Nashville! Live music in the airport terminal!

After the rental car, off to Trace Bikes for a pretty girly Trek Lexa and some bike-related jewelry that supports their junior racing team:

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When I arrived at the hotel, I knew I was among my people:

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But I still loaded my bike into the room.

I saw a stray kitty in the parking lot. The desk attendant assured me they fed her.

It seemed crazy late when I wandered over to the Mexican restaurant next door, but my ride wasn’t early, so…

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The warmup ride was about a half hour south at Union College in Barbourville. It’s election season here, for everything from judge to jailer.

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I arrived right when registration opened at 10 – for a noon start – so I wandered around the festival of Appalachian culture.

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I also saw a quilting exhibit from a preacher’s personal collection. As far as I could tell, his parishioners would give him biblical-themed quilts (and many of those themes seemed a serious stretch). There was a video playing of him discussing the quilts… it all had a weird performance-art feeling to it.

A little after noon, the ride started, and it felt good – until I dropped my chain shifting up into the big ring and lost the group I was riding with. And that’s how the day went. Lots of rollers, lots of wind, and a constant feeling of being behind, even though I wasn’t DFL. I kept seeing these amazing purple trees, but didn’t want to stop to take any pictures, because I knew I still had to drive hours back to Tennessee that night. By the time I got back to the start, the t-shirts and food were packed up and gone.

But Kentucky was done!
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On my drive back, starving and in need of protein, I saw a sign… and took a detour:
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