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Riding4Hope – Day 39, 8/5/09, Wytheville, VA


DAILY REPORT:  Weather — The weather front passed through during the night and the morning was clear and sunny. The roads were still wet. Good chance of a thunderstorm later in the day. Starting temp – 69 with expected temps in the mid 80’s again.

I am starting on this a little late so I doubt it will get finished before I have to call it quits. We have a presentation to give at the Roanoke Boys and Girls Club tomorrow afternoon at 4 PM. Thus we need to leave early enough to get there on time. Plus we are expected the end of day traffic will slow us down a little since it looks like the club is down town.

Last night I was studying the TransAmerica route and bouncing it against Google maps and decided to modify the route to save some time today. We shaved off nearly 25 miles and saved ourselves from a major climb. In retrospect it worked out very well. I have done something similar for tomorrow’s ride but I am getting ahead on myself.

We left in the morning w/ the roads still wet from last night’s front that passed through. I watched several fronts on RADAR and it looked like we would be fine in the morning but later on in the afternoon we might get hit with a storm.

The morning ride was very enjoyable. We started out with in the first 10 miles having a major climb to get over a pass. We normally like to take the first 10 miles and warm up/stretch but not today. I was able to take a couple of cool shots of the low clouds over the tops of the mountains.

At our first break we met a couple (Bonita & Al) who were SAG’ing for two riders coming from Southern CA (Brent & Dwight). We had a nice chat and said maybe our paths would cross. Well sure enough just as we were finishing lunch 25 miles down the road we met Brent & Dwight coming into the town of Marion. We compared stories, routes, etc. Turns out they ended up taking my advice that I had left w/ Bonita and took this alternate route which shaved off 25 miles and saved several thousand feet of climbing. Dwight is keeping a blog as well if you are interested in their trek. Interestingly they started the same day we did on 28 Jun and are expecting to finish on the same day of 9 Aug in VA Bch. Although they will have travel several hundred miles more. All the best to you guys!!

We had a nice afternoon ride into Wythesville that was until John stood up to ride over a hill and we heard “ping!” We pulled over and he had a broken rear spoke. Unfortunately those are the most common and the hardest to fix while out on the road. We removed the broken spoke and adjusted the rear brake so John could ride the bike to remaining 10 miles or so to the hotel so we could fix it there.

So as we are entering the town of Wythesville we can see dark ominous clouds moving in. The race is on to get to the hotel room before the skies open up. We stop at a gas station to get direction. It is starting to spit and the wind is howling. We can see a wall of water heading our way. We stop and put on our rain jackets and just then a wall of water hits us. It is a torrential rain fall. We take shelter about a 1/2 mile up the road but by now we are soaked to the bone. A quick inquiry inside and our hotel is just a 1/2 mile down the road so we jump back on the bikes for a soggy ride to our Super 8 Hotel.

Super 8 was nice enough to give two rooms to the Riding4Hope Team. Thanks, you guys are the greatest!!

After dinner we spent the rest of the evening cleaning up the bikes and repairing John’s wheel. We have a spare front and rear wheel; so John changed out the rear cog and used the spare wheel. Tomorrow when we are in Salem we’ll find a bike shop to replace the spokes and true the wheel. Also tomorrow we will be stopping by the Roanoke Boys and Girls club to meet with the staff and youth; should be a great time!! I expect we will have lots of pictures.

Thanks for joining us…..ride safely and keep the wind to your back!! 

The Riding4Hope Team

(David, John, James & Skip)

Signing out 8/7/09; 0030

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