fredag 1. august 2014

Day 51: Another Day in The Appalachians

99.4 km 

Starting the day at the quiet park was a good way to prepare for those coming steep climbs. Within the first kilometer I arrived at what would be the biggest climb of the day, but gradients were slightly more humane than some of the other hills I had to traverse. Climbing up, I got a glimpse of the valley I had come through over my shoulder of the tree-covered mountainous terrain, with its lush beauty glimmering under the partially clouded sky. The descent from these climbs had been so much fun with winding roads and sharp corners to test your technical abilities on the bike. I had also heard stories of horrible accidents coming down from these hills as the excessive clutching of the breaks can generate intense heat. 

After a quick stop in Honaker where I made something to eat, I met a female, lone westbound cyclist warning me about some steep grades and shoulderless roads with heavy truck traffic. I returned the favor by giving her some information on the route ahead. 

I knew the day was going to be hard with several steep climbs of over 300 vertical meters followed by an immediate equal drop in elevation and after making my way through some really beautiful countryside, I arrived in Meadowview. Here I stopped for a lunch at a restaurant that appeared to be a little too high class for a sweaty, spandex-covered cyclist, but at least the food was awesome. 

The ride from Meadowview to Marion took place on a parallel road to the interstate and the intense headwind and the presence of fatigue from the strenuous effort over the days mountains, made me longing for the end of the day. I managed to find a dirt cheap motel at the east end of town after going to the supermarket to make sure I had enough fruit, bake goods and snacks to indulge in for the rest of the month. I spent the rest of the evening taking a shower, writing and doing some laundry. 

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