Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Grrrr Mountains

I'm in Marlington, West Virginia in a library. I have no cell phone service but I am still alive. We're about 22 miles into our trip today, no idea how much further to go. We are staying in a National Forest in Virginia tonight. 7/17-718 were "rest days" in Charleston. We learned about the devastating effects of mountain-top removal, watched Harry Potter 6 and did some laundry in a real washer!!! 7/19 we left Charleston, WV and went 68 miles. The first 30 miles or so were great. The last bit were very mountainous. We were the first group in and had no idea where we were camping. It took about 2 hours to get registered at an RV park and to get settled. They were a bit overwhelmed with 32 cyclists. We had a fun dinner, had a sing-a-long group meeting and swam in the Summerville Lake. The next day (7/20) was not as fun. It rained that night and it was COLD. My knee ached from the day before and the cold didn't help any. We had long slow climbs and about 25 miles in I gave up and rode in the support vehicle. 1 minute later we came across a cyclist in our group that had bent his chain when he tried switching gears up a hill (don't do that!) so he put his bike on our car and rode my bike. We took his bike to a shop in the next town and they fixed it for $27. The only problem was he didn't want his bike back so he kept mine for the next 15 miles. We camped in a national forest outside Rockwood, WV. We had to make sure that all of our food was in the car because we are in bear territory.
Today we went up to almost 4000 ft elevation, it wasn't too bad as we were already part the way up and my knee is feeling better after letting it rest. Coming back down the mountain was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! It was a 9% grade for 5 miles!!!! Time for me to get back on the road, we have at least 35 miles left and another mountain pass to tackle.

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My new bike- please get me to DC!!!