lots of hill climbing and strong winds (usually
headwinds) for most of the day, but the hills and trees
made the headwinds a lot less monotonous (if not much
easier) than the flatlands we rode through in the past
week. My knees started to get a little sore after a
hundred miles or so of hills and headwinds, but I still
felt good when I pulled into the motel at 5:00.
A big part of what made the ride so enjoyable today
was the lack of heat. The skies were overcast all
morning keeping the temperatures in the high 60's -
perfect riding weather. When the skies finally did clear
in the early afternoon, it was too late for the
temperatures to go up too much. Amazingly we got through
another day without getting rained on.
Walt was my savior today - about 15 miles before the
lunch stop, I managed to break my chain muscling up a
hill. I was lucky to not fall since this can cause you
to become unbalanced very quickly as your foot snaps
down. Fortunately, Walt was riding in our group and had
a chain tool and spare Connex link with him. Five
minutes later and with two very greasy hands, I had my
chain fixed and we were on our way.
Walt is the star of another story today. Shortly
before the last rest stop, we passed a house with a
couple of dogs that were being real pests to us
cyclists. As I rode by, I yelled at the dogs to go home,
which I gather got the owner to come outside. A few more
riders passed screaming at the dogs with the owner
ignoring them, then Walt came by.
He decided to get a little more aggressive and kicked
one of the dogs when it got too close. Well, the
owner got very irate and chased Walt in his pickup truck
and managed to get a couple punches on Walt's head.
Another rider, E who is a very big guy, came up behind
them and the owner took off. Walt wasn't hurt because he
was wearing his helmet and the punches had little
effect, but E did get the license number.
Note that the route maps I have included are not
completely accurate and some are off quite a bit as we
get into the eastern states. I made these by looking at
low resolution maps posted by previous Northern
Transcontinental riders, and the route is different in
some cases on this trip.