Posted by: rustymccain | July 18, 2011

Back to Reality

Having family and friends leave yesterday was a tough thing for us. It was fun to have everyone along to ride and support us. In two short days, Ray and I had become accustomed to being treated like pro cyclists with all the support we had. It was overwhelming to think how much effort was made on our behalf and we are really grateful. To get up and put our bags back on the bike was difficult. We pulled off the road 3 times in the first 20 miles looking for our support vehicles, but one never showed up! We are back to just 2 guys out riding their bikes. While we miss friends and family, we got back to moving closer to the ocean today and the riding was good.

Morning near Bardstown, KY

We headed out of Bardstown into a very warm, sunny morning. Very shortly the sun was covered by low clouds. We knew that rain was in the area early on but saw no evidence at our start. We soon saw the rain in the distance and knew that if we didn’t get wet, we would be really lucky. We weren’t that lucky. We stopped for our first rest at about mile 20, then headed back onto the road. Very shortly after that, the rain started. It was a pretty hard, steady rain, but lacked the lightning that would make us stop pedaling. As a matter of fact, though it made visibility low, it took the temperature down several degrees, so it really wasn’t all that bad. We both figured it naturally washed a lot of sweat out of our jerseys and shorts, which was not a bad thing.

Near Danville, KY

We rode out of the rain and into the town of Perryville, KY. While we were riding through town, we heard voices yelling at us and saw that Becky and Carlie were in town. They were stopped at a convenience store. Another rider, headed west, was also at the market. We pulled in and said hello to the girls but also made a new friend! Don, a really nice guy from North Carolina, is headed west across the Trans-America trail. We exchanged info with him, including hearing about his encounter with a black bear in the road, then wished him well as Ray and I hit the road again.

More riding friends!

By this time, the rain had caught up with us, so we had to ride out of it again. By the time we got to our last little town, Paint Lick, we were dry and cruising. During this last stretch, traffic was light and we could ride side-by-side. We talked at length about Ray’s nieces and nephews, of whom he is very proud, and also about my sons, of whom I am equally proud. When you have family members who are good people, it is very rewarding. It reminded me again that no matter how many wonderful things we see on this trip, it is still the people in one’s life, with whom we can share all the good things, that make any endeavor worth the effort.

Near Berea, KY

Soon, we were riding into Berea, KY, a distance of 75 miles for the day. The next two days are going to be very difficult, then we should be in a pretty good position to get this done. Due to a lack of motels, if I don’t post for a couple of days, don’t worry, we are still out here somewhere! Thanks for checking in!


  1. Hey Rusty and Ray, on 7/21, I believe you are riding from Haysi, VA to Damascus, VA. I was in Damascus on Sunday, doing a 55 mile mountain bike race, and you will have no problem having your bikes worked on, if you need anything. I did want to point out thatI drove in from Abingdon to Damascus on, I believe Hwy. 58 and there is a lot of construction on that stretch of about 13 miles and it makes the road VERY TIGHT. I don’t know if your ride takes you on that road or if you are going to use the Virginia Creeper cinder trail. Just a heads up. Might not even be an issue but just wanted to pass this along. Keep the wheels rolling. 🙂

  2. I love the stories Rusty and Ray. Keep them coming. Say hello to my old stomping grounds in Berea. I attended Berea College for three years and was tortured mercilessly there by many evil professorial types. I can assure you that things are going to get a little hilly for you when you are there. By all means, go and see The Boone Tavern (yes named after Daniel Boone). Go right around the corner and eat at Papa Leno’s Restaurant. It was great pizza back in the day. Please post some photographs of the greater metropolitan area of Berea (all one mile of it). Have a great ride!

  3. By the way, speaking of bourbon, you should try some of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve if you can (15-, 20-, or, if you want the true nectar of the gods, the 23-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey). It is superb! I recall that Berea was dry, but nearby Richmond was “all you can drink,” or it was in my college years.

  4. Ray and Rusty, I continue to be enamored by your daily account of your quest for the Atlantic. Keep turning the pedals over and the spirits high. I think I might have stumbled on the enigma concerning your reported weight gain during your ride. As research has shown muscle mass is heavier than fat, so that explains some of the dilemma. I have also postulated that since you keep reporting about your collective jello legs, that jello most certainly have a density greater than muscle. This does not however take into account the evening ice cream binges that will get you a jelly belly, which has to be worked off by turning jelly legs over and over… 🙂 Be safe!

Leave a Reply to Biggear Joe Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: