Map of Our Natchez Trace Bike Trip

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Two beautiful people (inside and out) Kendric & Michele Proctor
Day 20 - I got up early feeling fully rested and I was able to complete all my journaling and blogging for yesterday.  Regretfully, we said our goodbyes to Kendric and Michele and we were on the road before 7:45 AM with breakfast in our bellies.  Within a mile we had a complete rear tire blow out!  If you have never experienced a tire blow out on a bicycle, all I can say is it sounds like a gun being discharged.  It always makes Geri scream!  I have hear so many bicycle tire blow outs that I am not startled by it anymore, but I still haven't gotten used to Geri's scream!!  After Geri settled down from thinking she had been shot and I settled down from thinking that Geri was attacked by a predatory raccoon, we got to work on replacing the tire with my last spare.  I plan to save the tire I removed because the blow out hole was small and I can patch it in case of an emergency.  I am hoping that the hole I discovered in the tire may have been the source for the many rear flat tires we have had on this trip.  I had a little route finding difficulty and the roads were not in very good shape, but I did not get lost this time.  We enjoyed watching a skilled cropduster pilot spraying a field with power lines on each side of the road we were traveling on.  He would fly above the wires on one side of the road and under the wires on the other side of the road!  After a little over 20 miles, we reached Rolling Fork, MS. on Hwy 61 and started heading south into a moderate SW wind.  It made for a rough day, because so much land was cleared for crops that the wind had an unobstructed path to beat us up as it crossed an agricultural desert of harvested crops with no wind breaks.  We felt like we were pedaling uphill all the time on the terrain that has continued to be perfectly level.  We passed through Onward, MS., which is famous for being near the place where President Theodore Roosevelt got his nickname of "Teddy" for refusing to kill a captive black bear.  He was ridiculed in political cartoons in his day for this.  The wind remained moderately steady through the day, but fortunately it was not quite as hot and the humidity was slightly lower as well.  We saw our first hill in over a week north of Redwood, MS.  It was a long, thin ridge along the Yazoo River.  The bridge over the river provided us our first climb in over a week and we enjoyed a half mile coast on the other side of the bridge.  We stopped at a Methodist church in Redwood to see if we could refill our empty water bottles and a nice lady there not only allowed us to do that, she gave us Popsicle treats as well!  Sorry we didn't get her name, but thanks!!  We had a series of hills leading into Vicksburg, MS., but they were easier then pedaling into the wind all day.  We arrived at a motel in Vicksburg at 6:00 PM after covering 66.4 miles and averaging over 10 mi/hr.  It was a long day of pedaling.

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