Days 16 & 17: July 15th and 16th: 161 miles: Caneyville, Kentucky to Vienna, Illinois

17 07 2011

After being chased by the 15th dog in Kentucky, we lost count of how many of man’s “best friend” tried to hunt us down. The main hobby of dogs in Kentucky is to attack cyclists and it is a fervent interest of Kentucky residents to not bother with leashes since miles of vast farmland can separate neighbors from each other. As we entered a new time zone in Kentucky (an hour behind NJ time), we were transported to a surreal realm where dog attacks regularly provide multiple doses of adrenaline rush. We adapted to the comical yet frightening circumstances with stones and tactful (awkward) swerving. The last and worst encounter happened this morning as a dog lunged for my leg and I nearly fell off my bike after rapidly jolting the handlebars.

Fortunately, our encounters with people in Kentucky were far different than the dogs. We stopped at a gas station yesterday and were enthusiastically encouraged by Roger and Will to keep fighting the good fight in the heat of the early afternoon. A man named David handed us a $20 bill for our charities in passing outside a restaurant. We boarded a ferry across the Ohio River today filled with motorcyclists who cheered us on. Passing motorists, especially those on motorcycles, have constantly give us waves.

Western Kentucky became far more barren than we ever expected; yesterday we unsuccessfully went over 40 miles in search for any food on our route. When we reached mile 80 for the day we were both hit by a primitive hunger that could not be pacified by the boxes of granola bars stored in our emergency snack stash. We were soaked in sweat and disheveled, fumbling through our panniers for snacks on the side of the road when a Mighty Ducks miracle happened: up rolls an orange Shelby convertible and two legendary people- Randy and Connie. They adopted us for the night, fed us steaks, potatoes, and corn from nearby farmland, let us heal our legs in a jacuzzi, and fed us eggs, sausage, and biscuits in the morning. Thanks again for the above-and-beyond hospitality! We were quite grateful to not be camping when we heard the coyotes howling from the safety of comfortable beds! We hit 81 miles today, 80 yesterday, and tomorrow we are Missouri-bound. We have a heat wave and lots of climbing in the Ozark Mountains awaiting us…with a flat Kansas (we are praying for east winds on our backs) on deck.

the magical Shelby and the legendary Randy

riding dirty in Kentucky

James w/ Beth and Gary, coolest couple ever

me w/ our other adopted parents in Kentucky: Connie and Randy- absolute legends



6 responses

17 07 2011
Daniel Ferguson

Hey Gents!

Hope all is well
Looks like you got the royal treatment at Randy and Connies!
Keep at it guys, truly amazing, yet not surprising, that you are still trucking through it!

Hope you’re having a blast, I’ll give you a ring/text when I’m back in the states next week.

17 07 2011
Aidan barrett

james you need to eat up your wasting away ha ha! Fair play tho. It must be very hard trying to cycle in that heat! Best of luck with the rest of the trip!

17 07 2011
Kat A.

What an awesome adventure filled with wonderful people. Keep up the great work!

18 07 2011
Bob and Pat

thanks for the daily updates…….

21 07 2011
John murphy

Come on son Rooney! What’s up with those coyotes son? Get out of here with that son! You don’t need to be having your bones chewed on son…you need those for the rest of your trip. 🙂
I’m really proud of you and your riding mate from Ireland. I’m glad he is having the opportunity to explore the USA and meet nice people along the way. Make sure he tells the people back in Ireland how awesome Americans are (well some of us)! Keep on keepin’ on and best wishes for the rest of your journey…I’m sure you’ll have lots of neat things to tell friends, family and students when you get back. I want to be like you when I grow up! You da man son!
Peace out…your bro man Irish buddy John “Murphdawg” Murphy
PS…we have to catch up on our Come on Son! phrases when school starts! Get your cardboard sign ready!

21 07 2011

glad you are doing well!!

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