Aug 2021 – Tennessee / Kentucky – I have been on the road for 10 days and now return to Wisconsin after chasing the historic disappearance of Bonnie & Clyde in Louisiana.
Most of the time I’m able to whip up a story or two about the great people I meet and some of the adventures along the way.
Below are some of the things you really don’t see. So I pull the curtain back a bit on what it’s like to cycle cross-country.
Glamor: It’s not glamorous at all. Lots of beautiful sun and stinky sweat. When I land in a church or campsite, I wash my clothes in a sink and hang them to dry… usually clothes dry better on the back of the bike. I tuck the clothes under a rubber band and they flap in the wind. I feel and look like a tramp.
How many things can you identify on the back of the bike? The white plastic bag contains food, that is, grapes, a peach and extra water. Normally I don’t wear a fan but I found this one by the side of the road, it is light and it works.
Water Break: Due to the heat, around 100 degrees in Louisiana, I would take water breaks which also include a brief soak. It does make a difference, but only after you start pedaling again and create a breeze. The initial sprinkle is like a shower of hot water – almost as hot as McD’s coffee. #No kidding
– I clean my bike chain after each ride and inflate the tires the next day. There is a lot of debris on the road and I want 100 psi tires; the tires are rock solid. I feel like I’m driving a timber truck.
Thwap: So strange, I got hit by five dragonflies while pedaling. It happened in Louisiana. They were everywhere – like cicadas everywhere.
What do you call a bunch of dragonflies? A fleet, a symphony, a magazine, a team of dragonflies? What you say?
I meet so many people every day and I would love to write about all of them.
I met Trudy today in Dyersburg, TN. I loved his orange fashion and his bike. She didn’t even know me and invited me in her second sentence to the open house at her new antique store.
Don Fisher was in the Air Force. I met him at McDonald’s in Dyersburg.
Don helped me with the directions. Then he mentioned how he returned to Tennessee with his wife in 2004 and that she, Lily, died three years later. Cancer.
Conell has a personality! I met him in his antique store where I took a break. I felt like we quickly became friends. He told me his life story about living on the farm where his family had been since the 1700s. He had family in Wisconsin, including Madison and Brown Deer. Her store had something for everyone, including lots of carnival glasses and tableware.
When I asked to take a picture of him he said, “No, not today… my hair and I are a mess.” Then he said, “Well… go ahead.” Make me beautiful.
– I hate rough strips on the side of the road. Quite hard at times to find a good paved shoulder. Pedal on a rough lane and you will never forget it … very difficult to hold onto the bike let alone steer it.
– Second week on the road and I’m wearing two shorts. Not only does it double up on the shammy to help provide a bit more padded comfort, but some of the nylon in the shorts is worn out… I lied, the veil worn is more like that. Since I don’t want to put on a show of the traffic coming in behind me (pun intended… and I forgot my glitter), I think the added layer would help.
– I like it when farmers and truck drivers give up. It’s weird when I’m in a community overnight and have run into people and meet them the next day at the store or gas station as I leave town. Or people will honk like 5 or 10 times… as if to say “goodbye, good luck, that girl is crazy…”
Here are some of my favorite things:
I like to dwell on historical landmarks and read about the history of the community.
Look at this big guy. What a demonstration. He must have been about 8 feet tall.
I totally thought I came across a NASA space center. I love the history of aeronautics. Then I did smart marketing.
These historic frescoes are still impressive.
Have I not ordered you? … Be strong and courageous. … Do not be afraid or be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1: 9
The Amazing Ride for Alzheimer 2021 is raising money this year for music programming for seniors at Cedar Community, a 501c3, so all donations are tax deductible.
Donate through Cedar Community’s secure website. Donations must be marked “Amazing Ride 2021”. Click HERE to make a secure online donation.
Checks can be made payable to “Cedar Community Foundation” with “Judy Bike Ride” in the memo line and mailed to 113 Cedar Ridge Dr., West Bend, WI 53095
Be sure to include the Foundation’s Federal Tax ID: 39-1249432
You can also find a downloadable donation form HERE.
Cedar Community is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization and donations are tax deductible.