I woke up before the alarm went off this morning. As I laid in bed, I was thinking about todays ride. I really wanted to ride the whole route, but we were going to be climbing over the blue ridge parkway which meant 2000 ft of climbing in the first 27 miles. I wasn't sure how steep the climb would be but it looked like the climb would be about 7 miles and "steeper climbing" was the description for about 4 of the miles. So, I could attempt the climb and if I fell behind, I would get sagged along an easier section that I could have enjoyed or I could sag right off the bat. So, I decided to sag right off the bat.
Once again, the morning was cool. I can't believe our blessing with our weather. It was perfect. As the rest of the country broiled in 100+ temps, we have pedaled along in cosy comfort. It rained twice for less than 3 hours. Yes, it was a down pour both times with cyclist scattering thunder and lightening, but it wasn't an all day miseralble rain. Yes, it got hot - once or twice, but nothing like the 97+ degree 100% humidity of Texas on my last traing rides there. We have truely been blessed with good weather!
Fortunately for me, Dave was the crew member in the caravan. He dropped me off at the top of the climb so I could practice my now pretty decent descending skills. PAC Tour's motto is "making good cyclist better" or in my case "making mediocre cyclists good" (that is pretty funny!) and they have certainly made me better at descending, riding a straight line, riding in heavy traffic, fixing my rear deraileur, being organized and gosh, probably a whole lot of other things. The first 7 miles were in the Shenadoah National Forest again. The tree line roads were very beautiful and very cold as I was descending at 30 mph. The next 93 miles were not so pretty.
For my local cycling friends, the picture is easy to paint. Take Livingston/Lake Cavalier road for those of you who live in Madison or take Shiloh road for those of you in Brandon and double the hills in length and ride it over and over and over for 93 miles and that was todays ride! So, we have houses of various ages and various need for repair spaced farther apart than a neighborhood but closer together than the farms of the previous days. So, not much to look at. The draw for the day however, was the almost perfectly asphalted pavement. The traffic was at times heavier than I would have liked, but the road surface for 95% of the day was pristine! Gotta love Lon for finding these back roads!
I did get to ride with Susan C today for a few miles. We were reminiscing about the first few days of the trip. It is hard to believe that it is almost over. Everett seems so far away, yet it seems like we were there yesterday.
The other great thing about the day was having David waiting for me at the motel when I got in. It is nice to have him as my room mate tonight - sorry Vikki - at least you can put your bag on the extra bed! I know I will cross the country again one day in the future, I just don't want to be away from David for 30 days the next time I do it!
Tomorrow is the big day - we will leave for Williamsburg early and then have our dinner and after dinner program. I will have seen America from Washington to Virginia in 30 days. It is really hard to believe that I have accomplished my dream! Please just don't let me wake up tomorrow and realize that I still work for NS2 and it is still 2009!
Top of the Blue Ridge Parkway in VA - where I started my ride today!
Barn of the day
So, is it Bum Pass VA or is Bump Ass VA?
Oh yeah, there was some corn on the route today too - only a couple days break from it. BTW, since I just rode across the US, I noticed corn and soy beans. So where are the rest of the vegatables grown?
Tomorrow we will ride to Williamsburg, VA and all I can say is Wow!