Day 23 Livingston to Greenville AL

Keeping up with Gerry

Today we rode 129 miles from Livingston to Greenville, Alabama. It was the last really long day, however the roads were smooth so the ride went quickly. Only four more days left.

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First of all, I would like to say how nice Alabama is, with nice people and drivers (all the recent states could teach Masshole drivers a thing or two), good pavement, clean yards and nice houses. Sorry, I prejudged the state – it seems very pleasant.

Today I decided to take the Jay Train again, not just for a few stops like yesterday, but the whole way. That man can fly down hills and build up to a very high speed on the flats. This was one of the few times that I actually got ahead of him, crossing over the Tombigbee Waterway Bridge, with Herb in the back. (Note my PMC 2013 jersey!)

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Our first water stop was next to the Jefferson Country Store with an old guy in a rocking chair and modern touches like an owner taking our pictures to post on his Facebook page. Does anyone know what is Hoop Cheese, Souse, or Rag Bologna?

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There were lots of trees to shield us from the cross winds and when the road pointed in the right direction we were pushed along by a tail wind, and Jay’s strong legs. Before I knew it, we crossed the Alabama River and had a cookout in the state park, with both carrot cake and chocolate cake. Life is good! By noon we were back on the road, with Herb on the Jay Train too.

Back home, riding a century in one day is a big deal, but on the PAC Tour that only gets you to the last water stop. This was in the cute little town of Pine Apple, by Banana St., around the corner from Cherry St. Check out Town Hall, below. I peeked inside to inquire about a bathroom and met the town administrator who explained the building was so small she just went to her home next door.

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She directed me to the general store where I met her husband. I complimented him on such a pretty town and he described the civic association that gets everyone to clean up their yards. From what I saw, people take a lot of pride in their hamlet, and rightly so.

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While taking pictures of the horses below, we met their owner who jokingly offered to trade one for a bike. When I inquired, he said that no, the horse could not travel 100 miles a day like we were doing. (Also, I doubt the Holiday Inn Express would let me bring a horse into my room.)

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Herb bonked a few miles back, so Jay and I rode together for the last 30 miles. We saw Gerry in the distance and chased him for 5 miles before we caught up, at the base of a hill. Gerry said to me, “Put that Seven to work” (we both ride the same brand bike) and took off so fast we were flabbergasted. He quickly became a small green dot in the distance that we could never draw closer. Did I mention that Gerry is 76?

My feet have been bothering me for a few thousand miles on this trip and today is the day my replacement shoes were supposed to arrive. I spent big bucks on the shoes plus the special delivery to my hotel, and they were not there! Wait – the PAC Tour switched hotels at the last minute, so I hobbled over to the original hotel and found my box. Lon installed the Speedplay cleats and Tuesday I will see if these larger shoes eliminate the “hotfoot” that has numbed my toes since California. Wish me luck!

Please support my ride to raise money for the Pan Mass Challenge and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Chris Spear

P.S. Check out Jim Salvie’s blog