Cross-Country Segment 8

Jackson, MS to Americus, GA

valdes-photos-09-bike-adventure-39Segment 8 continues the tour through the Deep South from Jackson, explores the heartlands of the Civil Rights movement in Alabama, and finishes up with some home cooking in Georgia. This leg of the trip puts us into the home stretch, and includes a visit to the Fuller Center HQ in Americus, GA!

The 66 mile ride from Jackson to Newton on Day 1 cuts across the timber forests, pasturelands and small farms of Mississippi’s Red Clay Hills region. From there, we press on through the city of Meridian, across the Alabama state line and into the metropolis of Demopolis on Ride Day 2. Demopolis lies at the confluence of the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers, and bountiful cotton and corn fields, as well as oak and pine forests, can be found in the area.

From Demopolis, the route rolls through the rural townships and villages of Alabama’s “Black Belt,” so-named for the dark, loamy soil which once brought massive cotton plantations to the area. We arrive in historic Selma on Day 3, which was the hub of the Voting Rights movement in Alabama in the 1960s, and the origin of the Selma-to-Montgomery Marches in 1965. Our group will actually cross the infamous “Bloody Sunday” bridge as we leave Selma on Day 4, and follow the route of the original March east on US-80 to Montgomery. This stretch is a designated U.S. National Historic Trail, and includes a pass through Montgomery (our 6th state capital!) before continuing on to Tuskegee.

Tuskegee has a rich history of its own, as the home of Tuskegee University (think Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver) and the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII. 73 more miles on Day 5 will get us across the Chattahoochee River, into the Eastern Time Zone and into our twelfth/final state of the summer: Georgia! This portion of the route traverses the Wiregrass region of Alabama and Georgia, which is characterized by tall grasslands, peanut farms, piney woods and rural communities.

The final ride day on Segment 8 will serve as our Homecoming parade, as we ride 39 short but sweet miles from Lumpkin to Americus – the charming hometown of the Fuller Center! On the way, we’ll pass through Plains, the hometown of a local boy and peanut farmer-made-good named Jimmy Carter. In Americus, we’ll receive a lovely tour-de-town from our Fuller Center friends on our off day, and build with the Sumter County Fuller Center the following day to wrap up Segment 8.

Build Days: 1                      Bike Days: 6                          Total Miles: 412                Average: 69

DateDepart Arrive Mileage
July 23Jackson, MSJackson, MSOff Day
July 24Jackson, MSNewton, MS66
July 25Newton, MSDemopolis, AL88
July 26Demopolis, ALSelma, AL53
July 27Selma, ALTuskegee, AL93
July 28Tuskegee, ALLumpkin, GA73
July 29Lumpkin, GAAmericus, GA39
July 30Americus, GAAmericus, GAOff Day
July 31Americus, GAAmericus, GABuild Day

(Note: This mileage is an estimate and could change depending on church host locations, and the major cities are listed although we may stay in a suburb.)

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