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Blog 5: Crossing the Mississippi

Sweetwater, TN to Brinkley, AR


So I have been super busy recently and apologize for not blogging recently. Also, a lot has happened on our trip that has changed plans and made life a little more hectic for us all. To be exact, one of the group leaders another trip was struck by an SUV and killed by the impact. Her name was Christina Genco and she was on the Southern US ride. To learn more about Christina, her story, and the actions that transpired please visit the Bike & Build website - I do not want to misrepresent any information concerning her passing. Things have become a little more tense here at Bike & Build and we have all been on pins and needles because of the actions that transpired. And though we remember her life and rejoice in her great life, we must press on across the country as safely as possible.

That aside, our trip has been amazing. We climbed some smaller hills, road plans, finished another century ride, visited Memphis, and rode over the Mississippi. Though I wish I could blog about it all I will only highlight a couple points because I have to wake up at 4:30 tomorrow morning - boo!

1. Pulaski Tennessee: We were literally treated like kings and queens in Pulaski. They cleaned and repaired our bikes, gave us free chiropractic work, fed us 4 times (ribs and shrimp), and gave us air conditioned rooms. I am not sure if the people of Pulaski were so kind to us simply out of their own love for biking or because Pulaski is the birthplace of the KKK and they are saving souls, but it was a truly magical experience. Truly, Pulaski was the best town we have visited.

2. Dunlap, Tennessee: I had the best fried chicken of my life. They are cooked in peanut oil and everyone our trip agreed they were the best they ever had. We also got to sleep in an U.S. army Armory that night. Pretty awesome.

3. 2nd Century ride: one of the guys on the trip is an iron man athlete. No one else on the trip is anywhere near his ability or speed. So of course we tried to race him on the longest day of the trip. Ben asked me if I wanted to help him race the iron man and I said, "sure, why not." So we rode as fast as we could for those 100 miles and we caught by the iron man at mile 80. We then rode with Ed until right before the church where the iron man flatted 200 yards from the entrance of the church. It was poetic. Also, we averaged 17.3 mph during that little race.

4. Memphis, TN: We had our first day off! During that day off I visited the National Civil Rights museum, Sun Studios (where the first rock song was ever recorded and where Elvis started), ate at an amazing deli, and had a beer at the bar where Ray Charles used to shoot up heroine. It was a pretty amazing day! We also visited the famous Beale Street, where B.B. King used to play and enjoyed a pool party with some locals. It was AWESOME. Definitely one of the best days of Bike & Build.

5. Brinkley, AR: After one my best days on B&B, the worst was the day after. The ride to Brinkley, AR was horrendous. We had head wind all day, it was stifling hot, and my spoke broke for a second time. The day was saved, however, by a simple visit to the local thrift store where I purchased some ridiculous clothes and was blessed by the owner of the store. It was both moving and hilarious.

Okay, well I am dead tired so that's all I got. I want to reiterate that I am being very safe and that I love you all and will make it safely across the U.S. So please don't worry too much about me - it's difficult enough to handle already. On a happier note, I still love B&B. I am so happy I am doing it and wouldn't change my summer plans for anything.

Live. Love. Ride.

P.s. sorry for grammatical mistakes.

Posted by jsheehan11 18:48

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