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TRIP 2014

Update #26 - November 18th
Demopolis, AL
Trip : 1,212.07 miles (1,939.71 km)
Year: 10,879.99 miles (17,407.98 km)





The past week has been really cold but I made it through okay. I've got about nine days left on this tour.

November 04 : La Center, KY to Oakwood, KY - 40.26 miles (64.42 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. I woke up really early. I don't really like to backtrack but I couldn't find an alternate route to Clinton, KY without going back to Wickliffe. There wasn't any breakfast.

I left the motel around 7:45 am. The ride back to Wickliffe went okay. I stopped for a short break at a gas station. Several people stopped to talk to me to tell me that there was a storm coming this way and should be in the area around 3 pm.

The ride to Clinton went okay. I got into Clinton a little after 1 pm. I stopped at the First United Methodist Church. I had stopped there before in 2011 near the end of April. The minister told me that he had remembered me when I had possibly stopped at the First United Methodist in Union City, TN. The pastor had a double charge. He told me that it would be okay for me to stay in the fellowship hall of his other church that was several miles South of Clinton and on the road to Union City, TN.

I'm shooting for Dyersburg, TN tomorrow.

November 05 : Oakwood, KY to Union City, TN - 19.75 miles (31.60 km)

It was a decent night in the fellowship hall of the church. I got on the road around 7:30 am. The ride to the TN state line. Once passed the state line it started to sprinkle. According to the weather report on the radio, there was a 90 percent chance for rain most of the day with the possibility of thunderstorms.

I got into downtown Union City around 10 am. I stopped at the First United Methodist Church. There was some extensive work being done on the church. They were installing a new air conditioner/heater unit so there was no heat in the building. Because of this, the pastor offered to get me a room at a local motel. This was the same motel that I stayed at a couple of years ago.

November 06 : Union City, TN to South Dyersburg, TN - 41.78 miles (66.85 km)

It was a decent afternoon and night at the motel. Once it stopped raining, I went to the motel's laundry center and got my clothes washed and dried. It was good to get everything clean. I went to bed around 10 pm.

There was a decent hot breakfast. I left the motel a little after 8 am. It was a lot warmer and dryer than yesterday. I headed South on US 51. The four-lane highway was designated as a bike route even though that the route was going to become a new interstate (I-69). There was a slight headwind.

As I was going up a hill outside of Troy, this guy in a truck slowed down beside me and flagged me over. When I went over to the side door of the truck, the guy rolled down the window and gave me a $20 GH. The rest of the ride along US 51 went okay. I stopped for an early lunch at a McDs in Newbern.

After lunch, it was a short ride into Dyersburg. I stopped at the First United Methodist in downtown Dyersburg. Instead of letting me stay in the church for the night, there was an offer to get me a room at a motel in South Dyersburg.

I've got about a 40 mile ride to Covington tomorrow. I'm about 845 miles away from Reddick.

November 07 : South Dyersburg, TN to Covington, TN - 43.41 miles (69.46 km)

It was a decent afternoon and night at the motel. The room was a little run down but there was heat and wifi. I left the motel a little before 8 am. It was cool in the 40s and it should be close to 60 in the afternoon.

I rode along US 51 for about five miles before I got on county roads. I had two run ins with dogs that were loose. About 19 miles down the road, I had to check the tires on Alice. The rear tire needed some more air in it but the front tire was softer. To play it safe, I checked the inside of the tire and I put in a new tube.

I got about 28 miles in by noon. I stopped at a gas station in the Ripley area for a light lunch break. It was warm enough in the afternoon that I was able to switch over to my lighter jacket.

The rest of the ride into Covington went okay. I got into downtown Covington around 2 pm. I went around to check out the churches. Several of the churches were shut down. I found the secretary in the office of the First United Methodist Church. The pastor was gone but there was an offer to get me a room at the local Motel 6.

I've got a short ride to Millington tomorrow.

November 08 : Covington, TN to Millington, TN - 35.76 miles (57.22 km)

I had a decent afternoon and night at the motel. The room was a little run down compared to Motel 6 standards but there was heat and wifi. I left the motel a little after 8 am. It wasn't really that cold (in the upper 40s). I stopped down the road at a gas station to get some breakfast.

It was an okay ride to Millington. There was a slight headwind to deal with. I got into Millington a little after noon. On the Northern outskirts of Millington, I rode passed two megachurches (Cornerstone Baptist and the First Baptist Churches).

I stopped at a BK for some lunch. After lunch, I rode around town to see if I could find anybody at the churches. I couldn't find anybody. I went to the police station to see if somebody knew of a local minister. The police station was way east of the downtown area passed a Naval Service Center. At the police station, I talked with a lady officer. She didn't know of any local minister because she didn't live in town. There wasn't any other officer available. Before I left, the officer gave me a bottle of water and some snack crackers. In the downtown area. I stopped at a Christian book store to see they knew of a minister but they didn't. I saw some people at a small Baptist church. They were moving some stuff into the room. No help from them.

Before going to the police station, I had ridden passed the Methodist church and the St William Catholic Church. While going passed the Catholic church, I remember seeing a sign that said that there was going to be a 4:30 pm Saturday service. Before the service, I was able to talk with the priest before the service. He was a young guy from South America. I was really surprised that after talking to a couple of older people, he gave me a GH of $50.

From the Catholic church, I backtracked a couple of miles on US 51 to a motel that I had passed that had rooms for around $40. I'm probably be going to the Methodist church tomorrow morning.

November 09 : Millington, TN to Millington, TN - 02.17 miles (03.47 km)

I had a decent afternoon and night at the motel. The room was a little run down but it was a lot better than what I thought that it would been. I've been lucky that I haven't stayed at any roach motels. Before it got too late, I ventured out to a nearby grocery store to get a few things.

I left the motel around 8 am. I rode back into the downtown area to the First United Methodist Church. I got there a few minutes before the 8:30 am service started. During the meet n greet, I got to talk to the pastor for a few minutes. Before the prayer time, the pastor gave me the opportunity to talk to the congregation. This is my 61st church for the year. I attended one of the Sunday school classes. I was able to talk again but nothing happened afterwards. After the second service that I didn't attend, there was a chili dinner. After that, the pastor took me over to the old parsonage where I would spend the night.

I'm going to be riding through Memphis tomorrow. I've got a home visit with the Presbyterian minister in Hernando, Mississippi.

November 10 : Millington, TN to Hernando, MS - 47.84 miles (76.54 km)

I had a decent afternoon and night at the church. It helped that there was internet access. Before everybody left, I went back to the fellowship hall to see if there was any chili left. I was able to get a take-out meal.

I left the old parsonage around 7:20 am. The ride into Memphis went okay. I got maybe 28 miles in before I stopped for an early lunch at a BK about a mile South of Graceland and a couple of miles North of the MS state line. There wasn't a sign to take a picture of.

The ride to Hernando went okay. I had an invite to stay with the Presbyterian minister and his wife at their house a few miles south of town.

I've got about a 30 mile ride to Batesville tomorrow. There is a good possibility that I'm going to be getting wet along the way since there is between a 40 and 60% chance for rain.

November 11 : Hernando, MS to Batesville, MS - 38.51 miles (62.62 km)

I had a night with Rev Hatcher and his wife. I went to bed early. Before getting on the road around 7:30 am, Rev Hatcher slipped me a small GH.

The ride to Batesville went okay. The sky was pretty cloudy and it looked like it was going to rain any minute but it held off throughout the day. It was a little warm so I was able to wear my lighter jacket. I got almost 31 miles in by noon.

I got into Batesville around 1 pm. I stopped for a late lunch. I was able to make connections with the contact at the MSU extension office. I'll be staying in the assembly hall for the night.

November 12 : Batesville, MS to Oxford, MS - 25.84 miles (41.34 km)

I had an okay night in the extension building. I moved a table and chair into the kitchen so I could close the folding doors to hide myself from view since there weren't any shades over the glass windows in the doors. I watched a couple of videos on my laptop. I got almost nine hours of sleep.

I got on the road a little after 7:30 am. I am glad that I had the warmer jacket because the temperature was just 35. I stopped at a McDs for the breakfast. The ride East along US 278 was hard. It was a divided 4 lane highway with a lot of truck traffic. There wasn't much of a shoulder and if there was one it was taken up with a rumble strip. I spent most of the ride to Oxford riding my mirror. There were a couple of times when a couple of trucks got really close.

I got into the Oxford area around 11:45 am. I stopped for some lunch at a McDs. I was able to connect with my lawyer friend and she helped me get a room at the local Super 8 for the night.

Tomorrow the temperature is supposed to be lower than it was today. I was planning to ride to Mounds tomorrow. I'm thinking about just riding to Anna about 24 miles instead.

November 13 : Oxford, MS to Calhoun City, MS - 47.56 miles (76.10 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. My friend came by with one of her daughters to take me out to a local restaurant. Got some good cicken noodle soup and a turkey sandwich. My friend bought me a couple of brownies to go. The rest of the night went okay. There was a decent hot breakfast.

I got on the road a little after 8 am. The sky was overcast like it had rained a little bit. The weather report on the tv showed that there was a band of snow showers between Memphis and Oxford. The temperature was in the upper 30s. It wasn't supposed to get above 40.

The ride/ walk into the downtown area passed the university went okay. I headed South on MS 7, This was the second time that I was on MS 7 in Oxford. The last time was Feb 25. I had ridden 7330.88 miles since being in Oxford before.

The ride South went okay. There was shoulder most of the way and when I had to deal with rumble strips traffic was light. I tried calling my contacts in the Calhoun City area but my cell phone didn't work because of no cell coverage. I got 34 miles in by noon.

I stopped for a short break in Pittsboro for a short break. The rest of the ride into Calhoun City went okay. I got into Calhoun City around 1:30 pm. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. The pastor was in the office. There was offer to get me a room at a small motel that I had passed coming into town.

November 14 : Calhoun City, MS to Starkville, MS - 60.91 miles (97.46 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. I got on the road a little before 8 am. The ride South went okay. I got around 32 miles in by noon. The ride East on US 82 went okay. Even though there wasn't much of a shoulder because of the rumble strip, the traffic wasn't that bad.

I got into downtown Starkville around 4 pm. I checked out a couple of churches but I couldn't find anybody in the offices. I met a friendly police officer outside of city hall. He called his sergeant out to talk with me. The officer who I first talked with was able to connect with a local minister. The minister offered to get me a room at a local motel.

I'm about 520 miles away from Reddick, FL.

November 15 : Starkville, MS to Macon, MS - 51.98 miles (73.17 km)

Considering that this was a roach motel, I had an okay night. Before going to bed, I watched a roach go up the mirror behind the television set. In the morning, I found a roach crawling up the bed spread near me.

I got on the road a little before 8 am. I got a little goofed up East of town. I should have stayed on MS 82 instead of getting on US 42 but I got a little turned around when US 82 went across MS 182. At least, US 82 had a shoulder to ride along. I had about a 5 mile ride to US 45.

About ten miles along US 45, I was surprised when my contact in Macon stopped in front of me. He told me that he would meet me when I got the Macon area. I got nearly 30 miles in by noon. I stopped at a gas station in Crawford for a short break.

I got into th Macon area around 2 pm. My contact met me at a McDs a few miles out of tiwn. We stopped for lunch before going into town. At the MSU extension office, we got met by a Baptist minister and took me to his church a few miles out of town.



November 17 : Macon, MS to Meridian, MS - 71.52 miles (114.43 km)

I had a little better night staying in the nursery instead of the fellowship hall last night. There was carpeting instead of a bare concrete floor. It was a really wet day because it rained most of the day. The pastor had brought over an inflatable mattress but there weren't any batteries in the inflator. Also, the pastor had brought over a chili dinner and a bowl of cookies. I went to bed a little early.

I woke up around 6 am. I got on the road a little before 7:30 am. It was really cold with a wind coming from the North/ Northwest. The low was around 35. The ride back to MS 145 went okay. Once on US 45, the ride South went okay even though there wasn't much of a shoulder because of rumble strips. The wind from the Northwest was over 15 mph. Because of the early start and the tailwind, I got a whopping 41 miles in before noon. The afternoon high only got up to 41.

The rest of the ride to the Meridian area went okay even though I got a little turned around. Instead of getting on Old US 45/ MS 145 near the Marion area, I accidently followed the new US 45 bypass. I got the mistake a little below MS 19. I followed MS 19 to the intersection of I-20 and US 80. I found a discount coupon for a motel on US 80.

I'm 17 miles from the AL state line and around 530 miles from Reddick, FL.

November 18 : Meridian, MS to Demopolis, AL - 59.94 miles (95.90 km)

I had a somewhat okay night at the Potel. There were some problems in the room especially a hole in the ceiling where the upstairs bathroom was.

I waited till around 8:30 am to head out because it was really cold. The low was down into the low 20s. The ride to the AL state line was kind of hard because of the highway being so bad with a lot of cracks. Once I got into Alabama, US 80 was much improved. A few miles out of Cuba, Alabama, the highway became a divided 4 lane highway with a paved shoulder. I got about 25 miles in by noon.

The rest of the ride to Demopolis went okay until about 8 miles out of Demopolis. The smooth shoulder got chipsealed. On the Western edge of I hit some road repaving.

I got into downtown Demopolis around 4 pm. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. Because of the cold weather, the pastor offered to get me a room through the ministerial association. I had to go to the police station to get the voucher. The motel was on the eastern edge of town.

The next update might posted sometime between November 25th and December 02nd.




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