What a great day! Slightly milder temperatures, beautiful flat smooth roads, and a surprise visit from ABB's Mike, Barb, and Karen.
Group photo with Barb, Mike, and Karen
Our ride today was supposed to be 60 miles from Starkville to Tupelo. But the first ten miles of the NTP were closed due to tornado damage, so we had to reroute to the other side of the closure. Temperatures did not reach the high 90's for a change, and everyone was done by 12:30PM with the shorter mileage.
The NTP was closed from MP 204 to 214
Halfway to Nashville
About seven miles south of the hotel, I was cycling down the NTP when I saw Ellen ahead, stopped on the side of the road talking to three local people with a van. As I got closer, I saw that two of the three locals had matching outfits. That's when the light bulb went off. A visit from ABB's Mike, Barb, and Karen! Today, they left Montgomery on the slow ride out to Astoria for the 2011 North ride. It so happened they had to pass through Tupelo in the middle of the day, and were kind enough to stop and say hello. After a visit on the roads, they joined us at lunch next to the hotel before they had to leave and drive further west. It was kind of weird having the ABB van pass us on the way to the hotel. According to Mike, the North ride will have three vans and no box truck this year. Instead, they will use trailers behind the vans for supplies, bikes, and luggage. Mike, Barb, and Karen, thanks so much for taking the time to visit us.
Rod on the Old Trace
We also saw some bikers headed from Alabama to California on bamboo bikes. We stopped and talked to them for a while and had a look at their bikes, which they claim give them a good ride. You can see more about them here: http://ridealabamboo.com/ourstory
Well, Day 4 is in the books. Tomorrow, we cycle 75 miles from the Tupelo hotel to Florence, AL. There is a lot of history to see tomorrow, so it should be another exciting day.