Pauline Would Be Proud of this Pilgrim

Bike Ride* Post ahead, I promise! Keep reading!!

Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres.
--Julius Caesar
"All Gaul is divided into three parts. From De Bello Gallico Book I, Ch. 1; these are the first words of De Bello Gallico, the whole sentence is 'All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in ours Gauls, the third.'" At least according to Wikiquote.

Right. What has that got to do with your bike ride, Patricia? Have you gone around the pun intended?

Those words were the beginning lines of  Mrs. Pauline Thomas' Latin II classes when I was a sophomore in Ripley (Tennessee) High School, and I remember it like it was yesterday. Or maybe last year. OK, actually that's not exactly how I remember the Latin at all. "Omnia Gallia est divisa in tres partes" is what my mind keeps mumbling, over and over during my ride through this part of Tennessee. I may have the words in a jumble, but the reasoning is crystal me at least. Because...

All Tennessee is divided into three parts, people. And I'm in the Eastern part, for sure. The orange part. Never seen so much orange in my life. Not my favorite color by any stretch of the imagination.

Reminds me of another quote, this time from a favorite movie:

"We are pilgrims in an unholy land."
-- Dr. Henry Jones, Sr.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade


So, why are you wearing orange today then, Patricia? Since the Panthers aren't playing in the Super Bowl, I dug out my one and only orange sweater to wear to show my support for Coach John Fox, whom I have admired since he coached Carolina, and for Peyton Manning, who is a class act wearing a quarterback's number.

And, you better believe I'm wearing blue pants to complete the outfit. True blue. Tiger blue. The color some of those Celts supposedly painted their bodies in battle. Or, so said Caesar.

OK, on to the Bike Ride! I am pleased as punch to report I completed my third century by the end of January! 305.4 miles, to be exact. Woo hoo! Something to celebrate.

Let's see, where was I at the end of my last report?

1/20/14: Rest day. I have learned the best schedule for my body is 3 days on, 1 day off. And, I now know that my daily limit on the bike is about 1 hour. I had been aiming for 16.7 mile/day on average, but that was keeping me on the bike for nearly 90 minutes...and creating a problem with my lower back, making my left leg and foot numb. Not. Good. So, I nipped it back to 10-12 miles per day, which will keep me in the "under an hour" ride range, as long as I am averaging at least 12 mph.  Live and learn, right?

1/21/14: 9.0 miles, putting me on Main Street in Greeneville, county seat of Greene County. Greeneville is a beautiful place, and many are choosing to retire here, attracted by the vistas as well as the lack of personal income taxes. I downloaded their Tourism Board's brochure on retiring to Greene County (find it here: and was favorably impressed. I also had to chuckle because it reminded me of something I haven't seen since we left TN in 1988: wheel tax. Yep, I had to learn all about ad valorem taxes, etc., when I left my home state. In TN, we just called it what we saw it: not personal property but wheels!

1/22/14: 10.5 miles, outside of Greenville riding on Andrew Johnson Highway.

1/23/14: 10.2 miles, taking me into Hamblen County, headed on Stagecoach Road toward Morristown. 

1/24/14: Rest day

1/25/14: 9.7 miles putting me in Morristown, county seat of Hamblen County. 

1/26/14: 11.7 miles, crossing into Jefferson County, on Hicks Road on the outskirts of Jefferson City. As you can see in the map above, my ride is taking me close to Cherokee Lake, one of the TVA lakes. From "Construction of Cherokee Dam (named for the Native Americans test lived here) began in August 1, 1940, and was completed on a crash schedule on December 5, 1941. The reservoir has nearly 400 miles of winding shoreline and about 28,780 acres of water surface...(and) a flood-storage capacity of 749,400 acre-feet...Cherokee Dam is a hydroelectric facility. It has four generating units with a net dependable capacity of 148 megawatts." Oh, how I miss living in TVA territory!

1/27/14: 10.3 miles, putting me on the edge of Strawberry Plains.

1/28/14: Rest day

1/29/14: 11.4 miles, crossing into Knox County, on E. Magnolia in Chilhowee Park, where the Knoxville Zoo is located.

1/30/14: 10.2 miles, riding through the streets of Knoxville, turning onto the Clinton Highway. You are correct if you have noticed I'm avoiding The Hill on my ride. If you want to learn more about the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, you're on your own. Momma, who attended UT for one year in the late 30's (and was miserable the entire time she was there), liked to come to Gatlinburg in the Smokies annually, and we often combined a trip to the mountains with a football weekend. Growing up, that was fun. After the reception we (Tiger Fans) received a few years ago, I have no desire to leave another nickel of my tourist dollar in this county. Moving on.

1/31/14: 9.5 miles, putting me on the west side of Knoxville, making a turn onto TN 170W toward Oak Ridge. This is near the part of Knoxville where my great-Uncle James (brother of my grandmother Margaret) and Aunt Billie Stewart lived. They are both long gone, but I remember visiting them as a child, stopping by whenever we came "east." 

Total for the month: (Previously reported) 213.5+9.0+10.5+10.2+9.1+11.7+10.3+11.4+10.2+9.5 = 305.4 miles for January. High five, everybody!

2/1/14: Rest Day

2/2/14: 10.2 miles, crossing the Clinch River, putting me on Ingraham Lane in Oak Ridge. This made-up city, which didn't exist until WWII, straddles Roane and Anderson Counties. It has a fascinating history, which you can read about here: I think this war-era picture speaks volumes, don't you?

Yep, I have done my ride for today, earning some extra calories to spend on those Super Bowl snacks. 

Tomorrow will be a full month of riding, and I'll fill you in on some changes I'm full credit to this experience. Stay tuned for my next update!

* Footnote: To bring you up-to-date, in case you are just joining me...

My plan to get/keep in shape for gardening this year is to ride my stationary bike. Because I always need a reason to do something...or at least to continue doing something, I have decided on a program based on a distance of 2600 miles...which is the distance from our house to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, as Google-mapped using the (beta) Bike function. I started 1/3/2014...and am continuing the saga today. 
BTW, I am tagging all the posts about my ride "Where in the USA is Patricia" on my blog, and #WhereintheUSAisPatricia on Twitter. While I won't be blogging about my ride on a daily basis, you can check my Twitter Feed over there in the right column for daily updates on my ride and location. Happy pedaling! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


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