I’m cruising around the mean streets of Jackson Mississippi – riding bitch on the front bench of a pickup truck that – I shit you not – cannot go in reverse. There’s a whole lot of neutral backward downhill going on. But I love the metaphoricalistic juxtaposition of a forward-only motor vehicle and the bicycle I’m riding.
I wake up bright and early; get my campground coffee/pack-up/poop knocked out; and I’m on the road. Shoutout to Run the Jewels and the White Stripes on today’s playlists. From the campground, I’ve got my one (and hopefully only) stop off of this fabulous Parkway about 60 miles up in Jackson. I want to have my repairs double checked, I need to restock on food, and I hope to catch up with some friends living in Mississippi’s capital. The WNY diaspora goes wide and far!
It’s still hot and humid as balls, so I’m fixin’ to get these 60 miles in before 1pm. I get into top gear and keep momentum going. I’m making great time with just a couple fun stops along the way. Still very little traffic, historical tidbits, and amazing wild life everywhere you look. Butt.
Traffic on the Trace picks up as I get closer to Jackson and I’m not looking forward to the road-condition-and-traffic-volume knuckleball likely on its way into my peace and quiet. So, I find a bike shop located right off of the Trace and, as it turns out, not only do they sell beer but they need me to leave my bike with them – which is when I buy a beer and then call Sandpaper. The guvmint calls him Chris, and is one of my coolest pals on earf. We go back and the background gets eloquently summed up by his funky fresh fridge magnet.
Sandpaper informs me that he can swing by the bike shop to pick me up AND that I can stay in his and his better half Lacy’s spare room. Avoiding suburban traffic + getting a shower + doing some laundry = a big ole fat win on tour.
But we’ve only just begun, Jimmy Castor: Two hours later and I’m drinking a beer at a bar inside of a Whole Foods, which still doesn’t sound right as I type it. Four hours later and they’ve got 3 fun dogs! Six hours later and it’s taco motherfucking Tuesday at the local Mexican spot with Lacy’s bandmate Bobbie. I crush five fantastic tacos and it’s reminiscent of a visit I paid earlier this year to Mexico City – where tacos cost 30 cents each and i feasted on 30 of them in 3 days. Jackson Mississippi definitely ain’t no Ciudad de Mexico, but it did beat out Jackson Louisiana, barely. Our seventh president would be so conflicted and he should be.
A great night with great people. Tomorrow I pick up my bike and push on up through the deep middle of the state.