Day 24 Hazen AR

We left Memphis yesterday around 9:30 after Joel found some sweet new Grizzlies sunglasses for us to remember their wonderful city by. Ill never forget that ride out of Memphis though. We took I-55 over the bridge and got a good photo next to the Welcome to Arkansas sign. An oversized semi carrying a house buzzed by and we decided to keep moving to the other side if the Mississippi River.

Rather than take the suggested 5 mile detour Google suggested we stayed on the interstate for about two miles before exiting and finding our way to Highway 70 again. There was a Poncho’s restaurant up the road and I started to feel closer to home. My friend Sam Selig just happened to be pulled over in that parking lot at the exact same time we cruised by so he drove up ahead and caught us on camera. Shane and Dave just thought he was a random driver who pulled over to get our photo.

We didn’t have any more cars pull over to document our ride the rest of the 100 mile ride to Hazen but we did have a German Shepard almost chew our legs off. After all the riding this week I’d gladly let the dog have my legs because they are no good to me. I hope I’m able to ride the Big Dam Bridge 100! They are supposed to have a massage station for free after the event. That’s the real reason I’m doing the BDB100 ride, not to raise money and awareness for Street Soccer USA. However, if you want to donate a dime, quarter or $1 for each mile I am able to finish that would be cool. Mention it on social with hashtag #jointhecruisade and it will give me the extra energy needed to finish the race.

Around 5:30, we ate at Craig’s BBQ around which is now #1 on Dave’s Best BBQ Bicycle Tour chart. Our last 8 miles to Hazen were easy as the sun set and the cool breezy hit our sunburned faces. The Super 8 was the first motel we say so that’s where we ended the night. Well it didn’t end until after the Giants game.

The hotel, like most places in the south, was not showing the football game. Dave was determined to find a tv with the station showing it so he hit the road on foot. After trying the Shell, the hotel lobby and a Mexican restaurant he finally hit the jackpot at Citgo. They had a flat screen 32″ TV above the coffee machines and the game was on. This would have been an OK place to watch it but there wasn’t any real seating in sight and it was way too close to the claw machine which has been calling Shane’s name everywhere we go. I think he only spent $3 on this machine which is an improvement.

Shane and I got the text from Dave that the Citgo had the game so we hurried over. The place was empty when we arrived. There was a table in the corner but no Dave. Finally the gas station attendant came inside and we paid for our snacks. She said our friend was in the back watching the game. To our surprise there was another TV with a table and benches next to the laundry room and unfortunately the men’s restroom. This was definitely a first and pretty strange to send Joe a text that he could find us in the back of Citgo.

Joe is from Little Rock and was meeting up with us for the night so he could ride in to town on Friday morning. He and his girlfriend met us in our new office in the back of the gas station and we all had a good laugh. I’ve known Joe for years but I only recently found out that he is the Program Director at Recycle Bikes For Kids. It’s a bike co-op that started 7 years ago by Chris King’s (owner of Sticky Fingerz) dad, Ron King.

It was so neat to hear how they have grown so much and the large amount of bikes they fix up and donate back to the community. They have had so many adults and volunteers come through the shop that’s grown and it’s not just for kids anymore. They get to do some pretty awesome work and meet such cool people in their shop. This is just one of the many things I am looking forward to this wonderful weekend back home.

The bike shop will be our second stop after meeting my family at the Clinton Library around 1pm. Come join us if you are having a lunch break downtown! It’s going to be an amazing weekend hanging with all my awesome friends and family. I can’t express how filled with joy I am to see such a positive response online about our ride and Street Soccer USA. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!