Pedaling Against Hunger: Switching States, Riding Partners

Editor’s Note:  Justin Field,  UD Class of 2011,  embarked on a TSD-sponsored  bike-ride across America to raise money and awareness for the Food Bank of Delaware. This is an update on his progress as he travels through Virginia. To read his last entry, click here.

Day 12: Council, Va. to Hindman, Ky.

We got up early and were on the road by seven. We were headed northwest towards Breaks Interstate Park, the place we would cross the border into Kentucky.

I could not wait to leave Virginia behind. It was a beautiful state, but it had taken forever to get through it.

The first ten miles were downhill, and I needed my arm and leg warmers in the chilly morning air.

Breaks Interstate Park

Breaks Interstate Parks

We took our morning break at a gas station and snacked on Otis Spunkmeyer muffins.

 We headed towards the border, with palpable excitement to move on to a new state.

The Breaks park brought three major climbs followed by steep down-ward sloped hills, but the efforts were rewarded with great views at the top.

On one hill, I whizzed around a corner and out of the corner of my eye spotted the Kentucky State Border sign. It was tiny.

I slammed on the brakes and started yelling at the girls to stop because I thought we had to document it.

We took pictures because we were a little puzzled as to why the sign was so small.

Welcome to Kentucky Sign

Welcome to Kentucky Sign

Once we had thoroughly photographed the moment, we rode on and 200 feet down the road found the fancy sign.

While we were Riding into Elkhorn City, the girls said they wanted to stop for breakfast.

 In the back of my mind, I knew I needed to push ahead today.

I had talked it over with them and said that I needed to keep a faster pace to stay on schedule. This was the place I would have to separate from them so I could make it to Hindman, Ky. by late afternoon.

We pulled into a restaurant and immediately noticed a loaded bicycle outside–another Trans-Am rider!

 As we walked in, he walked out, and I followed and introduced myself. He was headed to Hindman too. It was incredibly lucky.

I said my goodbyes to Katie, Kersten, and Lauren and hit the road. Karey is from North Carolina and is part of a two man team raising money to install water purification in Ethiopia.

The day before his riding partner left for a pre-scheduled family fishing trip, so Karey was going to be riding alone for about two weeks.

It was a pretty incredible coincidence that we ran into each other. Kentucky was a lot more rugged than Virginia.

Many of the mountain tops had been totally blasted off for mining operations, leaving ugly but impressionable scars on the landscape.

Between the day’s many climbs, we whizzed past homes with people out on their porches. We waved hello and they always waved back.

I had been warned about the dogs in Kentucky, and the warnings were definitely merited. As we biked by certain homes, the homeowners’ dogs would come barreling after us.

Usually they were the little ‘yippy’ kind, and seeing them behind us was just funny. Sometimes they were bigger and made the adrenaline kick in.

After a day of hot climbing and thrilling hills, we finally approached Hindman. As we got close, the skies darkened and we knew we needed to get there quick.

Our destination was a biker’s retreat set up at the local Historical Society.

As we got closer to Hindman, we could see lightning and hear thunder, so we asked locals where the society was located.

We finally found it at the top of a hill. We were greeted with iced teas and ushered inside, just as it started to pour.

Bikers Retreat

Bikers Retreat

The Knott County Historical Society had set up this “Bed and Breakfast” for the bicyclists passing through.

For $25, we had a shower, laundry service, a loaded baked potato, a beer (in a dry county), an ice cream sundae, wi-fi internet, continental breakfast, and a place to set up our tents. We also got to talk to a bunch of different bicyclists. It was an oasis for everyone there and a great place to stop after a 93 mile day.

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About the Contributor

Justin Field

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