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TRIP 2014

Update #05 - February 27
Saltillo, Mississippi
1,734.19 miles (2,838.93 KM)





I arrived in Saltillo, Mississippi a couple of days ago. I almost didn't make it on my own power because the free hub in the rear wheel of my recumbent, Alice, was going out. It wasn't cost effective to rebuild the old hub so I had to get a new rear wheel at Bicycle Pacelines in Tupelo, Mississippi. I can't really complain since I had gotten over 22,000 miles (35,200 km) on the old wheel. I'm staying with friends at least through this weekend. Weather permitting, I'll be back on the road either next Monday or next Wednesday. The next leg will have me cycle to the Savannah, Georgia area.

February 14 : Cleveland, TX to Camp Ruby, TX - 52.05 miles (83.28 KM)

I had an okay night at the motel. I left the motel a little after 8 am. The temperature was in the 40s but it supposed to get up into the upper 60s or low 70s in the afternoon. I rode up bus 59N until it hit US 59. There was a tailwind to push me along. In a couple of places, I cruised up to 12 mph. I made some really good time. I was amazed at getting over 36 miles (58 km) in by noon.

I got into Livingston around 12:30 pm. I stopped at a Church's for some lunch. Around 1 pm, I started to check out the churches in the downtown area. There were four in the downtown area. It took a while to find the office of the Central Baptist Church. There was a sign on the door that said the office had closed at 1 pm. I had missed somebody by a few minutes. I stopped at the Presbyterian Church. There was a sign that said that the office had closed at noon. I checked out the other three churches but there was no office that I could find.

I stopped at the police station to see if I could make a contact that way but I didn't have any luck. The station didn't have a chaplain. I found the sheriff's office. They didn't have a chaplain. The people in the jail didn't have any real contact with one of the local ministers. I was told about a ministry "GodTel Ministries".

I rode over to check out the GodTel Ministries. It was in a bad part of town. I was concerned about the location. There was a pack of dogs running around the neighborhood. The ministry center was a shelter. I am always wary of these places after getting sexually assaulted at the last shelter that I stayed at. I thought that I would at least check it out to see if there was a minister there. There wasn't a minister. The lady in the office wasn't really friendly. She really didn't like it when I didn't give her my ssn. I don't give that number out anymore after I had a serious problem with identity theft. According to federal law, the ssn isn't supposed to be used as an id number. There wasn't any real safe place where I could store my recumbent or my gear. There were just too many regulations so I didn't stay.

It was almost 4:30 pm when I headed East of town on US 190. It was rolling hills. I did have to stop some place to get some water. A little before dusk, I found some open woods to camp out in between Camp Ruby and the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation. Hopefully, it will not get too cold tonight.

February 15 : Camp Ruby, TX to Woodville, TX - 22.47 miles (35.95 KM)

I had an okay night camping out but it was cold. The temperature was probably in the 40s. I took my time striking camp and packing Alice up. It was around 9 am when I got back on the road. The ride East was slow because of the rough road from the chip sealing and hills. By noon, I had only got 12 miles (19 km) in. I stopped alongside the road for a lunch break. The temperature was a lot cooler than yesterday.

I got into Woodville around 1:30 pm. It took a while finding a grocery store to get a few things. I went around to check out the churches. There wasn't anybody around the Methodist Church. I found some people at the First Baptist Church. I was told that they were between pastors and the interim pastor wasn't around.

I found the police station. I talked with a friendly sergeant. He told me that if I could wait a while he could help me out by getting me a room at a motel across the street from the police station. While I was waiting for the officer to come back from his rounds, I made a sign for the back of Alice. I made it out of an orange safety flag from a logging truck and a permanent sharpie pen. The sign has my motto on it "With Every Wheel Revolution... A Prayer Goes Up To Heaven" and my ministry website url. I'm going to sew it onto the bag that has my sleeping bags in it.

February 16 : Woodville, TX to Woodville, TX - 01.00 miles (01.60 KM)

I had an okay night at the motel. I left the motel around 9 am. It was really foggy outside.

It was a short four block walk to the Methodist Church. I got to share with a Sunday School class (Young At Heart) (my 8th church for the year). After the class, several people slipped me GH's. I got to meet the pastor before the service. After the service, there was a potluck. Instead of letting me stay in the church the rest of the day, the pastor offered to get me a room at the motel where I stayed at last night.

I'll be riding to Jasper tomorrow. I might have a wet day tomorrow.

February 17 : Woodville, TX to Jasper, TX - 31.81 miles (50.90 KM)

I had an okay night at the motel. I left the motel a little before 8 am. The temperature was in the 60s so I was able to start a day without putting on a jacket. I haven't done that in a long while. The sky was sort of overcast and it looked like it might rain.

The ride East went really well on US 190. There were a few rolling hills at the beginning but it was mostly flat along the way to Jasper. The shoulder was really smooth and it was only chipsealed in a couple of places. I crossed over a long dam and bridge over the Neches River. The miles zipped my fast. I was cruising over 12 mph. A couple of miles out of Jasper the sun finally came out.

I got into downtown Jasper around 11:30 am. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. I wasn't sure whether I would find somebody there because today is President's Day. The office was open. The secretary that I talked to said that if I went to the police station I can get connected to the local ministerial association. The lady officer that I talked to was really friendly like the sergeant that I met at the Woodville police department Saturday afternoon. Instead of connecting with a minister, I was surprised at getting a voucher for a room at a motel on the Southern edge of town.

I'll be crossing back into Louisiana tomorrow.

February 18 : Jasper, TX to Leesville, LA - 54.48 miles (87.17 KM)

I had an okay night at the motel. I left the motel a little before 8 am. The temperature was in the 60s and the sky was cloudy and overcast. It looked like it might rain again. It rained quite a bit at night and in the morning and there were puddles in the parking lot. I started the morning with my jacket on.

The ride along TX 63 was slow in some places because there were a few rolling hills and rough shoulders because of chipsealing. Once I crossed into Newton County, the chipsealing disappeared and the shoulder became smooth. I stopped in Burkeville for a short break. It was warm enough that I was able to take my jacket off.

Even with the rough shoulder and hills, I was surprised at getting almost 31 miles (50 km) by noon. At the state line, there was a construction zone at the bridge over the Sabine River bridge. There was a crew inspecting the bridge. There was an automatic flag and a flagman. I got to the flag first. There was a suv that pulled up behind me. Before the flagman allowed me to go across the bridge by myself before he let the other vehicles through the construction zone, I got a tap on my shoulder. It was the driver from the suv. In his hand was a $5 bill and he said that he wanted to give it to me so that I could have a soda or a powerade later on during the day. I quickly got across the bridge. There were two guys who were going to climb over the railing of the bridge using ropes.

About a minute after I crossed the bridge and got out of the construction zone, a group of cyclists rolled up to go across the bridge. There were six in the group and they were wearing the same jersey. They were bare biked. There was a grey van behind them and it could have been their sag wagon. It looked like the guy in the van had a military uniform on so it might have been a group of military personnel on a fund raising ride.

About a mile (2 km) from the bridge, I stopped at a gas station for a short break. The rest of the ride into Leesville went okay. I got into the Leesville area around 2:45 pm.

The first church that I came across was the First Baptist Church. I found the secretary in the office. She told me that the sr and assoc pastors were out visiting members who were sick. She didn't think that they would be back. Close by were the Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches. They were small churches and nobody was around them. There was a sign at the Presbyterian Church that said the service was at 8 am so I thought that the minister didn't live in the area and must have two or more churches. In the downtown area was the First United Pentecostal Church. The minister was away. I was told that I should try the Methodist Church was a block away and the pastor was in charge of the ministerial association. There was a sign on the office door that said that the office had closed at 2 pm.

The city hall and police station was next door. The lady at the desk of the police station didn't have any ideas on how to connect with a minister but she offered to call in an officer to see if they knew something. The officer who came in was really friendly. He didn't know any local minister but he did offer to help me get a motel room. He told me that he would meet me at the first motel about a mile away from the station. Before he left, the officer slipped me a GH. He told me that he wanted to because he saw the sign on the back of Alice.

I'll be riding to Alexandria tomorrow. I'm shooting for Oxford, MS on Thursday, Feb 27th.

February 19 : Leesville, LA to Libuse, LA - 70.34 miles (112.54 KM)

I had an okay night at the motel. I left the motel a little after 8 am. The temperature was again in the 60s and the sky was cloudy and overcast. Riding North through town on US 171 was really hard because there were a lot of cracks in the road and there was no real shoulder to ride along. When I was riding passed a Subway, this guy flagged me down and asked if I wanted to have something to eat. He told me that Hashem told him to do so. I never stopped at a Subway for one of their new breakfast sandwiches before. I got an egg and cheese sandwich. It was pretty good. The guy worked for the local parish landfill in the recycling section.

It was almost 9 am when I got on LA 28 for the ride to Alexandria. LA 28 was a 4-lane divided highway and it had really nice, smooth, and wide shoulders. I spent most of the morning climbing over some moderate hills but had quite a few long downhill coasts. The winds had also switched to a tailwind. Today is the 21st anniversary of the start of this adventure on two-wheels. 19 miles (30 km) out of Leesville, I passed the 230,000 mile (368,000 km) mark. Even with the late start out of Leesville, I was still able to get 28 miles (45 km) down by noon. It got warm enough that I was able to ride without a jacket.

The rest of the ride into Alexandria went okay. I got into Alexandria around 3 pm. I stopped at a Save-A-lot for a few groceries. While I was putting the groceries away, this elderly black guy stopped and asked me if I could help him out with some money so he could get a prescription filled. He said that he was at a nearby health clinic most of the day. The pharmacy was across the street. I gave him a couple of dollars with a stipulation that this was Hashem's money and it shouldn't be used for bad things like alcohol or cigarettes. I watched him go across the street into the pharmacy. A few minutes later he came out of the pharmacy with a small shopping bag.

I was debating on whether I should stop at a motel near I-49 or try to get through Alexandria and maybe into Pineville. Alexandria was too big of a city to stop in without prior arrangements. I had to stop at deputy sheriff to get directions through the downtown area and across a high drawbridge over the river into Pineville.

I got into Pineville around 4:30 pm. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. It was a large complex and the only activity that I saw was for the children's center (pre-school). I couldn't find the office and it looked like it was going to be locked up with an alarm system. There wasn't any indication that there was going to be a Wednesday night service. There were a couple more churches in the area but these were not churches any more. One had been turned into the offices of a computer software company and the other one was the campus secuity building for a nearby college. I had to stop at a jewelry store to get directions through Pineville and back on US 28E.

Once on US 28E, I didn't spot any churches. I rode through Libuse and I didn't see any activity at the churches. It was a little before dusk when I spotted some activity at the Unity Baptist Church between Libuse and Holloway. They were going to have a prayer service / Bible study at 6:30 pm. I got to meet the pastor before the service. He invited me to speak to the small group. This was my 9th church for the year. Afterwards, I was given permission to stay in the Family Life/ Youth Center building for the night since there was a chance for storms. I camped out in one of the classrooms. The youth minister found me a cot and a pillow to use. The bathroom had a shower and I was permission to raid the kitchen for something to eat.

There is the possibility of storms tomorrow. If the weather is bad, I'm just going to ride to Jonesville. If the weather is nice, I'll push it to get the Mississippi River and then stop somewhere in Natchez, MS.

February 20 : Libuse, LA to Jonesville, LA - 35.57 miles (56.91 KM)

I had an okay night at the church. I was surprised that I slept a little longer than normal. It was a little cool in the room and I had a slight cough. I got on the road a little before 8 am. I stopped for a brief break at a gas station in Holloway. I hit some rough shoulder and a lot of bridges about 20 miles (32 km) away from Jonesville. There were quite a few trucks with wide loads going through the area. I noticed some rubbing with the back wheel so I stopped to work on the rear rack. I had to tighten things and use some zip ties to stabilize the rack. It took about a half hour to get things fixed. Once back on the road, the wind pushed me along. I was cruising up to almost 15 mph (24 kmph) with an average of 11 mph (18 kmph). Even with the rough shoulder and the on-the-road repair, I was able to get in 29.5 miles (47 km) by noon.

The rest of the ride to Jonesville went okay. I did have some problem with the winds along the way. They were pretty strong and it looked like it might storm. I got into Jonesville around 12:15 am. I stopped at a Sonics for lunch. I was debating on whether to stop or try and go on to Natchez. I decided to stop early because of the weather. The Presbyterian Church was a block away. The pastor was finishing up a noon hour Bible study. Instead of letting me stay in the church for the night, the pastor offered to put me up in a motel about a half mile (1 km) down the highway. He told me that he had gotten some texts about a bad squall line coming through the area with possible thunderstorms later on in the afternoon.

After I got Alice situated in the room, I went across the highway to check out a nearby yard sale/ thrift store. I was really happy to find a pair of sport pants for $1. I got a new waterbottle for $1 and 2 pairs of thick socks for $1. I put these items in my room and I went to a nearby Fred's Store to get a few things.

I spent some time working on the safety flags. I took the old flag off the solid fiberglass pole that I found yesterday and I sewed on the safety flag that was on the split fiberglass pole. I cut in two the safety flag that had two reflective stripes on it and sewed one of the sections on the long fiberglass pole. I sewed the other part of the safety flag on to the longest of the two split poles so I could have a horizontal safety flag that would stick out a couple of feet from the panniers and camping gear.

Tomorrow, I have about a 30 mile (48 km) ride to Natchez, MS. I'm still not sure how I'll make it across the Mississippi River Bridge.

February 21 : Jonesville, LA to Port Gibson, MS - 76.07 miles (121.711 KM)

I had an okay night at the motel. The parking lot was a little wet when I headed out a little before 8 am. It was cool so I kept my jacket on. The ride East went okay. I got into Vidalia around 11:30 am. I stopped for lunch at a BK. Even with stopping for lunch, I got 27 miles (43 km) in before noon.

There were two bridges across the Mississippi River to Natchez. The West bound bridge was older, narrower, and under inspection. The East bound traffic bridge was newer and it had a wide shoulder. I walked across the bridge. I got into Natchez a little after noon. I was thinking about stopping but I decided to move on. It took a while getting to US 61 going North. US 61 is the Mississippi River Road. The shoulder was kind of narrow so I put out the side flag.

About 15 miles (24 km) North of Natchez, I saw something unusual sticking up from the grass. I stopped, pulled Alice onto the grass, and walked back. I was amazed at finding a $10 bill folded exactly in half. What was usual was that it was sticking straight up and pretty parallel to the highway in a N-S direction, The point of the fold was pointing Northwards. It brought on a lot of memories of the $50 bill that I found along the UP of Michigan many years ago.

I got to the outskirts of Fayette a little after 4 pm. I didn't feel like stopping. I thought that I would try and make it to Port Gibson before dark. The ride went really well. I got about 3 miles (5 km) out of Port Gibson before it started to get dark. I rode the last couple of miles into Port Gibson in the dark. It was a little after 6 pm when I got into the downtown area. I remembered from a previous trip that there was a motel near the Northern edge of town. I got to the motel around 6:30 pm. I got a room in the mid $40s.

I'm planning to ride through Vicksburg tomorrow even though I had planned to stop there. I'm going to do another long day tomorrow to take advantage of the warm temperatures. It is supposed to be around 70. I'm going to try and make it into Yazoo City before dark but if I can't make it I'll just stop and try and find a place to camp out. This is going to put me into Oxford next Wednesday instead of Thursday.

February 22 : Port Gibson, MS to Thornton, MS - 103.71 miles (165.94 KM)

It was another off night at a motel operated by people from India. There weren't any roaches but there was structural damage in the room. The floor was missing in some places. There was a spot near the entrance where the floor boards had rotted away. There was a much larger place between the beds. The nightstand was leaning to one side. If you accidently stepped into the hole, you foot would sink in a couple of inches. This could either break or strain your ankle. The hole was at least 1 foot wide and 2 feet long.

I left the motel a little before 8 am. The ride to Vicksburg went okay. I grabbed an early lunch at a Kangaroo Mart. About a half mile (1 km) down the road, I found a wallet. I put it on the bike. I had to ride several miles before I found a cross street. I called 911 and a policeman met me. I got about 27 miles (43 km) in by noon. I had a tricky ride from the interstate into downtown Vicksburg. Once in downtown Vicksburg, I followed the River Road (old US 61) to US 61. Once back on US 61, I had about a 5 mile (8 km) ride to MS 3. I decided to go ahead and see how close I could get to Yazoo City. The ride went real well. I had thought about stopping in Satartia but there wasn't much in the town. I looked for any open land or woods that I could camp out in but there wasn't any. I got about 4 miles (6 km) out of Yazoo City before it got dark enough that I had to turn on my headlights. I got my camping headlight out and fastened it to my helmet. I rode down MS 3 about a mile and a half (2.4 km) more to check out some lighted buildings in hopes that it might have been a motel but it was just a row of farm equipment stores. I backtracked the mile and a half down to MS 149.

I took MS 149 into town. I was really getting concerned because it looked like I was getting into a really bad part of town. There was a lot of activity at bars. I stopped at a gas station that was well lit. I went inside for some directions. I was told to get where the motels were and to get to US 49 I would have to follow MS 149 through town and up a really long hill. As I was heading out from the gas station, this black guy started to follow me. He was making remarks about wanting to get Alice. I quickly went across the street. Once we got out of the lit downtown area into the residential area, the guy stopped to get in some shadows around a house. I turned around and went back to the courthouse that I had passed to see if there was a police or shariff station but there wasn't. I went back to the gas station. After waiting about 10 minutes, I started the trip up the hill again. I quickly went passed the house where I had last seen the black guy but he wasn't around.

Once I got to US 49, I found all of the motels but I couldn't afford them because they were all high priced chain motels. Since I was already at 83 miles (133 km) , I thought that I would at least try and beat the C mark (100 miles). Once out of Yazoo City, traffic became light and there was a wide smooth shoulder to ride along. The miles went by quickly. A couple of miles out of Thornton, I passed the 100 mile (160 km) mark. That was around 10:30 pm.

I looked around for a place to stop and camp out on the other side of Thornton. I wasn't having much luck. I was also getting concerned because two cars had made a couple of passes by me. I couldn't spot anything to the west of me since there was an active railroad line. In the distance, I spotted what looked like woods. I thought that the woods was going to be deep but it was actually some kind of swamp (bayou) with most of the trees in the water. I extinguished all lights and got into the woods. I had to duck down for cover because the cars stopped along side the road. It was kind of scary because they stayed there for about 15 minutes. There wasn't really a place where I could hide the tent and not have it be seen once it got daylight. There was probably 100 feet separating the edge of the water and the road. Once the cars had left, I used my headlight to see if I could find some place where I could not be seen. I found a spot that looked like it was wide enough for the tent but I would have to portage everything to the location. It took me 5 trips to get all of my gear and Alice over to the location. The spot was barely wide enough for the tent and the ground wasn't really that level. It took a long time getting the tent up. It was almost midnight when I had everything into the tent and I crawled into the tent. I'm not sure how much sleep I'm going to get because of the adrelenin rushing because of the cars sort of chasing me.

February 23 : Thornton, MS to Grenada, MS - 66.48 miles (106.37 KM)

It was another off night camping out. The spot that I had found for the tent was barely wide enough for the tent and it was steep. The angle must have been almost 40 degrees. I didn't think that it was that bad as I was putting the tent up but I had no other place to pitch the tent. I pilled all of my gear in a pile in one corner in hopes that it would prevent the tent from sliding into the water. No matter which direction I put the sleeping mat on, I kept on sliding off it. I finally found a position where I could barely stay on the pad without sliding off.

I'm surprised that I was able to sleep. When I woke up, the sun was up and it was 6:30 am. I quickly packed up and striked down the tent. It took me two portages to get everything up to the road. It was around 7:30 am when I got back on the road. The ride North went okay. I rode through the small towns of Cruger and Sidon. I was hoping to stop at a church but I was in very rural Mississippi and most of the people around me were black. I wasn't sure of how good a reception I would get if I stopped at an all-black church. I've only did it twice and I didn't get a good reception. I might try and find a church in Grenada tonight.

By noon, I made around 27 miles (43 km). I got into Greenwood around 12:30 pm. I got into Greenwood near the Eastern edge of the town. I didn't feel like waiting five or more hours for church. There weren't that many motels that I could afford. The last time that I had stopped in Greenwood was October of last year. The motel that I stopped at was a roach motel and I didn't want to experience that again. I stopped for a late lunch and then I headed North on MS 7 to Grenada. I was making good time because of a tailwind.

I got into Holcomb around 5 pm. I didn't see a church. I had about 7 miles (11 km) more to get to Grenada. I was concerned that I wasn't going to make it because it was really clouding up to the West. I thought that it was going to storm. I got into Grenada around 6 pm. It was already getting dark. I wasn't sure how far it would be between I-49 and the downtown area. I didn't feel like riding in the dark into the downtown area and trying to find a church. I decided to go ahead and get a motel room instead. I stopped at this one motel because it said that it had 15% discounts. Indian run motel. I got the room $4 cheaper than the advertised rate of a nearby motel that I had planned to stop at.

I'm about 52 miles (83 km) away from Oxford. I haven't heard anything from my lawyer friend.

February 24 : Grenada, MS to Oxford, MS - 55.38 miles (88.61 KM)

It was another off night at the motel. The room looked okay from the entrance door but when you went inside there was a lot of damage. In the bathroom, most of the textured ceiling plaster over the bathtub/ shower was either gone or hanging down in strips. There were plaster chips in the tub. The toilet wobbled because the wax donut under the toilet was worn out. There was water damage of the bedroom ceiling as well. About halfway through the night, the smoke detector fell off the wall. There wasn't any battery in it and it must hae just been hanging there. About a foot and a half section of the textured ceiling plaster above where the smoke detector was had also fallen down during the night. I didn't feel like cleaning it up.

There wasn't much of a breakfast. The lady from India didn't like me telling her the problems of the room. She just said that they will check into it. I would have expected something like a refund. I got on the road a little after 8 am. It was cool in the 40s and the high was only going to be in the 50s. I couldn't get back on MS 7 because it connected to the interstate for a while.

Nothing really interesting happened along the way to Oxford. During a short break, a Google truck with it's cameras on a mount sped by. By noon, I had only ridden 22 miles (35 km). I got to the outskirts of Oxford around 5:00 pm. I was finally able to connect with my new friend in town. Christi offered to get me a room at the new Hampton Inn in the Northeast part of the city. Before Christi left, she slipped me a green handshake so I could go to the nearby Wendys for something hot to eat.

I've got a little over a 60 mile (96 km) ride to Saltillo. I'll be staying with friends the rest of the week. There is going to be another near freeze from a Polar Vortex.

February 25 : Oxford, MS to Saltillo, MS - 40.14 miles (64.22 KM)

I had a really good night at the motel. It was so nice being in a very good room after the experiences in the last two motels. I haven't been in such a nice room since the Holiday Inn Express in Eunice, LA. I pigged out on freshly made cookies. I thought a shower would keep me up but it made me sleepy.

It was before 10 pm when I fell asleep but my weird bioclock got me up around 2 am. I don't know why my body thinks that it only needs 4 hours of sleep. I tried falling back to sleep but I couldn't. Around 4 am, I heard some loud claps of thunder. There was a pretty good breakfast. Before heading back upstairs to the fifth floor, I talked to a couple of soldiers.

I decided to head out a little before 7 am. It was cool but I didn't have to put on my second coat. There was some water in the parking lot and on the roadway but there wasn't much. I had to let a policeman help me get across Sixth Street back onto the interchange of MS 7 because of the traffic. Once I got back on MS 6 heading East towards Tupelo, the traffic was light. There was a slight headwind but it wasn't much. The temperature was in the low 40s and it should get up close to 60 by afternoon.

About 5 miles (8 km) out of Oxford, I started to have more problem with the drive train. I couldn't coast without have the chain buck and slap the chain tubes. The slapping was so hard I thought that maybe one of the links had come apart or might come apart. I am really getting concerned that maybe the freehub portion of the hub is breaking. This is what happened back in April of 2011 the day of my leaving Chittenango, NY. The free hub finally gave out and I had to buy a brand new wheel at a shop near Utica, NY. There were a couple of times when the pedals would spin while I was walking Alice. I stopped a couple of times to check out the problem. I didn't see anything blocking the chain. I called up my friend in Saltillo to see if maybe she could come out and get me but she said that she couldn't because she was babysitting her baby grand-daughter.

About 11 miles (18 km) out of Oxford, I stopped again to see if maybe the below seat rack was rubbing against the chain. It wasn't. As I was sitting down on the ground, this guy in a truck stopped to see if I needed any help. I told him of my concern and he offered to take me as far as Pontotoc. It was good that I got the ride because I was going to hit a long stretch of really bad pavement.

It was around 11 am when I got dropped off at a gas station on the Northern outskirts of Pontotoc. I went inside to buy a cup of hot chocolate. While drinking the hot chocolate, I struck up a conversation with two guys who were finishing up a delivery of bread and baked goods. One of the guys gave me a bag of donuts to take along.

I was able to ride the rest of the way to Saltillo because the terraign was flatter. It only took me a couple of calls to my friend to get directions to their house. I arrived at their house around 3 pm.

February 26 : Saltillo, MS to Saltillo, MS - 00.00 miles (00.00 KM)

I had a really good night. I was really surprised at how much sleep I had gotten yesterday. Around 4 pm, I went to my room downstairs for what I thought was going to be a short nap but I actually slept for about 4 hours. I was surprised at it being dark outside. I went upstairs and I found my friends finishing up supper. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to fall asleep but I went to bed around 10 pm and I slept till almost 5 am. I never thought that I would have slept almost 11 hours. I guess my body was finally going to catch up on missed-sleep.

Around 10:30 am, my friend took me and the rear wheel of Alice into Tupelo to go to Bicycle Paceline. The owner Brian tried to rebuild the hub of the wheel. He didn't have the right sized tool to take out the free hub. The cones of the axle were really pitted. Brian told me that it would be best to just go ahead and get a new wheel instead of him trying to repair the old wheel. I can't complain since I had over 22,000 miles (35,200 km) on the old wheel. I had gotten it back in 2011 in New York when the free hub broke on that one. There was only a $20 difference in getting the new wheel vs the charge of parts and labor on the old wheel. My friend Mark offered to pay for the new wheel. The new wheel should last a long time because it has an all Shimano hub and 14 gauge spokes.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between March 06th and March 13th.




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