Stormy Cycling in the Appalachian Foothills

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Madison Pittsburgh KOA Kampground

Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Monday, August 15, 2011

It was a serious struggle to get back on the bikes this morning as every single one of my muscles hurts. This is due to the incessant struggle with the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. We also battled with hills overnight in the tent, a steep sideways slope meaning we awoke piled up in one corner with all of our stuff. We knew it was only 35 miles to our next stop, Madison, and hoped for a bit of a break. This didn't happen. The hills were horrific and 2 mile uphill grind after 2 mile uphill grind absolutely destroyed us.

Ice-cream milkshakes at our first stop fuelled us until lunch at 18 miles. There, we virtuously munched down some wraps rather than the 2 for 99 cent hotdogs which first caught our eye. It started to rain really heavily at this point and two completely mad, but very amusing chaps sat down to shelter with us. It turned out they were uncle and nephew and used to spend a lot of time drinking together until the nephew gave up the sauce. He must have done this just in time, because he’s pretty nuts now. They were really excited about the trip and inspired to do some biking themselves!

The last 16 miles were grey, drizzly and painful. A serious thunderstorm gathered as we had 3 miles to go and we limped up yet another hill into the KOA once again ducking lightning strikes. Due to the terrible weather conditions, we decided to give the poor tent a rest for the night and have taken a little cabin – luxury!

The trip feels a bit strange at the moment as we’ve planned out exactly where we’ll stay for each of the 9 cycling days we have left. This means that we really have to stick to it – no getting tired and stopping early. We weren’t expecting to be hit by these hills and apparently we’ve still got to get over the actual Appalachians and the Blue Mountains as well. By the time we arrive in New York we will have ridden for 23 days without a break. I think it’s a really good thing, because we’re so tired we’ve no energy to start worrying about going back to work/finding a job. We are however getting seriously excited about seeing friends and family.

Anyway, I’ve got to go and eat now. Michael has prepared yet another delicious orange/yellow supper of tinned chilli, sweetcorn and packet rice. Mmmmmm… Can’t wait for some home cooking!

Miles Cycled; 35 excruciatingly hilly miles

No. of times beeped and sworn at:  twice, but we’re still too exhausted to even care.
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Jojo on

I did wonder what all those contour lines were on the map - now I know and it looks like you're not out of them for a while! I dreamed last night of your return and CBJ hadn't fixed the trike, Olaf was screaming blue murder and for some reason Dan had failed his exam. What silly things dreams are. If the nephew had given up the jungle juice and was still loopy how was the uncle fareing?

Ray & Dave on

Well done you two, keep going! xxx

Debbie on

You guys are AMAZING keep going and youare almost there, we are all super excited about seeing you too , indeed your imminent return is quite the talk of bosham.
nyc is amazing too, when you ask for a cheesburger they give you two! that's just how it comes.

Jojo on

Another thing to look forward to is the re-opening of The White Swan - it's looking all pretty smart on the outside and seem to begoing great guns on the interior - join you for a pint!

Alan on

So my fantastic daily reading will soon end, this last bit seems really difficult from your point of view but what an amazing story - presumably it will remain on the web until ? England is getting cooler - Tuesday was amost October tempratures - still good sailing and this summer always had plenty of wind. Dan's tripple engined Sunseeker is now in his yard. A real posers boat - it will be the greatest fun once he gets it going. Your so organised reception is looking really good and though I will not be biking, it will be just great to see you both again - only 8 days

CU then

auntbymarriage on

Am also getting ready for your return. Adrian pumped up the tyres on my bike. Am going to cycle somewhere with JoJo but it can't be very far because at 50+ years old, my bike's had enough. Had text from Trig a couple of days ago. She was sitting in dappled shade, by a river, with Betty having lunch, prior to having an afternoon visiting chatueaux and eglises. Wonderful. We had supper with C & G and T & N last night and saw a photo of Dan's new, not small, boat. 2 regattas this weekend and then it'll be even sooner that you're back. xxxxx

Jojo on

Homecommings are all the rage! I am waiting here as patiently as I can for CJB to bring Amanda back home from her travels - I think my best bet is to get ready for my bed and try and make a path through her bedroom floor to her actual bed!

triciagick on

Betty and I just got back from an amazing few days in what would be the most delightful cycling country - too easy for you guys, but just perfect. 11.30 and time for bed, so will email soon xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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