Day 14 - Lyles, TN (AirBnB) to Waverly, TN (Imperial Lodge) - Seeking A Bicycle Warrior's Death, Part II: The Great Rivers South - CycleBlaze

October 5, 2022

Day 14 - Lyles, TN (AirBnB) to Waverly, TN (Imperial Lodge)

Can't Anticipate the Unanticipated; Bridge Is Out, Now What?

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Statistics, Useful & Otherwise;

Elevation Gained Today;  1,998 ft            Cumulative;  25,940 ft

Roadkill Seen Today;     possum(3), squirrel(2), armadillo(2), raccoon(1), unknown (5)

Cumulative; Hawk (2), Raccoon(2), Possum (11),  mouse (1), Squirrel (5),                                 Armadillo (3), bird (1), Coyote (1), unknown (2)

Found Money Today;     $0.00                    Cumulative; $0.31

Lodging Cost Today;     $79.91                   Cumulative; $1071.28

Bad Drivers Today;       1                                 Cumulative;  9

Dog Chases Today;     3                                    Cumulative;  10

Confederate Flags Today; 1                           Cumulative; 2 (plus 30 little flags decorating confederate soldiers graves on the Natchez Trace)

Average Speed Today; 10.6 mph                  Cumulative; 10.24 mph

Summary of Today's Ride; The Piney River bridge was closed, AND; [Begin Quote from ACA]:"In Tennessee, the route travels over exhausting roller coaster hills..."[End Quote from ACA]

The AirBnB I stayed in was great.  I was in no hurry to get rolling today because I only had 40 miles to ride, or so I thought.  Tennessee highways seem to have a small shoulder, big enough to ride on if you are careful.  They have rumble strips, but they're the "good" kind; they are fairly thin and have a 5 foot gap every 50 feet or so.  So you can ride on the shoulder when needed, and when there's no traffic behind you can pull out through the gap in the rumble strips and ride on the roadway until someone is approaching.  And that's how I rolled for a lot of today. Highway 100 was fine to ride on, a bit busy this morning but the shoulder was good.

I Didn't Know That
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Note to my "adult" kids; do not embarrass yourself and ask me who Minnie Pearl (not her real name BTW) was, Google and Wikipedia are your friends.  Highway 48 had a smaller shoulder but less traffic, and things were going well.  And then I got onto Highway 230, a very rural road with hardly no traffic.  But there was this sign;

But I Need To Cross There, Surely A Bicycle Can Get Across? (Nope!)
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What to do?  I needed to go that way.  If you recall, I successfully got through a similar bridge closed deal in Louisiana earlier on this trip.  And the part where it says "Local Traffic Only" made me think that perhaps there was some bypass for local traffic.   If anyone had been out working in their yard near the road I would have asked, but no one was around.  So I continued.  Seeing as how water runs downhill, the bridges across rivers are generally located at the bottom of the hill - and so I traveled a mile going downhill to reach the bridge.  There were trucks and equipment in the way and I couldn't tell if there might be some way for a bicycle to get across, so I rolled on down to where some guys were working.  They were very much trying to ignore me (after all, I had ignored the "Bridge Closed" signs) but I insisted on getting their attention and asking if there was any way for a bicycle to cross.  There wasn't, and once I could finally see behind all the equipment it was obvious; there were just some piers sticking up out of the water with nothing spanning between them yet. 

And so I was defeated by the Piney River.  I had rolled onto some gravel in order to reach the workers, and as I tried to turn Harvey around I slipped and fell sideways and skinned up my knee a bit.  Nothing real bad, but embarrassing as the construction guys all witnessed it.  Okay then, banged up a bit and bleeding, defeated by the river, Harvey and I retreated uphill to plot our next move.  Google maps is a real asset in times like these, and it showed me a backroads way to get back to Highway 48.  It was a pleasant ride amongst rural farm houses as we navigated our way back to the highway.  I needed to work my way northwest to Waverly, and I could see that Highway 48 went north a ways and then  turned northeast, but at the point it headed northeast there were a series of county roads I could take to intersect Highway 70 and then head west on 70 to Waverly.  So that was my general plan, and I just hoped that Highway 70 had the same type of shoulder that the other highways have had so far.  Google Maps wouldn't give me a proper bicycle routing because it kept trying to send me across the bridge under repair, so I knew I had to get further along and then it would.  And so I rolled on 48 until it intersected I-40, and I stopped at a Love station/McDonald's for second breakfast.   Before I went in I used one of my antiseptic wet wipes to clean up my knee so it wouldn't scare the little kids.

"It's Just A Flesh Wound" (Black Knight, Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
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Second breakfast was really first breakfast, sort-of, because I ate a frozen meatloaf and potatoes thing for breakfast this morning.  Don't ask.  McDonald's pancakes and sausage fueled me up, and Google Maps bicycle routing confirmed that I had guessed the best route to get to Waverly.  So I rolled off and let Google Maps give me voice directions for the series of roads and turns I would travel to intersect Highway 70.  I carried the phone inside my handlebar bag and I could hear it well.

The ride on the rural county roads was quite pleasant.  I came upon another Confederate flag today;

Confederate Flag Flying Next To A U.S. Flag
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And I tried to photograph a fawn near the road but it bolted, so I only got this blurry shot of it's white tail bouncing as it ran away.

Blurry Photo of Fawn Running Away
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The countryside and farmland was quite beautiful.  This old barn has about it, I wish I could salvage the wood and use it for some wainscotting.

Dilapidated Old Barn - Wish I Had That Wood
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And just one shot of an idyllic farm setting.

Inviting Tennessee Farm Scene
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When I reached highway 70 I was relieved to see that it had a rideable shoulder.  Not a wide shoulder by any means, but enough so that truck traffic could get past.  Although it doesn't look so below, 70 was a busy road.  Traffic would come in spurts of 6 to 12 vehicles at once.

Typical Shoulder Found On Highways 48 and 70
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I saw no reason to stop at this $%* store.

What Was The Name Of That Darn Store?
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So look; this is kind of weird.  I rolled up on this church (which I won't name), and it has a steeple that looks like a KKK Klansman wearing the pointed hat and robe.

Steeple Looks Like A KKK Hat And Robe
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It just seemed a bit eerie to me.  Especially so since the KKK was founded only 75 miles from here in Pulaski, TN in 1865.  Any further discussion would be off topic from my bicycle adventure, so here's a link of interest should you want to dig deeper; KKK and Christianity.

Highway 70 was not a pleasant ride.  The shoulder just wasn't very wide and there was beginning to be a lot of traffic.  As I approached Waverly, I saw the shoulder ending, but fortunately that was right at the point that I was able to get on a parallel road that would take me into the town.  Railroad Street was a very pleasant ride.

Glad To Be Off Of Busy Highway 70 Onto Peaceful Railroad Street
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The Imperial Lodge is old and a bit run-down, but I have everything I need.  The WIFI works, the A/C works, I have a mini-fridge and microwave and coffee pot.  I'm due for a rest day and I'm taking it tomorrow.  I only had 1 day of dirty clothes to wash since I did laundry at last night's AirBnB, but the motel doesn't have a guest laundry.  So I just washed clothes in the tub and then hung them to dry using a little imagination and some cord.  I have the clothes suspended such that the A/C fan blows on them.

A Little Cord Can Be Useful On A Bike Tour
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Two days ago I crossed the Tennessee River while riding in northwest Alabama. So I had this song stuck in my head for awhile;

Good night folks.  I've earned a rest day and tomorrow is it. So much more I want to say, but it will have to wait. Broken bridges haven't stopped me so far, so I might as well figure out how to keep moving forward.  Lots of things to work out for the rest of the journey, I'll post tomorrow and catch you up.  I'm really pretty beat down after this 9-day run, I need my sleep...

Today's ride: 49 miles (79 km)
Total: 770 miles (1,239 km)

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Mark HarrisIf you reslly want to figure out if the KKK's values represent Christianity, I suggest you read the New Testament and see if they are compatible, instead of what someone with an agenda writes. I don't put much value in someone's opinion that knows nothing about their subject.
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1 year ago