|I lodged at the London Baymont Inn. As usual, I didn't sleep alone, although I made my roommate lean against the mini-fridge all night.|
|Pre-ride, at the Farmers' Market in downtown London. Mechanical SAG support was kindly provided by Mike's Hike & Bike of London. That's Mike himself, in the orange shirt and professional tool apron.|
The rest stops at the Redbud Ride all have fun themes. I tell you, these people really get into it, and they seem to have a good time. The first stop was at the Crossroads volunteer firehouse, where they had a Western theme going.
|One of the volunteers saw me preparing to grab a cellphone photo, and offered to have a colleague photograph us together. Hint: she's the pretty one on the left. The other one, regrettably, is me.|
If we wanted to know what the weather was like, it was easy to find out by reading the update board:
|Rain, rain, go away!|
Or, we could just see what awaited us on departure.
|Hey, the sign was correct! Steady rain!|
At the second stop, in the town of Livingston, was probably the best theme: the Blues Brothers. Many Jakes and Elwoods were present. Quite a few of them were ladies. Rain or no rain, they were singing, dancing, and having a good time.
|We even had the Reverend ... oh, I can't remember his name from the movie. Or maybe she was one of his choir. The weather wasn't dampening her spirits, anyway.|
The third stop was at the Letterbox Baptist Church, where they again had a Western theme (I'm guessing they don't coordinate mutually). A big banner over the food area suggested that we "Cowboy Up for Christ," and it cited Matthew 18:5. Didn't have my Bible with me, but I thought that must have been pretty freely paraphrased ... I don't recall any scriptural uses of that "cowboy up" figure of speech. When I got home, I checked, and found that the subject verse says, "And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me." Hmmmmm. I'm left mystified about what that has to do with cowboying up. Still, they were nice people, and seemed to be having a good time with things. It's all good.
Approaching the fourth stop, 77 miles in, I looked down at the pavement and saw something that terrified me: my shadow! Uh-oh, six more weeks of rain! A quick check of the sky revealed that the cloud cover was breaking up, and the Yellow Face ("it burns us, Precioussss!") had appeared. I was emboldened to repower my phone at the stop to document this apparition.
|A tiny bit of Jackson County, Kentucky. That is some pretty country around there. And a little sunshine was most welcome.|
The predicted return of the rain did not happen -- much less any thunderstorms. In due course, I followed enough route markers to arrive back at the Farmers' Market in London. There, I explained my Garmin at the Century Challenge check-in table, to a nice lady who waved off my story and marked me down as complete.
|Yes ... next time, I'll probably forget to start it once again.|
|The bass player has a nice voice. Not hard to look at, either.|
I was reminded of an important fact before leaving:
|In case you're ever on "Jeopardy," and the answer that Alex gives is "The Cycling Capital of Kentucky," the question is, "What is London / Laurel County?"|