Day Eleven Harrogate TN to Oak Ridge Tn 68 Miles
Hottest day yet! But today is the last big day of riding. Traffic was on this side of terrible but the three of us while tired are clicking off the miles to Oak Ridge. Our hosts tonight live at the top of a series of very step hills so we have decided that riding in the opposite direction from the destination wasn’t necessary unfortunately the van we where counting on to pick us up got a flat. So we are sitting at the bottom of the hill and I decided to call our new friend Matt that we met at the Smokey Mountain Peace Pagoda. And before I got the words out of my mouth he said I have a truck and can be there in ten minutes if that works? So thanks to Matt we are at our overnight with the Sullivan’s, Larry and Tim fixed the van and are also here so everything came together. Give me a few days and I will be adding more pictures from the name and remembrance ceremony.
Tomorrow we will ride the last two miles to the Y 12 nuclear facility and join with others to remember everyone who has died as a result of the nuclear industry.
I want to say thanks to all of our friends who are more like family for taking care of us during this event. Yeah we are the ones riding but we couldn’t do it without you. Peace and Love, Jim, Jon & Del
Day Ten Harlan KY to Harrogate TN – 46 miles
This is our first time to be on state route 119 on a work day and man it had a lot of traffic on it. We got spoiled on Saturday and Sunday it was nice and quite with very little traffic now it’s like sensory overload. At least after lunch we had a shoulder to ride on again and the rest of the day went pretty smooth. It’s always a good break at Cumberland Gap we are not allowed to ride through the tunnel so the state workers load our bikes into the back of pick up trucks and drive us through it always makes for interesting conversation. We got to the church were we are staying tonight and where greeted by our host Reverend Randal Wright who told us he would be back with pizza later. Side note Jon got a flat so Jim is now in good company.
Day Eight and Nine Whitesburg KY to Harlan KY 55 miles
Well with no access to the internet I am going to do two days in the update. Day 8 was up Pine Mountain and the entrance to Kingdom Come State Park. It takes us about an hour and a half to climb the mountain and the rest of the day to recover. Tonight we stay up at Wiley’s Last Resort. Alex saved us from having to carry food up the mountain today by bringing up some food for dinner and some friends who we have never meet before. After a good visit and a swim we retired to our cabins for the night.
Today started out cool with a heavy fog in the mountain. Visibility was about 20 feet. But we got a early start so there was very little traffic. And what traffic we had was good to us. Climbing the mountain always makes the next day quick and we finished 40 miles by lunch and that only left us with five more to go so we took a long lunch and are now safe and sound at the Holy Trinity Church thanks to our host Margarie.
Day Seven Pikeville KY to Whitesburg KY 48 miles
Today and tomorrow are the roughest days on this event. Today we rode from Pikeville and into the mountains. We stopped today for lunch in Dorton KY at a road side rest where we meet a truck driver named Mark who told us about the area and what it’s like for drivers in these mountains. For the most part people have been kind to us today.
We used to run this route and the picture that I am posting that used to be a mountain is the first image I saw that made me start looking into MTR and Surface minning.
Tonight we are staying with Alex with the Sierra Club in Whitesburg KY. I will have to say we have some of the best support on this trip from members of the Sierra Club, KFTC and OREPA.
There my be no update tomorrow we will be climbing Pine Mountain and staying at Wiley’s Last Resort so if you don’t hear from us tomorrow we will be back on Sunday.
Day Six Prestonsburg KY to Pikeville KY 30 miles
When we are on this section of the ride we are constantly reminded of the impact of coal in and really on Eastern KY. We are really beat up at the end of the day and covered in coal dust. It’s everywhere then there are the signs in the business’s windows we support conial, coal keeps the lights on the coal propaganda machine just keeps on cranking it out. We have talked to business owners who have told us that if they don’t put those signs up then they fear they could go out of business for lack of support.
Good news today we did stop at a road side marker for the battle of ivy mountain and it runs along the Big Sandy River and I got my water tester out and the big Sandy tested fine there.
It’s a short day today so we are looking at it as our rest day and trying to take it easy today.
Our host is taking great care of us Cheryl and her husband Larry who is running for county court clerk. We have all the comfort of home and feel at home here.
Day Five Louisa KY to Prestonsburg Ky 45 miles
Today actually started off cold and we are in the……..not mountains but really big hills my speedometer today said my max speed was 36 MPH so we were moving at least downhill but that made it even colder. Tonight we are staying at our friends Kristi and Johna so instead of riding to their house we have decided to ride to their new shop called Kickin’ Ash right in Downtown Prestonsburg. While we were there Kristi said let’s see if Jessie is next door at the KFTC office she was so we got the tour and a nice bonus visit with her. Pretty good day over all.
Day Four Portsmouth OH to Louisa KY – 64 Miles
We headed off this morning by riding across the Ohio River and into KY. The day is cool and there are clouds but we never saw the rain everyone kept telling us about along the route. We are slowing down a bit we hit the foothills today no more flatland till we get to TN.
We have never had any luck finding support in Louisa so we have to stay at the Super 8 and eat at whatever is close including a stop at what the locals call the bee hive with the 31 flavors and unique statues.
Side note I am the only one who has gotten a flat so far two and counting.
Day 3 Ripley Ohio to Portsmouth Ohio 65 miles
After an unexpected rest day we are off and heading to Portsmouth Ohio. This year we are taking state route 52 all the way. This road runs along the Ohio river and it’s a beautiful ride for the most part of course along the way we are also reminded why we are riding as the power plants belch their pollutants into the air and the water. This is why we cycle for a sustainable future.
We arrived in Portsmouth around 3:45 and as always we were set up by Ruth from St. Mary’s Church. Soon after our good friend and supporter Eric showed up with food to cook dinner (and yes we missed you Lori and Tristan). After getting cleaned up a little we all pitched in and go dinner ready and had a fine meal. The rest of the evening will be spent visiting and preparing for our 64 mile ride to Louisa KY tomorrow.
Day Two: Ripley to Portsmouth
That’s a maybe right now we are facing 40 mile an hour wind and severe storm storm conditions. We have 65 mile to go today so we are hoping for the storm to move out before noon so we can still make it to Portsmouth more later…….
Well we have canceled the ride for the day, the weather is just to severe to take the chance. We will cancelling our rest day to make up the time so we can still make It to Oak Ridge on the 6th.
Day one: Cincinnati Ohio to Ripley Ohio
We started around 9am and made our way to the first stop in Amelia Ohio. It started to rain so we waited it out and started again around 11:30. The rest of the day was beautiful and sunny arriving in Ripley Ohio around 4 pm at our friends Tim and Suzanne’s. We had a great night with our great host. Thanks guys.