Monday, 24 May 2010

KFC – Kentucky Fried Cyclist

I headed out of Breaks Park early to get a bit of a head start on Tony. The mountain was shrouded in mist and I put my rear light on to avoid being flattened by a pick up truck.

I had been dreading today a bit, it would be our first day in Kentucky and everything I had read said “Be afraid, be very afraid!”. Even local cyclists as far back as Ashfield had asked if we were going through Kentucky and when we said yes they grimaced and told us to watch out for the dogs. Dogs aren’t the only problem, coal trucks run on a pay per trip basis through this mining region and they don’t stop for anyone.

Luckily we were running into Kentucky on a Sunday so coal trucks wouldn’t be an issue, but I was to find out very quickly that dogs would be. Immediately after crossing the State line the chases started and they just went on all day. Twice I had to dismount and use my bike as a shield, other times a colourful verbal assault in the Queens English proved to work. Squirting with the water bottle is also a proven method; I’ve yet to resort to my Pepper Spray or handlebar mounted rock collection, but we’re only a day into the State.

To top my previous fears we also had our longest days cycling to deal with; accommodation is thin on the ground in eastern Kentucky so we had 73 miles and 3 big hill climbs to cover in order to get to Hindman and the Knott County Historical Society B&B.

A mixed bag of small roads and interstates seemed to fly bye with the constant edge of dog attacks added to make this an interesting day. I can feel my fitness improving day by day and this 73 miler although exhausting wasn’t as bad as some of our other long days.

The challenge to cycle up the hill to the B&B in order to gain a special mention in the guest book was my final challenge of the day which puffing like a steam train I made.

David the owner of the B&B takes customer service to new levels and greets you on arrival with a huge glass of iced tea, followed by a Beer and a Jacket potato and your washing done. The stone house is set in a natural wooded amphitheatre where cyclists can pitch their tents on the tiered garden. We made use of a pre pitched touring tent which we could stand up in, luxury! Your also greeted by his cats, many of whom are kittens and provide lots of entertainment!

It didn’t take long to decide that we needed a zero (rest) day and the homely WiFi surroundings of the B&B would be ideal! So after a nice lie in I’ve spent today catching up on admin and generally relaxing. We’ll be back in dog country tomorrow.

Techy GPS elevation data here

More photos on Flickr

Link to Google Map


  1. hey stu,
    good to hear all is well.
    the pic of the butterfly on the bandanna is super cool.
    happy trails!
    peace :)

  2. magic storytelling stu, thsatnk for keeping it up - have fun


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