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Down in Tennessee I had learnt a phrase, “If you can’t duck it, … it.” It was with that phrase in mind that I was planning on fixing the failing sidewall on my tyre with some duck tape. While Tom & Becky had some duck tape on their kitchen table, they seemed to think that there was a superior alternative. There were a number of bikes in their garage and so they offered to take a tyre off one of them for me. It didn’t have the mystery of duck tape, but it was probably the more sensible idea and so after breakfast, I had a replacement tyre.

Becky had been hoping to ride out with me, but with her babysitting duties it wouldn’t have proved possible. Tom was heading to town, so we went to the town of Corbin together. Tom had been feeling under the weather the night before, but a good nights sleep had perked him up and it was a nice opportunity to get to talk to him more before we parted ways.

The road that I was on, had frequent signs talking about the history of the area. They all mentioned Daniel Boone a pioneer who crossed the Appalachians into Kentucky and the basic knowledge I have about him and other similar people makes me laugh when people talk about the amazing things I’m doing. There are definitely challenges involved in cycle touring, but, especially with the way I’ve been doing it in the US, they are all possible to overcome with a bit of patience and perseverance. Hungry? Go eat. Hungry but got no food? Ride until you have some and then eat. Hungry, got no food and there’s a headwind? Ride for that bit longer and then eat. Replace hunger with tired and eat with sleep and you’ve got the basic challenges that this trip has provided so far.

My hosts for the evening, the Beichlers, were a pleasure. Andy, works at Berea college which is run under a fascinating model. It offers full scholarships to all students which over the 4 year programmes is valued at $102,000 and only accepts students whose family income is in the bottom 40% of US households. Students have to spend at least 10 hours a week working on jobs around the college which minimises the amount of workers the college has to hire, which reminded me in a way of the Korean school system, and the college gets its money from donations and their alumni network. That push to increase the number of students who would traditionally be unable to go to college definitely provides a boost to the Appalachia area which is one of the poorer in the US.

The town of Livingstone – I need a GoPro

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