So we woke up in Greenville, MS, this AM and had plans to be on a bus to Memphis that afternoon. If you recall from yesterday, there were no camping or hoteling options on our route that day or the next. It seems that last years’ flooding of the Mississippi River had knocked out the options we had been planning on. So, we make the decision to jump up to Memphis and get caught up on our mileage. First we had two problems we faced…
One bike had to get to the bike shop for repair AND we had to make boxes for the bikes or they couldn’t go on the bus. So, I took the bike down the road to Kwik Keys and Bikes, in Greenville. Tom the owner met me there, gave me a new gear cluster, replaced the one on the bike, and also gave me a spare front derailure – all GRATIS! WOW! If you are riding the MRT and end up in Greenville, stop in for parts. You might not get quite the same deal, but he was great.
Meanwhile, Josh and Dave were dumpster diving for boxes. By the time I returned to the hotel, the room was filled with boxes.
We had to be out of the room by 11:00 so we were hustling to get the job done. By the time it was over, it looked a bit more like three bikes in cardboard envelopes than boxes, but it worked! After a burger and McDonald’s we boarded the bus and headed to Memphis.
Upon arrival three bikes emerged from their cocoons and off we went, pedaling down Airways Boulevard.
In Memphis our plan was to use “Warm Showers.” This is a website for bikers in which we post our location and make our homes available for other bikers. We had never tried it before but it was a great experience. It was about a seven mile ride to our host’s home and I broke two spokes as we went through a pretty rough neighborhood just north of the airport.
Dan, the French Horn instructor at Memphis University (along with his two basset hounds) put us up that night. It was a blast – we learned so much from Dan about bike touring. In particular, we realized that being devoted to the guidebook was a mistake. We needed to find routes that were more friendly to finding food, camping, and other services that bikers need. Thanks, DAN!!