Miles today: 71
We finally hit our desired mileage today!
The day started with yet another flat back tire for me but I changed it (I'm getting good at it now!) quickly and got on our way. We took route 11 for about 50 miles, which was great because it closely follows interstate 81, which means fewer hills. We stopped for lunch at subway (paid for by my cousin Tiffany- it was just what we needed!) and had a generally easy ride until we turned onto rt 80, with 20 miles to go. The road quickly descended for at least 6 miles. It was awesome to go downhill for so long but I couldn't enjoy it at all because I knew what had to be in our future- the reverse side of that downhill. Soon enough, we found ourselves slowly climbing back up into the mountains from the valley. It is a mental struggle to ride uphill for so long. My mind plays tricks on me and I think I see a downhill coming up but it is really just a steeper section... I just keep telling myself that it has to end at some point. When we finally reached the top we were rewarded with another great downhill, and this one I fully enjoyed! The views were incredible- farm land and cows, mountains, it was really awesome. When we were about halfway down the mountain we stopped to let our rims cool off (a fellow rider told us to do this, not sure if it is necessary) and we decided that the climb is worth the amazing feeling of accomplishment and the exhilarating descent down winding roads. I'm not saying I would want to do it again anytime soon- but I think tomorrow has another mountain in store for us.
A short 4 miles later and we arrived at our destination for the night, the Elk Garden Methodist Church. This place is awesome- it's free, has a complete kitchen and fully stocked cabinets for us to use! It is available to all cyclists riding through the area but we have the place to ourselves tonight. I immediately made a pot of coffee and put it in the fridge for iced coffee in the morning!
The only weird thing about this place is that we are sleeping in the room where church services take place- right next to the altar. The floor is so padded and comfy that we had to choose this room instead of the tile in the dining room- and the pastor suggested we sleep in here when I spoke to him on the phone. This is one thing I never thought I would be doing... One of many on this trip!
We should be going into Kentucky tomorrow, if all goes well! I can't wait to have an entire state behind us. It really doesn't seem like we've gone that far but i guess we have!