77.96 miles (Total: 1040.02) Avg Speed: 12.2mph Max Speed: 37.5mph
The morning started with eggs and bacon on the stove, superb. Once we got rolling it was obvious the huge black clouds were about to dump their load on us. Within about 4 miles of riding thunder crashed down and lightning struck the floor by the side of the road. We took shelter under a small pavillion at a tourist information office. The rain came hard in bursts then calmed, there was no hurry but we decided to get back on the road an try again.
The thunder still rumbled around in the distance but then up ahead in the road we saw a black cloud spiralling sideways extremely low over the road, none of us had ever seen anything like it. After pulling into a gas station the storm returned just as powerful before finally retreating. Rain continued in bursts during the first half of the ride so we eventually decided to take an early lunch and stopped at a cafe. Entering a place that has the AC on full in wet clothes is not fun, but we soon dried out. The waitress told me how she was obsessed with English bands like Zepplin and the Rolling Stones.
I would soon be reaching 1000 miles for the trip so kept a close eye on my cyclometer as the digits crept up. I have two different settings, one which I put to zero at the start of each ride to get the daily mileage and a second which clocks up all the miles. So as it goes 999.98, 999.98, 999.99 I soon realised there wasn’t even space to go to 6 digits with the decimal places so wondered if it would reset, Cooper said it might. Sure enough as I rolled over the threshold my overall distance went back to 0.00. No big deal, I will now just have to calculate and add on my daily mileage after the rides. It felt great knowing how far I had come, almost 25% of the trip complete!
The ACA group caught up with us as we approached the town of Utica where they were staying at the Volunteer Fire Department. We still had another 25 miles to go for our destination of Sebree, the First Baptist Church there is a well known TransAm paradise. The immense heat and humidity is interspersed with flashes of refreshing rainfall, the weather is completely unpredictable at the minute. We all felt tired and Terry took a rest in some shade under a tree and told us he would catch up, Joe says “nothing to it but to do it!”.
We trudged through the last few miles towards Sebree and finally found our way to the church. Violet greeted us round the back, she and her husband were just about to head out for date night but quickly showed us around the building. The church is huge with so many different levels and rooms, we are given access to the kitchen and told to help ourselves to food then showed the laundry room and showers. We had to place a pin on the map of where we were from, England only had 2 previous pins from down south. Downstairs had a pool table, sofas and a huge TV. Did I mention this place was free? I used the wifi briefly before crashing out on the comfiest sofa I could find.