Sunday, 27 May 2012

Elizabethtown, KY

Dicing with death

Today I had the chance to perform one of the traditional duties of the TransAm touring cyclist: helping a tortoise cross the road. I came across this little fellow early on in its perilous journey to the other side of the highway. I picked it up and deposited it in the grass on the far side of the road.

Safely across
I set off from Bardstown straight after breakfast at about 7:20am. Within two hours, despite a stop for Gatorade, I was wilting. The day's stage would typically be to Hodgenville, a ride of about 70 km, where with police permission I would put up my tent in the county park. The temperature today is, however, predicted to hit 35C (down from an earlier forecast of 36C). To keep heat stress within bounds, I thought it better to ride a shorter stage and find somewhere air-conditioned to stay. That meant coming off-route to Elizabethtown (39 km). It is south-west of Bardstown and reasonably positioned to enable me to continue tomorrow, in weather which may be a couple of degrees cooler, on a longer ride to the home of Beth and Garry Feltus, north of Caneyville. Their kind offer to put me up was made as a comment to my post from Harrodsburg. I know from reading other cyclist journals (for example, here) that I am fortunate to have received this invitation and that I can look forward to a great stay with them on Memorial Day.

Better than my cramped tent
Mostly on this trip, I have been staying in motels. One of the good things about doing that in America is that I am rarely asked for identification. Usually, on checking in, I am asked to declare my name and home address and sign a form and that is all. Today for the first time I was asked for photo ID, though not for my address. I don't know the reason for the difference. Many motels offer a discount to guests over 60 years old (occasionally 55). I am invariably given the benefit of this without having to prove my eligibility. That may say something about how elderly and decrepit I look!

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