Beckley, WV to Blacksburg, VA 2010 JOH Ride Along

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Last Friday after working an extra hour for the first four days of the week I took at half day and started my long...very long drive north to Beckley, WV. Eight hours later (7+1 hour loss to EST) I arrived in Beckley at the United Methodist Temple where this years Trans-America Journey of Hope team was staying. When I arrived most of the team was out and about for the evening (Starbucks, movie theater, etc.) and the epicness that was the dirt track racing extravaganza! I hoped on my bike and met some of the guys down at Starbucks who were catching up on their blogs and emails.

When Danny and Matt arrived we hoped in the car headed out for our traditional pre-century ride ice-cream binge. After fulfilling that necessity we headed back to the church by which time most of the team had returned from their evening festivities. After a long and sleepless night the next morning began as an morning does on the Journey; we awoke to music blaring and the buzz of gymnasium fluorescent lights warming up. Most things seem so to be moving by you at 100MPH as you stand still but in 30 minutes I managed to pack up my sleeping bag and pad, get dressed, fill my bottles, freshen up in the men's room, and get my bike and bags out the front door. After a binge eating breakfast, a dedication for the day (Ride for 32), and prayer we hoped on the bikes and the 5 Virginia Tech guys headed South towards Blacksburg.

I miss riding as the sun is rising and in the crisp mountain air, having an opportunity to relive the experience of the Journey makes me wonder when or if I'll ever get to ride it again. The day went smoothly with a few rollers out of town and a few "Hey team discovery could you ease up on the hills?" later we were at lunch. We told Kenny he was pulling for the first 25 miles. We were kidding. He was not. He pulled for the first 30!

A typical crew stop on the Journey of Hope. Our paceline didn't see another all day except for lunch!

The day cleared up as we went but started our pretty chilly and hazy.

The route differed tremendously from last years with most of the ride cutting through the valleys instead of going over the mountains. The reason for the different route was a sponsored lunch in Peterstown, the team indulged on homemade chili and sloppy Joes.

The team refueling over lunch.

Right after lunch we crossed into Virginia, the last state line crossing of the trip until the team heads into D.C. This marks the beginning of the end for the guys and some of my favorite days of the trip biking through my home state.

Schmidt, Danny, and myself at a different Welcome to Virginia sign than last year.

The rest of the abbreviated ride was on Rt. 460, an interstate with no shoulder and 55+MPH traffic on it. To say the least we were not happy about the route and wouldn't ride it again in hindsight.

What would a day on the Journey be without a Road Side. Danny armed with TP headed for cover!

Once we finally arrived at the town limits Kenny and Fred posed with the Tech flag, Finally home!

All in all the numbers for the day weren't too bad including just over 6600 ft. gained and 87 miles on the day. It doesn't really compare to last years but I'll let you look at the numbers yourself.

The longest ride I've ever done with the PowerTap

2009 Elevation map

2010 Elevation map

Finally at the end of the day I had earned the reason why I ride...a Burrito...

The soon to be Blacksburg Chipotle!

....Unfortunately Chipotle hasn't opened yet, so I had to resort to Moe's...Drats!

Moe's, my reason to ride!


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