were within 5 miles of Jackson. She was even so kind as to offer us some water. We graciously declined as we both had enough to finish up the day, but we’re always glad to see that there are people out there who are willing to help us out.

Not too long after we rode into Jackson, KY where we stopped for dinner and had some interesting conversations/interactions with locals who stumbled upon us while we were in town. As the sun began to set behind the hills, we rolled up on the Jackson Inn. We were thinking that we would camp tonight – but after not locating any appropriate areas on the way into or through town – we just decided to go with a safe bet.

We rode 59 miles today, which I believe is our best day so far. I expect our daily distance to develop considerably as we move from the mountains into the flats, and today made me feel confident about our ability to cover more ground.

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