Friday, July 1, 2011
First I would like to apologize. The hotel we stayed in on the beach didn't have wifi, the airport didn't have wifi, and I got home late last night- so this is the first chance I got to post this. :)
Today, OUR LAST DAY, we woke up and were immediately met with trials. Christian had a flat- and it took him a while to replace the tire and tube. After we got through that, we all grabbed our last breakfast together, prayed, and set off. It was rainy and dark, but at least it wasn’t hot J. The shoulder was rather large, but it was bumpy and hard to keep a good pace on. Nonetheless, the guys averaged about 15 mph to their 20 mile break- which is probably one of the highest averages we’ve had so far. After our 20 mile break, Jerry got a flat, which we quickly fixed, but then as we were about to leave, Christian thought that he had a flat too. After pulling his tube off, it didn’t have a leak, so we put it back on and set off again. After another 2 miles, Jerry realized that his tire was flat AGAIN, so we threw a new one on and prayed that we could get going again. Gratefully, we rode smoothly for the next 20 miles and got to our 40 mile break at 9:00 on the dot. After a few more miles on the road, we met up with Jerry mom (see pictures) who said hi and wished us luck. We hit the road again with a 15.71 mph average, and which was still rising as we approached Suffolk. As we got closer to the main city, the road we were going on was “prohibited” to bike across, but we saw no immediate danger, so we just chose to turn our heads whenever the sign came. ;-) After we got through Suffolk, at our 60 mile break, we had a choice to make: Do we take our 80 mile break and just skip lunch? Or do we try to put them together? Or do we take an extra break for lunch? We went with the second option and found a McDonald’s 11 miles from us- where we would grab a quick bite and then plow through the rest of the 25 miles we would have that day without a break. Just outside of Suffolk, Ed and Jerry BOTH got flats at the SAME TIME. Figures… we haven’t gotten a flat for almost 1000 miles, and now we get 4 flats in one day. Alright, we are now done with the day- and that’s saying something: This day was so action-packed that I didn’t get a single chance to write it down! Well, back to the story, after those flats, we had 5 MORE FLATS WITHIN THE NEXT 10 MILES!!!!!! We ran down to our very last tube, and gratefully it held. We booked it to the McDonald’s, and then we booked it all the way to the beach, reaching our destination by 5:00. We met with Jerry’s mom again at the beach, and then we found a hotel and got a good night sleep.
Alrighty- as the last time that I will be posting, I wanted to give a shout out to the guys on this trip. As Christian reminded me rather often, “You can never understand how hard it is to get on your bike and pedal for 8 hours a day- everyday- for a month, until you actually do it”. I wanted to include a little bit of a bio for each of these guys that has been built up during this whole trip…
Edgar “The Brute” Stone: Obviously the leader of the group. Pays for all expenses, including gas, food, and flights home. Grew up in Compton, and hasn’t forgotten a single thing about street fights and trash talk. 69 years of age and still young. This is his 3rd and, according to him, last trip, across the USA on a bicycle. There was never a time that wouldn’t put the boys in their place when they got cocky. Ultimately, he led the group onto victory.
Award: Manly Man
Jerry “Pooh-Bear” Janeck: Scary lookin’ fella at first glance. X-marine. 64 years of age. (Year 64 attained on the trip) Well versed mechanic and route planner. Also known for always having an injury to tend to, but never quitting. This is his 2nd,and once again, last trip, across the USA. Credited to be a “dog-whisperer”. Although he looks intimidating, if you give him a quick snake-bite on the back of the leg, you may learn otherwise.
Award: Most Persevering
Christian “Dope” Lyman: 17 years of age. Always looking for a new way to pick up a girl. He even watches “The Bachelorette” every week, JUST so we can talk to girls about it. (And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you). Clean-shaven… literally. If you can find a hair on the boy’s legs or arms, you need to put your microscope away. Never complained (in public). Always woke up on time (NOT). However, he was consistently the first person to arrive at the hotel every day. Finally, he rocks a Mohawk that we gave him in Cortez, CO.
Award: Best Hair
Matthew “Hilarious Little Brother” Lyman: Obviously, the little brother of Christian Lyman. (who always reminds him of that fact) Least experienced coming into the trip. (Longest ride previous to June 1st: 30 miles) But despite that fact, he would plow his way through the routes- especially up the hills. He will always be cracking a joke- whether or not the time is appropriate. Still looking for his tractor. He is 15 years old, but you would never guess it.
Award: Most Sarcastic Man I've Ever Met
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Today we woke up for a 112 mile day to Emporia, VA. We grabbed a delicious continental breakfast at the Best Western we stayed at in Danville. We were onto Highway 58 early, about 5:30, and there were no problems for the first leg. We had to climb some hills early on our route, but after our 20 mile break, it flattened out quite nicely. We made it to our 40 mile break around 9:00- which is probably the best we’ve done all trip. At around 45 miles, we hit a section of the Highway that prohibits bicyclists… But Ed and Jerry dismissed that as a “mere suggestion” and we peddled our way through it. We got to our 60 mile break at about 10:45, and took a much needed rest in the shade. It was already 92 degrees, and the humidity made it even worse. I grabbed some Subway sandwiches for our 80 mile break, and the boys devoured them quickly before setting back off for our last few legs. At our 80 mile break, it was 98 degrees- and it was killing these guys- but they stuck it through as we approached our last break at 100 miles. After a quick break- we jumped back on the road to finish off our last century of the trip- and possibly Jerry and Ed’s last century ever. We wiped the tears away and booked it into the hotel where we found a nice pool and exercise room- not that these guys need it J
Monday, June 27, 2011
First of all, I would like to apologize that I couldn’t post last night- the place that we stayed didn’t have any wireless internet access. Anyways… Today- we woke up at the same old time- planning on hitting the road early and getting 95 miles down the road to Danville, VA. The day started out interesting- again… About a mile from the hotel, Matthew’s chain broke a link- and we spent the next hour trying to find the missing link to fix the chain. After a while, we just replaced it with a spare link that jerry had stowed in his toolbox and set back out on the Highway. Today we are going to follow Highway 58 all day to Danville, a probably all the way to Virginia Beach- so we’re going to get well acquainted with it… whether we like it or not. Our first 20 miles were climbing, climbing, and more climbing. After our break, we were relieved to see that we were at the top of the last mountain of the Appalachian Mountains. We hauled down the back side of the mountains for the next 20 miles until our 40 mile break around 10:00. Everything was smooth sailing until we got to Martinsville, where we were looking to have another day of Wendy’s, but it turns out the route we were going to take was an interstate- and we were prohibited from riding on it. So we planned a new route that went straight through Martinsville instead of circling around the outskirts of town- and found a Burger King to eat at around 64 miles in. After filling our guts, we set back off for Danville- 31 miles left to our hotel. We finished the next 20 miles quickly- then we took it into the Best Western Hotel for a good night sleep.
Today we woke up to another interesting morning… and no, nobody lost a glove today. But we were up and ready for some breakfast at 5:00- so Matthew and I went to the lobby for the continental breakfast that we were told would be ready for us. Upon arriving there, we were just looking at the food, when an employee came up and asked us what we thought we were doing. We told him that we were gonna grab some breakfast before we left for our ride today. Promptly, he responded that the breakfast was only available from 6 to 9. We were in the middle of telling him that we had talked to a lady yesterday who said otherwise- when he raised his voice at us, saying “6 TO 9!!!” I thanked the man sarcastically and we went back to our room. After telling everyone, Ed just could not stand for that. He went back to the lobby area and gave this man a little talking to. He got his name and wrote him up to the lodge’s management for being rude to guests. Needless to say, when I checked out of the hotel, he was on his best manners. Well after that scuffle, we set on our way for Hillsville, VA- 102 miles from our hotel. After looking at the route, though, I noticed that there was a much quicker way to make it there. In fact this new route brought the day down to 95 miles- so we set out on Highway 11 north, which followed I-81 Northbound. We hit our 20 mile break fairly early, and averaging just under 13 miles per hour. Later, at our 40 miles break we had kept up the exact same pace and arrived at a nice little place with a bench- right around 9:40. We set back off, towards Wytheville, where we would be having our 60 mile break and lunch at Wendy’s again. A few miles after we pulled back onto the road a cop stopped next to me- just to check that I hadn’t broken down- and with that, we continued on our way. We took a cut off that led us to Highway 52- which heads straight south to Hillsville. With 7 miles left, we took our last break- and made it a quick one- because we were all super tired. After we rested for a few minutes we took it into the small hotel- and grabbed a good night sleep for tomorrow.