25. May 2016 · Comments Off on Day 18 – May 25 – Berea to Virgie – 152 miles · Categories: 2016 Ride

goal 250Wow … we are still in Commonwealth of Kentucky! Tomorrow afternoon we should be in Virginia – the final state in our epic, cross-country trek. We are hoping to complete our journey Sunday but we will see how the roads are up ahead.

We are so very grateful for your contributions today and all of your kind words too. They came at a perfect time as I’m feeeeeeling the need for a day off but also want to finish. What a blessing and feeling of support from so many – it made our entire day.

Our fundraising goal has been exceeded and the great thing about the level you helped us to achieve is we can now engage with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America to determine how that money can be allocated.

We think the best use is for research and will make that request so thanks again to everyone. You have all made a difference for Austen and for all who have this disease or who will be diagnosed in the future.

cob-logo-lg-231x229Today was a different ride. Heading out from Berea, the agricultural Kentucky was left behind and we started to make our way through the Appalachians and into Coal country.

The rush hour out of Berea was a bit tense and the roads are not quite as good so I had to elbow my way to have some room on the road. About 10 miles out things seemed to settle down and I could relax and just peddle.

The morning temperature was warm but it was overcast so I didn’t notice the heat much. Lots of up an down and I must say I don’t mind that.

Going up hill gives me some comfort in that I know where the top is, I can visualize the timing of getting to the top and I know there is a nice downhill on the other side.

IMG_2085 250 2The roads followed streams for most of the day so a pretty ride. Like life I had some easy miles and some hard ones too. The highlight of the day was that the road grade was not as bad as I had imagined and I had a very pleasant ride. I was amazed at the number of small houses that lined all the roads I was on today. there were very few places that I was isolated and I also transited small towns about every 10 miles. I saw a number of cyclists heading west but I every time I came across a group I was on the down hill and didn’t want to lose my momentum. This afternoon, things heated up to the mid-80’s along with high humidity. I didn’t notice how hot is was until I stopped. There are so many trees over the roads that most stretches are quite cool because of the shade and breeze from cycling.

400Heather caught up with me at lunch and I thought I had done some serious damage to my leg as it was very sore. I actually raced some dump trucks for awhile.

The road was curvy enough that they couldn’t go as fast as me and there was enough downhill that I could keep up a good speed.

At one point they wanted to pass but only had a couple of miles per hour of speed on me so the lead driver leaned on his air horn so he could get by. I followed them for a bit but thought I torqued a leg in the process so slowed down.

I ran into them again a few miles up at a construction site and the driver gave me a good-hearted smile. The roads I am on you often don’t see traffic so the dump trucks were probably surprised to see me too!

This section of the ride there seems to be more turkey vultures cleaning up road kill.

I sucked in a bug at one point on the ride and coughed for about 30 minutes and I would swear those vultures followed me to see if my cough was serious. There was one big vulture that I am sure was sizing me up for a meal.

The day ended at Virgie and we made some good miles today. I thought we would be slower but I decided this morning to eat energy goo every 10 miles and that seemed to help.

Tomorrow we have a couple of coal mines to go around where we have been advised that it is not safe for cyclists – big trucks, no shoulders. We also have some rain forecast in the afternoon but I am really hoping we can get over the Appalachians and get our first sniff of the Atlantic’s salt sea air.

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