Although my Tour de Mule Blogs are not totally up to date, Now we have finished the tour this will be remedied over the coming days. For now sit back and read this post which has been scripted by Adam Miller another writer/cyclist.
Thursday evening while the boys slept in, the sun feasted heavily in preparation for the coming day. Their morning began in the dark with a solid breakfast as it had each day prior; only this time it was a call for mutiny brewing instead of Colombian roast.
In moments like these a leader emerges. "Throughout history it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most.
That has made it possible for evil to triumph." Once the words of Haile Selassie now the call to forge on from our Captain
And so Kenny formerly known as Chicken Little set the plan.
For each prior day Chicken Little programmed the elevation in reverse.
On Friday, Kenny had sound evidence of what was to come: 4,000 ft of positive elevation change. Nearly 40% of the entire trip's climbing compressed into the final segment.
33 miles into the morning, the Mules left Alabama and raised their flag in Tennessee
By mile 55, they rendezvoused with Major Ted who added the Southern delicacy of boiled peanuts to our menu.
The Mules charged into a blazing sun which rose the temp to 90 degrees for the rest of the ride. While the asphalt cooked, the boys were challenged to replace the water they were losing.
The climbs got harder, "16 hills ahead," said Kenny.
"These are 'mountains'," said Phil.
"Come back Chicken Little," said Adam.
In moments like these when everything around you is hell, no one talks, you hear your heart and you feel the support of friends.
Who knew on the other side of Devil's Backbone which starts at mile marker 391 is Fall Hollow After a brief respite, the Mules climbed on. With laughter, tempo, guts and Ted, they achieved Adam's trip goal at mile marker 400
Then they achieved Kenny's goal at mile 420 of a 4th consecutive century.
As the fierce sun set, the crew was ready to pack it in when the Captain cried out
"Hoist the main and full-speed.".
With Ted lighting the way and protecting them from traffic, the Mules rode the last 24 miles into the dusk.
They faced hills nay mountains, treacherous descents and cross winds. At this point, the elements ricocheted off the Mule's adrenaline. The final push was led by their Captain.
On the shield of the Natchez Trace is a Post rider who are as tenacious as the mule is stubborn. As the finale picture was shot , the Post riders of Natchez's past looked down with a salute to the Mules.