Pikeville to Greenup KY - 114 miles but less than half the climbing of the first two days

Coal fired power plant with cooling towers on US 23

Leaving Pikeville, I was surprised to see a sign saying "Ashland 102 miles." I thought it was about 80 miles! Oh well, the shoulder was mostly good and the hills were a lot smaller than they had been on the first two days, so I was able to average 14.5 mph and cover 114 miles in about the same time - eight hours - that it took to cover 100 miles on each of the first two days.

US 23 north of Pikeville - nice shoulder!

I actually reached Ashland after seven hours of riding, but there was a lot of stuff going on in town and the motels were full. The next motel, and the only motel between Ashland and Ohio, was in Greenup, about 12 miles north of Ashland. I got there about 30 minutes before it got dark.

Coal trucks on US 23

US 23 was good riding today. It wasn't as pretty as the last two days and I was passed by literally hundreds of coal trucks, but the shoulder was good and the traffic, although quite noisy at times, was not a problem. I stopped for brunch near Prestonsburg and again for an early supper at the point where 23 and 3 cross a few miles north of Louisa. There is a big complex of travel places there, including a Super 8 motel. Between Prestonsburg and that intersection, the only services are a couple of service stations. I stopped at one of them for a snack. When I stopped for supper I was exhausted, but the food revived me and I had no problem with riding on for another 40 miles.

My favorite town name on US 23

Fallen Rock  - that means a rock cut and that means climbing

Storage tanks at a big refinery south of Ashland

There is a lot of industry along US 23 between Louisa and Catlettsburg. The most interesting thing is a huge cold fired power plant - a lot of the coal trucks that passed me were heading there - with two large cooling towers of the type you see at nuclear power plants. There was a historical marker sign - the kind of thing you can read on a bicycle but not, without stopping, for a car - that said the first of those cooling towers, built in 1962, was the first cooling tower of that design built in the western hemisphere! I guess we must of have 'borrowed' the design from the Soviet Union...

Urban riding just south of Ashland

I did consider stopping at the next motel which was just before Catlettsburg. Catlettsburg is the place where 23 first reaches the Ohio River, and the rest of the way to Ashland is semi urban riding on narrow roads with little or no shoulder. Since traffic wasn't bad and drivers were polite, I figured that riding might be much worse the next morning. Riding was OK all the way to, and almost all the way through, Ashland.

Getting out of Ashland going north was complicated by hills, lack of shoulders, shopping centers, and construction, but, once again, the drivers were fine and I had no real problems. Once north of Ashland, the riding was good on 23 although the shoulders were mostly ruined by a rumble strip and there was a good bit of traffic. When I got to Greenup and stopped at the motel, I was surprised at the amount of traffic roaring by my room just on 23. It hadn't felt that heavy when I was riding in it! Fortunately, traffic was much lighter in the morning. It was Saturday morning and I'm sure that helped.