Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 13 Back to real mileage at last!

We left the hotel at 5:40 because their breakfast was not going to start until 6:30. We had to eat so we stopped at the ugh MacDonald’s next store. It was mobbed but we eventually got our breakfast sandwich and water, ate, and left. We were finally riding at 6:05.

We headed out on US 1 south hoping to get south of Richmond. It was hilly again but not quite as bad as the last couple of days.

We tried to make a potty stop at a rental center in Carmel Church (at 14 miles) . We pulled up to the place and almost immediately someone came running out of the place (the owner) with two bottles of cold water. We chatted. He and his buddies in the shop were quite friendly and amazed that we were trying the trip we were on.

We didn’t stop again  until 20 miles in at a little town called Doswell. It was getting hot. We got a Gatorade and chatted with the proprietor. She described the next miles into Ashland as hilly but flatter after that. She was right. The next 8 miles into Ashland were very tough and our overall speed dropped.

At Ashland we stopped at a Hardee’s. It was the only thing in sight. We each had a double cheeseburgers (sale)  and senior sodas. We cooled of considerably in the air conditioning. Too soon we were off.

As promised the terrain after Ashland was not as hilly as earlier. Out speed increased somewhat. Of course by now we were quite tired and our goal was still 24 miles away. In addition we were now fighting a serious head wind. We really wanted to get to south of Richmond to avoid the morning rush hour on Tuesday.

We had been told that the terrain was basically flat on the other side of the James River that tuns through Richmond. It was. We took pictures of the river (its muddy) and the city (as we left). What we had not been told was that we would meet a strong head wind and that many of the roads were in dreadful shape. The going was overall a bit easier.

Partway through this last part of the trip, I tried to shift into the lowest climbing gear and the chain jammed between the spokes and rear cluster. It took me at least 20 minutes to release it. After that the ride was uneventful but difficult against the wind. We finally came to the street on which the Hampton Inn was located, made the turn, and rode the mile to the motel.

My, my, the shower felt good. So did the dip in their little pool. We finally cooled off. I did a little work on my course and we went to dinner at the Subway next store. That’s about it.

Today’s ride was 50.4. 1 miles at 8.9 mph. We rode for 5:39 (total elapsed time was 9:30). Our total trip mileage stands at 515.

Debbie’s emotionometer: Good emotional overtones today, in spite of the hills and headwind. We were delighted to make such a good distance. North Carolina is now only about 70 miles away! Hopefully, we will cross the border day after tomorrow.

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