Day 11, 67 miles, Friday June 5, 2009

Natural Bridge to Waynesboro
(my odometer: 62.7 miles, 13.6 avg mph, 4hr 35min 29sec)
Max speed: 32.9 mph

Up at 5:30; 7:00 shuttle to breakfast at the "Pink Cadillac." 3 scrambled eggs with bacon, hash browns, toast and coffee; 8:10 load luggage; 8:20 on the road.

Today was a "wash out" a soaking rain! There were two riding options; (1) 67 miles that included some miles up on the Blue Ridge Parkway and (2) 60 miles that was quite flat and no Parkway miles. Mike made the decision to go with option (2). Reasons: it was raining at 5:30, forecast was for rain all day and the cloud deck was very low so we wouldn't be able to see anything up there anyway. So we waited until 6:45 to shuttle to breakfast and back to hotel, 8:10 load luggage and then start our ride. The change was because if we rode to breakfast (about 4 miles) got wet, sat down to eat when wet, then ride back to hotel, load luggage and start to ride, cyclists could easily get a chill and then have a 60 mile ride to do - not the best health choice.

Riding in the rain is not a fun thing to do. Most cars don't slow down when they pass you and could care less if they go through a puddle and splash you. As you are riding, the water constantly comes up from the road on your front tire and soaks your shoes/legs, your back tire throws a "rooster tail" of water up your back and that "rooster tail" also throws water all over the rider behind you. Therefore, the rider behind needs to keep a distance of about 15 feet. Also, the water picks up the dirt from the road so you get very wet and dirty, and because the road is wet, it is slippery. When you are moving down the road, the rain hitting your face feels like little ice pellets. It is easy to have thoughts like "Why am I doing this??" Well - this doesn't happen very often and we can't control the weather. Most of the time this doesn't happen and cycling is healthy and fun. Today was probably the second most difficult "rain day" in my 11 years of doing long distance cycling. The worst day was June 8, 2005 when I was climbing Donner Pass in CA. (see Ride 2005, June 8)

All this said, cycling is a great way to see the country and keep physically fit.

I didn't take my camera today because of the rain so have no "ride pics" to post. Tomorrow, our last day of the Shenandoah Valley tour, is forecast to be mostly sunny and the route will include some miles on the Parkway.

Herb, Mary Jo, Evelyn, David

Gene, Barb, Bob, Ken, Paul, Bill, Joe


Waiting for dinner at Shoney's

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