The distance was not bad and the climbing was substantial less than yesterday, but to make it interesting it rained on us all day. It was a cold rain which when going downhill the rain would sting your face. I actually like the climbing today because it help me warm up. We have lost one of our team members today due to a family member illness. He hopes to be able to join us on our first rest day.
Ed Carl, one of my riding partners, had a deer in a headlight close encounter. He was riding down the road with a car coming toward him in the rain. To make it more frightening a deer came out of woods and shot across the road right in front of Ed and the car. Both Ed and car missed the deer but just barely. It could have been a total disaster.
Tonight, most of the team will be sleeping at the city park, but Kye and I chose to stay in a hotel so I could get an internet connect. That is the reason for the gap in posting. We are also taking advantage of this time to do some laundry. It couldn’t have come at a better time since we had rain today.
Today was a challenging day. We hit the hill climbs. There was 6300 plus feet of climbing. The climbs definitely lived up to their billing. They weren’t extremely long climbs but they were very steep. There were a number of times I wished I had a few more gears. The “Old Timers” split us today so we could all climb at our own pace. After all was said and done I was pretty happy with my climbing.
Tonight we are staying at the Vesuvius Baptist Church. There wasn’t any shower facilities so it was back to the garden hose.
The church feed us both dinner and breakfast. They were great people. They also provided us entertainment in the evening. One of the church members brought his guitar and sang to us for over an hour. He also got us involved.
After his performance we found a piano and found we some people with real talent. Then the Church had a bonfire campfire for us with S’mores and stories of the history of the area.
We woke up this morning to rosters crowing and dogs barking. This was all happening around 4:30 a.m. We didn’t start getting around until about 5:30 a.m. Of course the morning dew made our tent wet but we had plenty of time to layout and dry since again we didn’t take off until 7:30.
Kye cooked our breakfast of eggs, ham, cheese and oatmeal. It made to a good start to the day. We had finished our breakfast and cleaned everything up before most of the people got up. One of my riding buddies was up before we were. Most of the riders went to convince store or the one restaurant for their breakfast.
Today we had more hills. At one point I was running out of gas and having a problem keeping up with my team. Once I ate some of my snacks I regained my energy and was better the rest of the day. I was plenty tired at the end and glad it was a shorter day.
Once again we took a wrong turn which added about 3 miles to today’s ride. The group as a whole rode together more today. A number of the younger rider made it easily but everyone made it again today. No one had to take the sag wagon (which means put your bike on the van rack and ride to the finish line).
Tonight we are staying in the University Baptist Church which is right across the road from University of Virginia and YES they have a shower with hot water. Little things make a big difference when you are biking across the United States and this is just day 3. We had a guest speaker, Angela Shaw that has MS. She has to use an electric wheelchair but she was very motivational and it helps us better understand what affect MS has on good people. We are fortunate to be able to help people that are afflicted with MS.
This was a longer day of riding so we started at 7:45 a.m. We are still getting used to reading the maps from one location to the other but we took a wrong turn at the start of the due to some conflicting information between the map and GPS information. We found out later in the day that the GPS information was from the 2014 route and the map route had changed. It didn’t make a lot of difference in distance but we had to stop three times to ask for direction.
Once we got back on the route, all went well. We are getting into more hills today but they weren’t too bad and I enjoyed the challenge. I am caring snacks to try to keep my energy up. Kye is helping the support people at each rest stop. At the noon stop she had sandwiches ready for me and we shared them with one of the two other riders I have teamed up with.
Tonight we camped out at the Mineral Volunteer Fire Station. Our first night in the tent and all went well. There wasn’t any shower facilities at the station so we had to make a shower using a garden hose and a blue tarp for privacy. I am sure you have guessed it by now, there wasn’t any hot water. Even though the water was very cold it was refreshing. Not everyone took showers.
The weather was cool at the start of the ride but warmed up to the mid-80s in the afternoon. The wind was light so not an issue.