Day 23, Aug 9th

Start: Athens, OH

Finish: Elkins, WV

Miles: 165

Elevation Gain: 6600'


Super-8 Elkins

350 Beverly Pike

Elkins, WV 26241


Click on an image to see a larger view

Today's ride featured one of the best cycling roads I've ever ridden. At any other time, I probably also would have found it to be one of the toughest rides I've done. But after 22 days of long distance riding, I still felt fine at the end.

The morning started out cool and foggy. The dew point was the same as the temperature, and the fog

Mark leads a paceline on a beautiful road in southeast Ohio

easily condensed on our sunglasses, helmets, bikes, etc. But the scenery was beautiful. We rode through a couple of small towns and pretty wooded areas before coming out on Rt 50 which we followed for the next 65 miles.

For most of this distance, Rt 50 is a 4-lane highway so we did a lot of shoulder riding. The scenery wasn't

Pretty wildflowers in West Virginia

bad and the hills were long gradual 6-8 percent climbs which are the kind I like, but it was still a highway.

Shortly before lunch, we turned onto a small rural road which we would follow for about 25 miles. This was just about the perfect cycling road - lots of rollers and twisties with a few longer climbs and descents, almost perfect asphalt, lots of trees for shade, beautiful scenery, and almost no traffic. I wish we could have spent the day riding roads like this, but Lon said this would take too long to cross the state. They are, however, considering splitting this leg into two 100 mile days all on this kind of rural road for a future trip.

The last 45 miles was more highway shoulder riding with some significant climbs. We were fortunate to have about 10 miles where we had a freshly paved lane to ourselves (they still had the construction cones blocking it off to traffic), but we also had quite a few miles of crushed stone (unpaved) shoulder that we had to slog through.

I made it to the motel at 4:45 in time for my massage. Tomorrow's ride should be very nice - lots of climbing on nice roads over the Appalachians. While the day has the most climbing of the trip, it's also the shortest day we've had since very early in the trip.

Alan, the birthday boy, turned 48 today Interesting window on this church The light fog this morning was condensing on everything - sunglasses, helmets, bike. etc.

Bob from MI climbing the hill right before lunch The scenery in West Virginia was very beautiful along the road we rode just before and after lunch Greg and Elizabeth, the Maryland contingent

Alan climbing one of the hills after lunch John found a new use for an old swingset The road after lunch was one of the nicest I've ridden