Utica

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An eventful morning and a long nice ride on the western plains of Kentucky. This time I tried staying at a fire station.

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Sleeping on a pile of cushions in a church annex was ok. We had a lot of space and I got up early to get going. But it was not meant to be 🙂 Jerry helped me pack up and, being a tire pressure enthusiast, checked my bike and pushed me to add some air.

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A couple minutes after doing the back wheel, it exploded ! Too much pressure. The self sealing tube was probably not designed for that. Plus, the wheel itself was really worn out. In any case, they both went with a bang, and the sealing liquid dripped all over the pavement like a wounded beast.

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Fortunately Jerry was carrying spare wheels. Otherwise I would have been stuck around, the closest bike shop was back in Carbondale. I also still had my spare tubes. I was ready to depart not too late.

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Now, my bike had been revised by a mechanic in Farmington, four days ago. No warning on the wheel. And before that, two weeks ago in Newton. Apparently French mechanics are not alone in being really bad. In the end it turned out ok though, I have a new back wheel.

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I had planned to stop at Sebree, at another church (a baptist one I think). But I realized it was less than the usual 50mi/80kms I got used to, and it didn’t feel right. Plus, the conditions were great today, nice weather, not too much wind, and gentle slopes going east inside Kentucky.

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Before reaching Sebree, I came upon Tom, a young cyclist going west, with the objective to complete the TransAm in another month ! That would be 100 miles a day. He told me about the stop at Utica, a fire station 25mi/40kms further from Sebree. That got me thinking about it. Still that meant changing my plans, and I’m not good at that.

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I had a quick and bad lunch at Sebree and decided to go on. I was still feeling good and the heat was not supposed to go up. It was a great day for a ride. Still, a sizeable distance was left.

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Right before Utica I encountered Eliot, a Londoner who had been riding with Tom. He helped me with water, I was running out and starting to feel bad. I counted each half kilometer until Utica and the first convenience store.

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So I stopped at the fire station ! No one around, I unpacked and got cozy. It’s more like a communal building, used by cyclists regularly. Kitchen, laundry, tv, air mattresses, but no wifi :p Oh well, I’m starting to get used to it.

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