Day 22, Aug 8th

Start: Troy, OH

Finish: Athens, OH

Miles: 152

Elevation Gain: 2900'


Amerihost Inn

20 Home Street

Athens, OH 45701


Click on an image to see a larger view

We started the ride today at our usual time - 6:30AM, but since we were at the western edge of the Eastern time zone, it was still quite dark. The sky to the east was quite dramatic as we headed south out of town. The PAC tour crew hadn't had a chance to paint

There was still a thin layer of fog near the ground shortly after sunrise

any of the route markers so we were expected to follow our route sheets, and of course the small group I was in missed a turn leaving town. About 1.5 miles later, we figured out our mistake and got back on course.

The first hundred miles today was mostly flat with a few sections of gently rolling hills which were easy to

Arend, Marc and Mark pulled me along for the first 80 miles

power up quickly. The further east we got, the fewer farms we say as the scenery transitioned to wooded rural areas and small to medium size towns.

As I was taking a photo early in the ride, Marc, Arend and Mark rode by so I hurried to catch them. Marc and Arend always start well after everyone else, but are often the first to the destination motel even though they take leisurely stops at all the rest stops. They ride at a steady 20-22 mph on the flats, but also ride quickly up the hills. Since they ride almost always ride two abreast, sitting on their wheel provides a great draft and they're reasonably easy to stay behind on the flats. This morning, Roberta's significant other Mark was with us again and riding along with them.

Fortunately, we didn't have too many hills and I was able to stay with them. The 80 miles I rode with them went by very quickly and I still felt very fresh after lunch. This was a good thing because the terrain changed fairly dramatically after lunch as we got to the Hocking Hills. This section of road was a lot of fun, but also considerably more work than the flats of the morning. I've never ridden a road with ups and downs and twisty turns like this - quite similar to a roller coaster except that each successive hill was not smaller than the one before it.

I think the hills felt tougher this afternoon because we haven't really had any serious hills since the first part of South Dakota. My legs have become accustomed to riding hard on the flats with just minor shallow climbs. Since we've got a lot of climbing coming up in the next couple days, hopefully they'll get back into shape quickly.

Marc, Arend and Mark caught up to me at the last rest stop and I tried to ride with them for the last leg. I gave up trying to stay with them on the first big climb. You may recall from my earlier journal entry that Marc set a new PAC Tour record for the Big Horn mountain climb. Well Arend and Mark aren't much slower and I had no chance of staying with them.

The weather today was perfect yet again. I can't believe the luck we've been having with the weather. I just hope it holds for a few more days.

Lots of rural wooded areas with small ponds and streams on our route today We stopped at a nice park in Circleville for lunch Karl standing in front of his brother's alma mater

The road through the Hocking Hills was quite beautiful The first riders to the motel relax with some chips and sodas Len arriving in Athens