Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Another state down. Welcome to Tennessee.

Here we are in Memphis Tennessee. Home of Elvis Presley and shit.
Today turned out to be quite unlucky all around, but I will get to
that later.

Yesterday was pretty uneventful. The only reason I am going to mention
it is to give a shout out to this dude Josh that pulled over to chat
with us right outside of clarendon ar. He ended up giving us a ride in
his truck about five miles after warning us about how shady the
bridges to ahead of us are. They were indeed sketchy with absolutely
no shoulder and tall concrete walls to make it even more
clostrophobic. The ride was much appreciated. The only other thing
mentionable about yesterday was how incredibly bored Zach and I have
become with the rides. We aren't even tired anymore, the rides are
just super uneventful and boring. It is difficult to keep going every
day when there is nothing to look forward to.

With that said, today we were crossing another state border and going
through Memphis which was somewhat exciting because we haven't been
through a real city since leaving Austin. However, from everything we
read, it is really difficult to get across the Mississippi river. With
that in mind we tried stopping at many different gas stations to try
to hitch a ride over the bridge in to Memphis. Unfortunately for us,
people in west Memphis Arkansas are not very eager to help out.
Therefore we had to improvise.

We knew there was an old blocked off walkway on one of the bridges,
however we were told you had to take a dirt path to get to it safely
without riding on the interstate. We found this dirt path, but due to
the moist ass weather it was now a mud path. We tried pushing our
bikes through it for about 20 feet before our fenders were completely
clogged with mud to the point where our wheels wouldn't turn. We
clearly had to give up on this idea as we turned back and scraped the
mud off our rigs.

This lead us to plan B of just sucking it up and riding on the
interstate for a bit until we got to the bridge where the walkway
began. As we pulled up we had to get off and go around a barrier
through tall ass weeds for about 100 ft to get on the retired walkway
which was pretty much only as wide as our bikes which lead to a fairly
challenging ride over the Mississippi. Ps. That river is ugly.

So yeah, we got in to Memphis and things were sort of exciting except
that the city is pretty lame. We randomly stopped to get drinks across
from sun records where Elvis, johnny cash and many others made many of
their early recordings. Shortly after that things shat the bed all
over the place.

Our plan was to ride all the way through Memphis so we could get right
on the road again in the morning. Unfortunately, this put us right in
the middle of Memphis rush hour. I had read a lot of shit on the
Internet about Memphis being a non-bike friendly town, and that shit
is dead on true. No shoulders in the city. People have no idea what to
do when a bike is on the street. This all lead to me getting side
swiped by some dill weed in an el camino. I managed to just power
through it as my pannier took all the impact and got ripped off my
rack. I turned around and was all like "what the fuck you idiot" and
dude was straight up about to be a dick when it turned out there was a
cop behind him who yelled at him on his loud speaker. Dude pulled over
and looked all burnt out and dumb at me while I popped my undammaged
quality crafted ortlieb pannier back on. I told dude I was fine then
just took off. Idiot.

Our luck didn't get much better as we tried to go to like 3 or 4
restaurants to eat and they were either not there (thanks yelp), not
open, or out of falafel. I got super disenchanted at this point as we
ended up in an overpriced Mexican place.

Originaly we were going to try camping at our first KOA only to find
out it cost $27. Fuck that man. I am not paying $27 to sweat my ass
off in my tent when or $10 more we can get another motel. So that is
what we decided to do. However, this turned out to blow an ass too as
we pulled up to multpile cheap shits only to find out they had no
vacancy. COME ON!! I just wanted to lay down after this shit day!

Fortunately, ramada had a $39 special and they have showtine and shit.
Big ups. So yeah, moral of the story: Memphis can get flooded with
shit for all I care. Hopefully the rest of our time in Tennessee goes
better. Severe thunderstorms predicted for tomorrow! NICE!

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