Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Day 57 & 58 - Bad Drivers, BBQ, and Batteries

Yesterday (Monday - Day 57) was the WORST experience we've had on the roads on this entire trip! To start with the roads were just yucky. Not smooth, small shoulders, and heavy traffic in lots of areas even though we were on back roads.
We got lots of horns and "you're #1 signs" even though we were riding single file on the shoulder! After traffic got worse and the road opened up some with a passing lane in the middle Katie (mom) got behind us in the bus to block traffic for us. It kept us safe, but made some people even madder because we were taking up a lane (even though they had plenty of room to pass in the passing lane!). One dully pickup truck hauling a big trailer and bobcat buzzed us within 12" of Craig's (dad) elbow screaming and gesturing out of his window.  After he passed he went up about a mile pulled over and waited on us to get there, then when we passed he got out of his truck and cussed and fussed some more. It took all of Craig's (dad) self control not to engage him, but a fight would have just made things worse. After we passed he got back in his truck and followed behind the bus VERY closely revving his engine and blowing his horn even though he could have easily passed. He was just trying to harass us. Katie ending up calling 911. While she was on the phone with a local deputy the man passed around us in the GRASS and blew a huge puff of black smoke on us as he did. It was just crazy! We stopped and took a long break giving the sheriff time to track the guy down and letting him have time to cool down and leave if he was sitting up the road waiting on us again. We never saw him again so hopefully either the sheriff found him or he went home and took a chill pill ;) It is SOOOOOO sad when drivers act like this toward cyclists. I know we are not a "normal" group of cyclists, but this WAS on a Southern Tier Adventure Route road so I know cyclists are through that area often. I pray that this area is not "mean" to all cyclists who pass through. It was only about a 20 mile stretch where we seemed to have negativity. Later in the day the roads got nicer and the people did too :)
We stopped for the night last night in the parking lot of Wylie's Backwoods BBQ outside of Thicket, TX. They were awesome and gave CJ his dinner. The pork loin was VERY good and the people were super!
This morning (Tuesday- Day 58) we got a late start because our batteries were low and so Craig spent a while checking them. It seems that the house batteries are not recharging themselves like they should. We started riding about 11 and after about 30 miles we made a stop at the Dairy Queen in Kountze, TX to meet a cameraman from a news station (KBMT) to cover the story. Since we were there, of course we had to have a blizzard!
Craig's knee was hurting so Katie joined CJ on the bike for the last 13 miles. We rode from Kountze into Silsbee and stopped again at the  AutoZone here to load test the batteries. All of them tested ok, so it's going to take more work to figure out what's making them not charge. Katie and CJ rode the last stretch into Red Cloud RV Park around 5pm with the bus following shortly behind. We are thankful to Tina from Red Cloud for donating the nights stay! Hot water, AC, and laundry are just a few of the things we take for granted when we are at an RV park that we miss dearly when we are parking just in a parking lot somewhere.
CJ is excited about doing his first 100 mile day this Thursday!

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