Cycling the Natchez Trace: Day 3, Ratliff Ferry to Jeff Busby

Distance Today – 73 miles
Total Distance – 202 miles

Today had some ups and downs, emotionally.

I got started before the sun came up this morning as I was determined to get to Jeff Busby earlier than I’ve been arriving at camp the first two days. Using a head lamp, I fixed breakfast and packed my bags and I was on the road at about 8:15am; still later than I want but getting faster.

Day 3

Day 3

I love when I can start my mornings with this:

Day 3

The ride before lunch is always pretty easy as I’m fresh and I’m already looking forward to lunch so the miles seem to fly by and today was no different. Before I knew it, I was pulling into El Rodeo for a giant burrito in Kosciusko. The burrito was huge and there was a power plug at my table.

Day 3

The first hour after lunch is always the hardest part of the day for me because my count down timer get’s reset and I’m full of food. Today was no different but I was able to get into the zone and I was really enjoying the ride and the scenery and my trip overall!

It’s taken a couple days for my brain to finally slow down to touring speed. The first day I was getting used to all the newness of everything. The second day my mind was still going at Nashville speed but it felt like today, my brain finally slowed down and I was able to really enjoy the smell of the pine needles and the perfect weather. The sound of the wheels humming and the chain whirring… the rhythmic swish of the fabric on my legs. Awesome.

With about 15 miles to go to camp, I started having shifter problems. I can’t shift out of the low range… I can get the 4 low gears but nothing after that. I must have bent the rear derailer against a curb when I stopped to look at one of the signs. I don’t know enough about bike wrenching to fix the dumb thing either so that means I have to do the whole day tomorrow with shifter problems. Luckily, there’s a bike shop in Tupelo, 69 miles away. I think I’m going to get a motel room tomorrow as consolation. A real shower, all the things charged and wifi will be super nice.

I finally made it to Jeff Busby right around 4pm but my mood was pretty foul because of the mechanical issue. Jen helped me get my mind straight and talked me out of my funk and reminded me that it’s just part of the adventure. #PlotTwist

Tomorrow’s milage is about 70 miles not counting going off the trace for lunch. Wish me luck and let’s hope the shifting doesn’t get worse!

Rest of the photos here.

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