We left Greeneville, TN after stopping by the bike store so Dave could see what was up with his back tire. It’s becoming more evident that he is going to have to buy a new set of tires and the Continental Gator Hard Shell tire seem to be the best but 27″ tires are hard to come by. I was lucky enough to have a friend meet me at Ride Brooklyn where they had 27″ tires in stock and bought me a set of these hard shells. I still haven’t had one flat in 1037 miles!
We pumped up his way too low on air tires which were at 60 psi (should be at 100) and hit the road. There were some nice farm roads leading us out of town until we hit US 11E. This had a wide shoulder and was flat so we worked at about a 20 mph pace most of the day arriving in Knoxville at 6pm. We did about 75 miles in 7 hours!
Our first stop was the Tennessee Valley Bikes store. To anyone thinking about doing a long distance tour I highly recommend stopping at a bike store every chance you get. You will meet good people and they generally take a look at your bike and fix minor things for free.
We noticed that my seat post had been cracked! They had to dig around for a 26.6 size seat post but all they had was this antique looking piece. I guess that’s what I get for rocking an 80’s Bianchi. We all had our bikes checked and I rode out on my new (old) seat post. It will have to do until Nashville at Halcyon Bike shop. They already left a comment on our Instagram post that they got us covered on the seat post and Dave’s hard to come by hard shell tires.
Our hosts for the night were three complete strangers we meet on the website WarmShowers.org. It’s like Couch Surfing but for bicycle touring. The owner of the house was a professional tree climber who has done her fair share of bike tours. The one who took a chance on me and responded to our request was an amazing cook and grows all kinds of food. The third roommate was also a cyclist and she works for the coolest letter press company in town. All of us were riders so the hallway was packed with 6 bikes inside the pink and purple “Babe Palace”. They made us a delicious dinner and we had a wonderful time mapping out our Day 18 ride on their TV. It’s much easier than looking at an iPhone!
These three ladies were so kind and did everything to make sure we had a comfortable stay. We even got to wash our clothes! I will for sure pay it forward!
Despite our hard riding this week we still have about 200 miles to get to Nashville which means we have missed our mark by getting there tonight. We should be there by Sunday afternoon at the latest. We may get in one day of rest there but we have to get to Little Rock, AR by Sept. 26th at the latest. I am riding the Big Dam Bridge 100 in an attempt to raise some money for Street Soccer USA. Thanks to Jamie Walden for sponsoring my ride and signing me up! Another friend already pledged $0.25 per mile! Any other takers? Please tweet at me or message on your Facebook wall mentioning Bike Cruisade so we can keep up!
There’s a strong chance will also throw a party at Stickyz next Saturday after the ride so if you live in Little Rock or nearby please come hang!
Up next we ride as far as we can down Highway 40 towards Nashville!