The 2012 Bike Trip – Tennesse: Knoxville to Bristol/ Mumford and Sons!

What a perfect day for a bike ride and such a change from yesterday. I love the clarity that comes after a big storm – no humidity, no smog, fog or haze. Just a sky that was a gorgeous blue, with big fluffy clouds and the temperature in the 70s. I wanted to stop a million times to take pictures (but only stopped four times).

I very much enjoyed my brief visit with Jen, Justin and Eli. They have created quite the homestead – a pool where Eli swims like a fish and where friends gather regularly, an acre of land behind the house where Justin can fly the remote control planes that he builds (not your little ones from Toys R Us – these are amazing!), a 4 hole “golf course”, and a lovely home. These are some hard working people and so they play hard too (exactly my philosophy). If you work hard you can play hard and the result of their labor shines! One result that I benefited from was that Justin had dried my boots and that made all the difference in the ride.


The countryside along Rt 11W to Bristol was so pretty! Mountains, creeks, and fields of corn and hay. For those from the NRV: at different times I was reminded of Snowville, Ellett Valley, and Giles County.

I managed to get to Bristol within 30 minutes of the Radford crew. I checked in to the hotel, changed out of biking clothes (boots and jeans) and into concert clothes (shorts, flips flops, and of course, camera), and walked to the shuttle area to catch the bus to the festival grounds in historic downtown Bristol. I can not believe the ease with which I found Greg, Shelly, Dean and Beth amongst the 15,000 people at the Gentlemen of the Road Tour Stopover.  An hour or so later, we were joined by Rick and Renee.



Ever since I saw Mumford and Sons on the Grammy show (and bought their CD Sigh No More that same night), I’ve been a fan of this British indie rock/folk band (my description – if any of you have a better one, I welcome it!). The band played to a crowd that knew almost every word to every song. We alternated between jumping and dancing or swaying, arm in arm, singing all the while. An encore performance of Wagon Wheel, which brought together all the bands that had performed prior (Apache Relay, Dawes, Justin Townes Earle), was a rousing end to a truly great evening!


Thanks to Rick for taking pictures for me – his height made sure the pictures were not just of the backs of heads (the concert was in a parking lot and all were standing).

After waiting in line for the shuttle (Shelly, Greg and I could hardly wait another minute more as fatigue set in), we finally got to the car and began the great “post concert I am hungry food hunt”. Multiple attempts at several places led us to an after midnight Taco Bell feast.  Ah the good life 🙂



I so enjoyed this evening in Bristol with some great Radford friends.  Thanks Dean for getting the tickets.  What a show!

Because Boomdee dared me: Lay a little sugar on me :-)

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