Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Day 18--Pine Bluff Less than 1,000 Miles to Go

Easy day of 91 miles and 1,597 feet of climbs across Arkansas. I am surprised at how fast the terrain has leveled out. We climbed some hills for the first 50 miles (about 1,000 feet) but they were small and I never went to my third ring. There are now "only" 940 miles left and tomorrow we will pass the 2100 mile mark. My sturdy peasant body is holding up well. There are lots riders with ice packs and ace bandages. And FedEx and UPS are doing a good business bringing in parts each day for the bikes.

It might be hard to tell in this picture but the trees have changed again. Starting to look like the South.

There are a lot more people living in this part of Arkansas than any part of the ride so far. And they all have dogs. And almost all the dogs are free to chase cyclist. Only a few chase us seriously but they are a real problem. They can get run over causing a serious accident. They like to try and bite your ankle. Plenty of cyclist are hurt by dogs. Luckily no one has had a serious mishap so far.

The recumbent tandem is Mike and Nancy Myers from KS. Behind them is Charlie also from Kansas. Mike and Nancy are incredible riders having done more than 20,000 miles of tours with PAC and this particular route at least two other times. A recumbent tandem is not a common bike so there is not a lot of serious engineering into making it light and efficient. Nancy says theirs weighs about 60 pounds. That this at least 20 pounds more than two bikes should weight. But Mike and Nancy push this thing up hills and fly down hills with the overall result being they are faster than me. So when I want to draft for a day, like tomorrow, I follow them.

Summary: 1,977 miles and 63,840 feet of climbs.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear of so many pesky dogs biting at your ankles. Continue to be safe and careful.
I bet we won't recognize you - you will be sooooo thin with all these miles and miles and miles. How will we know you when you return?
Hang in there - we miss you.
Donna K

sammy g said...

Yes I for one know how those Dawgs in the South can cause all kinds of problems but usually we have some Volunteers that are more than willing to take care of them.
It is cool that you are almost there. We will be thinking about you as you pass by our way in the next day. Be safe and enjoy the ride Thursday but don’t smile too much I hear there are some serious bugs in the Delta.

Anonymous said...

See.... Like I said, Lots of huntin' dogs in Arkansas! Glad the ride is getting easier for you and bit more shady. Have fun, stay safe and I'll check on you tomorrow. TW