Today was a “light” day for Jasmine Sharp – she only biked 45 miles.
For the past 10 days, she averaged 90-100 miles, but today she stopped in Owensboro for lunch at 11am to get out of the heat. When you’re biking across America, the heat can be oppressive, especially for someone from Wales, where it is “perpetually cold,” as Sharp described it.
An avid cycler, Jasmine’s journey began in Washington, D.C, and will end in Astoria, Oregon. She’s following a route designed by Adventure Cycling Association. Owensboro falls just nine miles off the route, so she called it an early day and got a hotel room for the night.
The route is mostly on two-lane backroads. “I’ve been able to see a lot, and not just the touristy places,” Sharp said. Being from outside the US, she really enjoys experiencing “the Americana stuff” along the way. This morning, she set out from Rough River. After lunch, she planned to enjoy the riverfront, then rest and recuperate for another leg of the journey.
Along the way, Jasmine stops in gas stations and restaurants for drinks and meals so she doesn’t have to carry much food, except for emergency rations.
What’s her favorite thing about Kentucky so far? “Everybody’s been really nice. And they seem interested to talk to me and ask questions.” I saw that first hand. While I was interviewing Jasmine, someone picked up the tab for her lunch and another person offered to pay for her hotel room during her short stay in Owensboro.
The number one question people ask about her trip is “why?”
“The short answer is because I can. The long answer is because I have several cycling friends who have died recently and not been able to do all they wanted to do in life,” Sharp explained. We only have one life, she said. “If I didn’t just do it – I might not ever find the time.”
So, in the morning she will ride to Henderson, then continue on, pedaling hard for the next six weeks to catch her flight back to the UK, which is already booked as motivation to keep her pace.
As we left the restaurant, a group of waitresses wished Jasmine well on her journey. One waitress snapped a selfie with her. “You don’t see this every day,” the waitress said. “My son’s going to think this is really cool.”