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Thursday 30 June 2011

Day 52 - Trouble on a Tandem

Todays mileage: 69
Total mileage: 2,618
End point: Little Rock, AR

My support crew arrived late last night but carrying a plentiful supply of chicken nuggets for me to eat. Ok, I need to stop eating mcdonalds before this whole trip turns into supersize me on a bike! Now for the benefit of all readers I will explain who is who:

Tim P: Friend from school who also went to bristol uni
Sarah: Tim's girlfirend (is it love??)
John Gillum: Tim's cousin who lives in Little Rock and has been the main organizer
Jim Gillum: John's brother from LR, who sadly didn't ride with us today
Casey: John's business partner and neighbour
Dina: Casey's wife

I got to bed just before midnight and we agreed an early start for us; up at 6.30am with the aim of leaving an hour later. Breakfast was one of the best I have had to date with tropicana (not made from concentrate), fruit and some cereal.

John had acquired tim and sarah a tandem for today's ride, which was a great source of amusement and interest. Tim was ofcourse riding upfront. There are a few weird things when riding this tandem, firstly getting going requires a bit of a woosh as balance is gained, secondly the peddle strokes of the two riders need to be synchronised and thirdly standing up seems to be very hard. The peddle sync is probably the hardest bit as you need to decide when to freewheel. Let it be said though that once they get moving they can absolutely zoom and pounded past us. There does however need to be a huge amount of trust between riders, we'll give tim and sarah 8/10 for this.

After packing up camp we left down a huge hill from Petit Jean Campsite, this was probably not the ideal start for the tandem but they made it down safely. John had left his car at the park and was planning to ride for 19 miles, before riding back to to pick the car up. He would then drive and meet up with us in Little Italy where we would have lunch and meet up with Casey and Dina. It was great riding with other people, and I certainly kept the pace up; less procrastinating plus the ability to draft helped lots. Spent a bit of time chatting to John about his business interests - I'm always interested to hear about the entrepreunerial side of american culture.

Casey and Dina brought us lunch, which was great - Thankyou!! We then set off on the final stretch to Little Rock. Casey was riding a rather interesting bike called a 'Liger' - it turned out it was made up, he had custom ordered the frame and paint job from china and apparently had quite a few people confused by this new make. It looked good I have to say! Our last state park before entering little rock proper was Pinnacle, a pointy hill which reminded me of one of the Pitons in St.Lucia. We entered Little Rock and had to negotiate some busier roads, but some bike paths too. I have been swarn to silence over who completed todays ride and who didn't, but ofcourse I had to! A good 69 miles today, and I was very excited that Casey's kids had drawn a banner to welcome me to Little Rock - so kind, thankyou.

I have now binged on a large Japanese meal and had a poewr nap, so feeling a little crabby. I'm planning on taking 2 rest days from the blog whilst I relax in little rock, but in my absence I was planning to invite Tim and Sarah to do a days blogging each in place of me to keep everyone amused.

Oh I forgot to mention the two punctures on the tandem. The first one was geniune, but the second one was caused my the cap from the tube being caught inside the tyre when the first one was changed! Doh... Tim used my repair kit to fix it - dare he mock my puncture repair kits again!

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