Sunday, 20 May 2012

Hindman, KY

Entering my second state

I dropped down the mountain from Breaks, out of the morning fog and across the state line, into Kentucky. I would have stayed a second night in Breaks but today is Sunday, when the coal trucks in Kentucky are off the road, and it was too good an opportunity to let go by. The day was another long one, 114 km with four big climbs. Either they were steeper than yesterday's or I was more tired, because I used my bottom gear quite a lot. My destination was Hindman. The ACA group were also headed there and I came together with some of the them on the road from time to time.

Approaching Elkhorn City
There were numerous dog incidents, none serious. Nearly always, the dogs were chained, or trained not to cross a boundary, or the owner was present to call them back. Every time, I stopped and dismounted. This seemed to make them less aggressive, although they still made a lot of noise. When I caught cyclists Don and Dottie at Lookout, they said they knew from the barking that someone was coming along behind. On one occasion a chase looked like developing. I didn't see the dogs till I was level with them. I was going at 30 km/h on a downhill and just sped past. During the day I saw a place offering Pit Bull puppies for sale and another selling Dobermanns.

Top of a long climb: Nick, Dottie, Don
When I decided on my starting date for this trip, it was with an eye on the dates of the ACA groups. I didn't want to be in sync with them because I didn't want to compete for resources in the smaller towns. Unexpectedly, I have caught up with the self-contained group. It is a pleasure to meet the riders individually and to spend time with them. Their leader, Steve, has kindly invited me to eat with them this evening. I think it's better though to get out of sync with the group again. I have decided to stay two nights in Hindman. However, they will be staying two nights in Berea, two days' ride from here, so I will catch up with them again. I hope I will continue to see them fairly often as I cross the country. A rest day tomorrow is a good idea for me anyway, after two demanding days' cycling. From here there are two more hard days to go until the end of the Appalachians.

Coal trucks at rest

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