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Riding4Hope – Day38, 8/4/09, Lebanon VA


DAILY REPORT:  Weather — looks like we will be seeing rain today. 70% chance of thunderstorm. Cloudy and in the mid 80’s.

As our normal routine we started out w/ the hotel continental breakfast. I really think the hotels loose money when feeding three starving bikers who pretty much eat anything and everything!! This is a good thing for us.

Because of the distance (143 miles) and the terrain (very hilly), we decided it was unrealistic to make it to Lebanon VA. We had to choose that city because there were no other hotels/motels in the general area. That did take us off the TranAmerica route but allowed us to follow it most of the way. We opted for ~100 miles and loaded the bikes and bikers into the car and Skip drive us out to our starting point of Bevinsville KY. We stopped and got gas and the three old timers sitting on the gas station bench asked a few general questions and said you know if I were you I would go 4 miles down the road so you wouldn’t have to climb that mountain over there. I learned early on on this bike trip that the “local” have the inside scoop and it is worth listening to. They also mentioned “you know it supposed to rain today. I recon’ it will happen about noon.” We said thanks and drove 4 more miles down the road (and up over a huge mtn!!).

We started out. In fact this was one of the coolest morning yet. I was almost tempted to put on a jacket or arm warmers. So right off the bat we are biking down roads that don’t look much more than driveways. They are all very narrow and barely two cars can pass one another. Because of the terrain, all the roads seemed to run along streams and creeks. And a lot of these had portions of the road washed way. We learned later that morning from a local that they had some sever flooding this spring a fair number of homes and roads suffered as a result of the all that rain. In fact everyone commented on how wet this summer had been and that this had been a exceptionally cool summer.

So we climb some mountain of a hill that I have no idea of why it was built or why the folks of TransAmerica would even ask a normal biker to consider riding over. After that I was no longer cold.

About 20 miles into the ride James needed to use a restroom in a bad way. We asked a driver and it looked like it was still some distance before we would get to a gas station. As we were passing a church; James did a quick U turn and pleaded his urgent case. As John & I sat there we heard the distant thunder and watch the sky turn black as big swollen clouds came our way. The wind picked up and there was no doubt we were in for a soaking. James came out and the lady he had talked to told us we should stay here at the church and wait this out. With in a couple more minutes large drops began falling from the sky. Yep sounded like a good idea to us to wait this out. The time — 1205!! you got to believe in those mountain men.

There we sat listening to claps of thunder and watching the bright strikes of lighting. It was a great thunderstorm to watch but sit on the church steps to watch all the glory of Mother Nature. Well it continued to rain, rain, rain…..So a better bike than me would have no doubt headed out to conquer the remaining 80 miles; however we did say one of goals was to have fun and be safe. Soooo we called Skip who was waiting at our designated lunch spot and asked him to come pick us up. He replied “Are you sure; it’s not raining here.” I replied “Yep, because it is raining here!” Just then a close bolt of lighting struck and we got cut off must likely from the generated EMF for the bolt of lighting.

There were several workers remodeling the chapel so we took a nap while waiting for Skip to arrive. Our plan was to drive to Lebanon and check into our hotel and reassess. By the time we had go through all the mountain passes, over raging streams, winding turns, etc Skip was beginning to get the onset of car sickness. We arrive at Lebanon at 1600 and it had stopped raining. 

We got cleaned up and went next door for a Chinese buffet. Food was good and as we sat there we watched the dark clouds roll in again and begin to rain. Nothing quite as dramatic as earlier today but it was definitely we.  We learned that earlier today that Louisville KY had some serious flooding from a major storm cell that had passed by. It was that same cell that had rained on us earlier in the afternoon.

So tomorrow it looks like more rain. We’ll see and evaluate it then.

I have also made some modifications to our trip route. The google route maps have been updated. We have a presentation with the Boys and Girls Club on Thurs at Salem VA. This should be a lot of fun again. We have really enjoyed the kids, staff, and all their questions. When we leave Salem Friday morning I straightened out our route and our next night will be in Keysville followed by Franklin. This gives our last day on Sunday 9 Aug only 72 miles which will make our ride in much more enjoyable than the previously planned 115 miles. We are working on the local press release; but we will be meeting at 6 PM and the 24th street access to the beach for our arrival party. 

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

The Riding4Hope Team

(David, John, James & Skip)

Signing out 8/5/09; 0300

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