I've been crossing state lines like a crazy person, and have been going close to 100 miles most days of late. In the past week I crossed three state lines:
I was in Mississippi for less than 24 hours. Not much to say about it except that I was introduced to the beauty that is Waffle House. You can get a breakfast that I swear must have 4,000 calories in it. Even my crazy appetite has a hard time finishing.
I went up to Tuscaloosa to visit my friend Claire, and I can't even begin to describe how bad the tornado damage is. Ive never seen anything like it. I went out with my camera and hopefully got some good shots, will post/write more about that when I'm on a computer instead of on an iPhone in my tent.
The route between Alabama and Georgia was SO AWESOME!!!! there is a dedicated bike trail that runs about 80 miles, and it goes through some really lovely scenery. Being on a path just for bikes feels like the height of decadence after some of the roads I've been on lately (Louisiana's roads are appallingly beat up).
I had a pretty crazy bike malfunction a few days ago-- managed to get my rear derailleur stuck in my spokes, which was entirely my own fault because if my limit screws had been well adjusted, that would have been impossible. Anyways, my derailleur was just a mangled chunk of metal and my bike was rendered unrideable, so I hitched a ride to the next town with a bike shop. Paul, the guy who picked me up, was an underground coal miner and I learned all sorts of fascinating things about coal mining. Such a crazy world! Sounds like an alternate universe down there.
The bike shop I ended up at (Cahaba Cycles) was super ridiculously awesome, and it was far and away the most positive interaction I've had with a bike shop since I started this trip. I don't know why it is that bike mechanics are often assholes, but it's really just something you come to accept/expect if you're someone who frequents bike shops, especially if you are female. I'm by no means a bike mechanic, but I know how to keep my bike in working order and fix most things that go wrong with it, and it irritates me that walking into a bike shop often means getting talked down to. These guys were an extremely pleasant exception Here's a list of reasons why they were awesome:
1. They didn't treat me like an idiot or give me shit about managing to mangle my bike in such a dumb and avoidable way
2. They gave me a sweet jersey
3. They didn't charge for labor
4. Their mechanics were cute AND nice, which I sort of didn't think was possible- it's like having a horse and a narwhal, and having them somehow combine to form a unicorn; you always wished that it could happen, but had reconciled yourself to the impossibility (also, I have decided that all blog posts should really contain at least one unnecessary reference to unicorns).
5. I noticed later that they put a pink end cap on my cable to match my housing and grip tape! Zack the mechanic, if you ever end up in Seattle I totally owe you a beer for that one.
Annnywaaayyssss, my bike is now back to happy working order, and I'm getting into Atlanta tomorrow. Until next time!