Utica, KY to Marion, KY
Our morning started with listening to some worship music that Alex was playing on his phone. We were getting ready to leave when Alex asked if he could pray for us and we were happy to accept. We then left with the assumtion that Alex would soon catch up to us on the road.
We got an early start to try and beat the heat. We were going to try and attempt not only our longest day so far, 71 miles, but also our longest ride by a significant amount.
Early into our ride we met a local road cyclist whom was riding toward us. We chatted for a bit and then he wished us the best on our trip. (Sorry we do not remember your name – comment with it if you read this post)
We made our first stop at Smith’s Super Saver market in Beech Grove, KY. The wonderful ladies there made us awesome sandwiches that we took to go. They got a kick out of Linda’s Jersey because of the “Please Don’t Hit Me” statement on the back. One of the ladies wanted one as she had recently been injured by a vehicle pulling up to the gas pump. She has a great attitude toward the driver whom hit her and she even feels bad for him because now everyone screams and runs when he comes around!
First store on the left when you come into town, just before the hardware store: 305 Beech Grove Street, Calhoun, KY 42327
We continued on and then stopped for a break in Sebree, KY at the First Baptist Church and Cross Country Cyclist Hostel.
The day was very hot and humid like so many other days have been. By the time we got to Dixon, KY we were looking for somewhere to cool off. We saw the town library and community center and went inside. We were hoping to find a place with a shower or a hose to cool off. The library/community center did not have either so we biked another block to the fire station which was not open. In the mean time, we sat on a bench in front of the fire station and ate our lunch.
Phil saw a hair salon across the street and had an idea! Linda was due for a haircut anyway. Linda would get to cool off when the woman washed her hair with COOL water and Phil would also use the sink to spray his head with COOL water!!!
The hair dresser and owner, Pam, told us she has a lot of touring cyclists who come in and she lets them just relax in the air conditioning. In addition, she had a wall that we could sign as well!
After Linda got her hair cut and we both cooled off, we started off again. As we entered Clay, KY, we saw a cyclist in a parking lot taking a break. The cyclist, John Deuel, also had his wife with him whom was driving a support vehicle.
John, a cycling enthusiast and community leader, created Pedaling For A Cleaner America, a cross-country Bicycle Touring campaign to bring together people who love to ride with their communities to prevent litter and keep the place we cycle clean and beautiful. John will cycle from San Diego to Virginia Beach to raise awareness among cyclists and their communities about litter prevention on our country’s roadways.
Phil had actually heard of his trip from a man whom he met at the National Bike Summit in D.C.
Linda saw an ice cream shop across the street and decided to get a small cup. The store was called “Main Street Shoppes” and also had cute little gifts. Clay was our last town until we hit Marion.
Later in the afternoon the sky became dark and a storm was brewing. we thought it might rain soon. We saw a Church with a pavillion and headed for it. Soon after we took cover under the pavillion, the clouds unloaded and it rained very hard. There was also thunder and lightning but we were safe.
There was a water faucet and electricity at the pavillion. We charged our phones and Phil took a “shower” at the faucet.
Alex texted us while we were there to let us know he had made it to Clay before the downpour.
After the rain cleared up, we continued on to Marion. Four Miles outside of Marion, Alex caught up with us and we battled the last few hills together. We found the Church easily and Alex had called the pastor ahead so the door was left open for us. It took us sometime to find the shower, but it was of course the last place we looked. It had been built between the men and woman’s bathroom in the utility closet.
Ironically, Linda had received a recommendation from a customer at the salon in Dixon to eat at the Main Street Italian Grill in Marion. So after we all got a shower, we walked a few blocks to the restaurant.
The food was absolutely amazing and the staff was awesome!!!