The morning was warm and humid with the promise of rain. It was one of the first days I’ve woken up during this trip and just didn’t have the desire to get up and ride my bike. My legs were achy and stiff and the overhanging clouds, heavy with rain, just weren’t motivating me. But it was time to move again so I woke up Hannah and we started the morning routine of packing up our panniers.
In the end, we didn’t leave as early as we’d hoped to to be well prepared for the 60 some mile ride to our Warmshowers host in Oak Ridge and it did rain. So we said our goodbyes and rode off in a warm drizzle.
We followed good old route 11 west towards Knoxville and the rain let up after the first hour of riding. Around lunch we stopped at Cardin’s Drive-In, which our friends had pointed out to us on the ride to Knoxville the night before. It is well known for having good milk shakes in a variety of flavors and we weren’t about to pass that up.
Once we saw Cardin’s offered more than just shakes we decided to splurge for a full lunch. While we ordered our food some local folks, who had done a cross country ride a few years ago, came over and we sat down to chat and eat.
It was really great to hear some of their stories and get some tips about touring from them.
After lunch we rode on to Knoxville and happened to pass Greenlee’s Bicycle Hospital, the oldest, family owned bicycle shop in the Unites States and the 7th oldest in the world!
The building was pretty interesting and the guys in the shop gave us a quick tour and showed us some cool work tables and tool bins that were part of the original shop in 1899 and are still being used today.
They even had this old bone shaker bicycle in the shop.
We hung around the bike shop long enough for a thunderstorm to pass through the the area and then realized we needed to get a move on if we intended to make our destination in time for dinner.
One of the roads we took in the afternoon was quite scary. Lots of heavy traffic with a small shoulder that disappeared at times AND Tennessee has this great idea of putting larger rumble strips in their shoulders (where they exist) which made riding a bit stressful and rough. As we got closer to Oak Ridge we found this bike path which was quite a nice ride at the end of a long day.
We were happy to meet our hosts, shower and eat a relaxing delicious dinner with them before turning in for a good nights rest.
Lastly, I’d just like to note that my saddle is pretty well broken in at this point and more comfortable than I could have hoped for!