Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April 27....Olive Branch, Mississippi to Bells, Tennessee

77.51 miles in about 6:30....1734.16 miles for the trip in 22 days for an average of 78.82 a day.....ascent....1886 ft....32273 ft for the trip.
It felt good to lay around this morning, and wait for rain that never materialized. They've been talking about today being a big storm day for a week, but once I rolled, about 10:30, I never saw a drop. Not to say there wasn't any rain around, but it rained in the places I was going, before I got there, and it rained in the places I was, after I was gone!  Talk about being lucky! I packed for the rain  and I fully expected to get wet, but I'll take what I got. Mostly tailwind, which was really blowing, especially in the morning, and mostly overcast.
My plan was as to go 47 miles, to Mason, TN, and see what the weather was doing. The first 20 or so miles were on suburban roads, through nice neighborhoods, and on two nice trails, the Wolf Creek Trail, and the Chickasaw Trail, both paved. I rode past the Fed Ex world headquarters, and the South Winds TPC golf club, in Germantown, a suburb of Memphis. I actually went inside the city limits of Memphis, when I thought I was East of it.
Once I got North of I 40, it wasn't long before I popped out on US 70, and I was headed Northeast, out into the country. This is the same US 70 that I have been on and off of since Mesa. The rollers began, the shoulder was usually nonexistent, but traffic was cooperative. There wasn't as much farmland as I thought there would be, there was more bayou type water than I expected, but I spent most of my time watching that white line, on the right side of the road,  trying to squeeze in with the traffic.
When I got to Mason, weather was good, and I decided to move on, but not before I noticed my back tire was totally down to the steel belts, all the way through the rubber. I was in the middle of nowhere, and now I was going to blow out a tire. It was 21 miles to the next town, so I decided to go for it. The rollers leveled out a little between Mason and Brownsville, which was very helpful, considering that every time my back tire went around, I expected it to blow. Well, my luck held out, and I made it to Brownsville, and by the grace of God, they had a Walmart. The Walmart had my size of tire, and my incredible luck continued. I continued to push my luck, and rode nine more miles to a motel 6. When I walked out, after checking in, my tire was flat.. Amazing. I tore my bike apart, and pulled alot of steel belt shrapnel out of my Kevlar tire strip. The bad portion in my tire, wasn't even the place where my tube was leaking. Amazing again. When I changed my tire out, there was a guy at the truck stop next door, with a compressor, a tire gauge, and hand cleaner. It cost me a three dollar tip to have my tire filled properly. Tomorrow will tell if there are any pinches in it! .I am now at the mercy of a Walmart tire, with no Slime in it. Glad I'm close to Nashville.

I was never officially greeted to Tennessee with a sign, but here is their flag.  I also add another state that I've never ridden in!

I thought I had missed all of Memphis, but I could see a few tall buildings over the hills.

They don't have many bike lanes here, but the trails are nice

The Chickasaw Trail

Some scenes on US 70

I think I got my money's worth out of this tire!  All the weight makes them wear out pretty fast.

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