A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: brendagerber07

Holmes County? Are we back in Ohio

Rolling thru the Mississippi Flatlands

85 °F
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Friday pm: So after a good dip in the pool and a shower, we piled in the car and went to the Natchez Trace Parkway and had a cookout on the little grill we borrowed from Ryan. Thanks, Son! The Johnsonville brats were delicious and thanks to Walmart we had fresh potato salad and baked beans. When we returned to our rooms, we had some of the homemade peanut brittle given to us by Sally.



Please take time to Google Natchez Trace and see what you find. Very interesting.

The ponies were saddled early and the riders mounted and were out of the gate at 7:15 am. Today's ride was so much flatter and the morning temps were conducive for riding. Today's ride was 102 miles, averaging 16 mph. The riders were in the saddle for 6 hours and 22 minutes. This included the 2 miles of "sightseeing" when the team found themselves off the route. I tell you, I am so glad we have our I Pads and I phones. The app, Find my Friends has been so helpful. We easily spotted the riders and were able to get them back on the route. Cyclists know that a wrong turn can be painful. Here are a couple of clips of them riding today.

As the riders headed into Holmes County, MS, Wynn felt right at home. He was born and raised in Berlin, OH, right in the heart of Holmes Co, Ohio. While the morning ride was taking place, Karen and I headed back to the square in Kosciusko . What a beautiful little town. So sad to see many empty buildings as the businesses are moving out of town.


Then the two of us decided to travel south on the Nachez Trace Parkway. What a wonderful drive. So many sweet pull offs. We say a Cypress Swamp and a beautiful river. Bridges and open fields were all along the way.


We decided we better get back to business and meet up with the riders for lunch. We found the appointed place and picked a nice shady spot on Rt 12 where bathrooms were available. The name of the town was Belzoni, where of course we were at the location of...you guessed it, The Catfish Hall of Fame.
After resting up the ponies continued on another few miles and we actually had an afternoon water break as the temps continued to climb up into the high 80's. we stopped in Hollandale were our riders were treated to a Blues festival in the middle of town. The ride finished up when Rt 12 joined Rt 1 just south of Greenville. Karen and I sat along the road in a cotton field while we waited. We actually met the farmer that owned the field. He was so curious about the. Inkers he had just passed. Karen was able to get a few good pictures.
We went and saw the bridge that they will be riding over in the morning. What a beautiful sight! We stopped and got pictures at the state signs for both Mississippi and Arkansas. Tonight we will be staying in Greenville at a Day's Inn. Tomorrow will see us entering the fourth state of our Tour.

Have a wonderful Sunday.
Rolling West,
Brenda and the Pony Express

Posted by brendagerber07 15:12 Comments (4)

Double Down Day

The password is "MANGO"

85 °F
View Pony Ride 2013 on brendagerber07's travel map.

Hello to the faithful followers at home. We are sitting in a Day's Inn in Kosciusko, MIssissippi.
Yes, we are now in our third state and everyone is feeling fine. We pulled into the parking lot of the motel we were suppose to stay in and Karen looked at me and we shuddered. No way were we gonna stay there! We frantically got out our phones and IPads and started searching. We found a Days Inn with two rooms available. Crisis averted. You might wonder why we called today's post the Double Down Day. Dan wore a double pair of socks and both Colleen and Wynn wore double pairs of shorts (Thanks, Greg for the suggestion). Since all the riders have sore posteriors, they are always talking about solutions to their problems when we stop at a break. The MANGO became a password for talking about the wonderful cream they all use to help soothe those sore spots. I told them no more talk about butt cream. Thus the MANGO password.

The riders left the hotel at 7:15 am this morning and were ready to tackle the day. They had about 10 miles to go before entering Mississippi. That's where the first snag happened. There was no state sign on their route. So we got a phone call and Karen and I rode a route to the north and came across on Hwy where there was a great sign saying:


Karen and I had to head through Columbus, MS which holds the first home of Tennessee Williams as its Welcome Center. We met Virginia and she gave us quite the tour. She even let me play the pump organ.
While in Columbus we toured the streets to find a large number of Antebellum Homes- beautiful.

Meanwhile our riders were seeing reddish gray roads lined with beautiful greenery.

We caught up with the riders in Louisville. We did not have 3G in this place but saw the riders comfortably sitting at a Shell station, having a good old time visiting with the locals. We met Shelley and Sally there and Sally gifted us with three huge round homemade peanut brittle. It was most delicious. They heard from a truck driver that had passed them earlier..." You guys are really movin' along. Really movin' along. "

There were all kinds of quotes heard today...

The riders rode 92.2 miles in 6 hours, averaging 15.3 mph. We have finished our first week and are 25% of the way across. Wynn says we are now under 2000 miles to go. Tomorrow I will devote the blog to answering some of the questions you have posed. Have a wonderful Sat and we will continue the quest.
I will close today with a few words from Dan.

" Dan here: I thought other cyclists following our blog might be interested in our daily riding routine. We've settled into two mile rotations on our pulls. So far we've had very little headwinds, so the rotation we are doing is really practice for the future tough windy days. But an added benefit is that by rotating each two miles, it gives us each something to concentrate on, and makes the miles go faster.
On a personal note, I'd like to mention how fortunate I am to be able to do this ride at my age. This ride has been on my bucket list for years. It's only possible for me at this time because of my wonderful wife, Evelyn, who at this time is keeping the home fires burning. But also because of terrific riding partners, Colleen and Wynn. plus a huge shout out to Brenda and Karen who are so great at taking care of all the day to day items like food, lodging, water and countless other things along the way. This has made it possible for the three riders to just pay attention to doing the miles.'

Posted by brendagerber07 17:19 Comments (6)

It's a down day...we are only doing 80+ miles

Easy Schmeasy

76 °F
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First things first: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SCOTT! You are a wonderful son and we love you very much. Love, Mom and Dad

This is a couple of clips from yesterday's ride.

Yesterday was a long day: 99.09 miles on the ponies, lost for an hour or so in the evening, ( at least we were in the van) late supper, and slow Internet made for a short night. But everyone was up and at 'em this morning at 6 am as usual. We did breakfast in our room (oatmeal, egg sandwiches, bananas and OJ) Dan said the coffee from the hotel tasted burnt and old. Makes me glad I'm not a coffee drinker! They got on the ponies and were off at the start by 7:15 am. Karen and I took breakfast at the little diner, Twix and Tween, while doing our laundry at the Scrub Board next door. Both came highly recommended by the guy at the motel we stayed at. Come to find out that he worked at or partly owned each of them. HA. We are meeting such interesting people along the way. The breakfast was good though and everyone now has a case of clean clothes.

The team started off today's ride going through the Talledega Forest. What a beautiful, winding road. It smelled so fresh and everything was so green. There wasn't much traffic, either. The riders did get a butt massage though as the road was a bit pitted.


Once they passed through, the team continued to fly up and over many crests. We ended up eating lunch after 50+ morning miles. Everyone was still feeling good. An interesting account at lunch..the team had just taken off for their afternoon section, when Dan comes flying back in toward us. He had lost his mirror. Now every serious cyclist knows how uncomfortable it is to ride when you can't see what's coming from behind. We all got out and searched to no avail. I know a lot of people say that God doesn't care about our little wants and needs, but I prayed anyways. My co-pilot, Karen took some trash across the parking lot and just "happened" to look down...(I don't think so) she saw the mirror sparkling on the ground, right behind the van. I probably would have run over it when I backed up. We were able to deliver the needed piece to Dan before the first turn out of the city. It's the little things like this that I find fascinating on a trip this long.

So we followed the route and ended up on Hwy 14 into Aliceville. This is a cute little town and we are staying in a Voyager Inn. The manager was so nice and wants to meet the riders. We got two rooms and he let me pay with Dan's credit card. Some of these little burgs only cost 50-60 dollars a night. They are clean, but no amenities. All I got to say is, it sure beats camping!
Some sights along the way included a logging area, a crazy top on a telephone pole, of course we have to have at least one sign of a Piggly Wiggly, and since I love water towers, here's the one from Eutaw, where we ate lunch.


The riders finished at 83 miles for the day, maintaining their bank miles. They averaged 14.5 mph. for the day. They said they felt sluggish in the morning and picked it up during the afternoon. They were in the saddle for 5 hours and 40 minutes. The ponies pulled into the Inn at 2:30 pm.

I've asked Colleen to write a few thoughts on today's blog. She's my hero and is a wonderful friend!

Hi, it's me Colleen, fellow pony rider and sojourner. Today we had another great day on the bike. Wynn brilliantly planned the route so that the majority of our climbing was in the first half of the ride. The way we organize our days on the bike is to ride about 30-40 miles then we take a morning break or "second breakfast" (for the Tolkien fans). That typically consists of a Clif bar and banana and a long drink of something cold, and a potty stop. Then a short jaunt to lunch around the 60 mile mark or so where we meet up with our capable sag support, pull out some lawn chairs and take a nice break and eat sandwiches, cookies, fruit, etc. then, depending on the mileage, we either soldier on to our destination city, or the sag team meets us for a midway break, and then we finish up. The past couple days we have been able to ride right into our hotel, where (can you imagine?) our gracious sag team has already dropped our luggage and are awaiting our arrival.
All the riders have a singular complaint.....sore posteriors. The laments abound especially after 60 miles or so. We are hoping AND praying that this matter will resolve soon. We clean up and take care of our bikes, eat a nice meal and for the most part, sit around staring at our glowing rectangles and hit the hay early. Then it's off again, spinning into a new sunrise.

Posted by brendagerber07 16:45 Comments (7)

99 miles in the books today

What? One more mile would have been a Century

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Every morning we get up,it's another start. The bags get packed, the bikes go on the carrier and everyone piles in. Sometimes our riders get to leave right from the hotel and then Karen and I sleep in a bit. But today we had to drive to our starting point.image



A beautiful old stone church stood on the first corner of the route.


The riders started off and we have found most drivers to be courteous, especially when approaching a hill crest.
As the riders got underway, Karen and I went to explore a scenic overlook. We drove back in for several miles only to find the view to be totally fogged in! Oh well, we did see a familiar road sign. (Wynn and I live on Overlook Dr.)
One of the jobs of the SAG is to be on call if a bike has issues. Wynn's bike didn't want to shift properly . He called us and the SAG wagon headed to the nearest town to find a bike shop. This is what we found, and it wasn't open.
His bike had no further problems but Karen and I found a diamond in the rough...a beautiful park with a bridge, an old jail and a beautiful walkway.
Sometimes the SAG is confused. We rely heavily on the GPS but a display like this does us no good.
We also try to consult the Taco Bell packets for clues on how the trip is going...please read in order, past,present and future
We check out the upcoming roads. On the turn by turn off google maps for bikes, there was a turn onto Old Plank Rd. Here's what that looked like.
One call to Wynn...
The SAG also prepares lunch and finds the stopping places to rest. I seriously won't know what to do without Karen, my co-pilot.
We also take videos, but they will be put up tomorrow when I can find Internet strong enough to upload. We had quite the adventure tonight, just trying to find the Walmart-kinda a wild goose chase, but we finally had success! Tonight we are staying in Brent, AL. It is a little old motel with real keys to get in our doors. We have 63 miles in the bank. The team was in the saddles for just shy of 7 hours. Tomorrow will be another day and another ride. Thanks to all of you faithful followers...
Riding on...Brenda

Posted by brendagerber07 18:06 Comments (7)

Can't find a hotel...where in the world is Shorter?

Rain, detours, and little old ladies!

72 °F
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Once again raindrops accompanied our team as we began today's ride. Starting out on Rt 219 we soon turned out on Old Skillet Rd. I love seeing the interesting road names around here.


The team rode along and then ran into a detour. Dan said to tell the folks in Silver Wheels, "road closed, means ROAD CLOSED!"


So instead of pavement, the bikes had to pick their way down a dirt/stone road. 6 miles may not seem like a lot in a car, but to a cyclist, it is a lot of road to cover when you're trying to ride 100 miles.

The riders stopped to take pictures at the GA /AL line.


But along with unseen problems on the road, there are also gems along the way. We stopped in the town of LaFayette, AL for lunch.


It had once again decided to rain. (Not hard, but enough to annoy) Karen and I found a wonderful little antique shop with an awning out over the sidewalk. I went inside and met the nicest little lady, named Clara. She was 81 years old and had worked in this town all her life. She said it would be just wonderful to meet the riders and of course we could use her storefront for lunch. She even offered to bring out chairs. (We already had the chairs from the overhead compartment down and ready for use.) The riders ate lunch, had a visit and were wished well for the rest of their journey. God bless you, Clara for your southern hospitality and kindness.


The riders took off to finish the ride for the day, knowing that they had a category 5 climb ahead. It was tough riding. We picked them up highway AL 50 right after the climb. I got to see Dan out of his saddle. I wish I could have gotten a close up of their faces as they came up the hill. They are incredible riders and I am so proud of all three of them!


While they were finishing their ride, Karen and I made a little detour to: 3A0C99BD2219AC681712E939DA702BD4.jpg

We found our hotel (sorry that it was 1/2 hour away) in the town of Shorter. We will head back tomorrow ,driving past fields of cotton. I have never seen cotton fields before.


Our dinner tonight consisted of Coleslaw, baked beans and Jack Daniels pulled pork. We are all trying to figure out the time change since we are now in Central Daylight Time. (Except Karen who is from Chicago)

So goodnight from Shorter . Keep riding my friends.

A note from Wynn ( the dreamer and coordinator)

Each day we ride is truly a new adventure. Today included changing weather, changing topography on the road, southern hospitality from Clara, a bridge out that caused spirits to drop a bit in the AM to riding a pace line in the PM, and finishing the day on a CAT 5 climb that included 12-15% grade for the first half mile. All in all, we are all doing better than we thought we would, but we have a long way to go. God has been good and certainly kept us safe. Thank you for your comments. Keep them coming.

Posted by brendagerber07 17:30 Comments (10)

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