Sunday, July 22, 2012

7/19/2012 Day 4 alone

This morning we woke up about 4:30 am with the intentions to be on the road by 6 am, especially since we had to make up yesterdays miles of only doing 40. Ashley went downstairs to see if her bike had come back from repairs, they were fixing it on credit because we were running out of money, so when we got back home we had to mail them a check. I was a little nervous about how much the bill was going to be since they had to come out at night, pick up the bike which was 15 miles away, repair it and then bring it back.  Ashley found a bill and a note that read this:

adjust r brakes 9.00
overhaul RH 1.80 and 18.00
shuttle (60.00 X 2 trips) 120.00
( regular shuttle cost- no extra for after hours)

wow that's a big bill then the note attached to it said:

If you make it to Pittsburgh with no problems, please send a check for $25 dollars we will cover the rest.

Good luck on your adventure for a great cause. We look forward to hearing about your success!

Dennis and Judy Hudson
C&O Bicycle

My heart just melted, they volunteered their time to help us out because we were raising money for the American Cancer Society. What wonderful people! I will be forever greatful that their are such good people out there who actually still care.  Thank you so much Dennis and Judy Hudson!

We got all our gear packed up and took it downstairs.  Steve was in the kitchen making us breakfast and we were really excited about that, we are lucky to eat once a day, so breakfast was going to be a wonderful start to our day! Steve made home made bread and that home made bread is what he used to make french toast and we had bacon and and a glass of orange juice and tea.  I am not normally a big breakfast type of gal, but it was delicious and exciting because we never know when our next meal will be.  With all the great things happening we knew today was going to be a good day! Finally!

 This is Steve with Ashley and I
After talking with Steve we didn't get a chance to get on the road till 8am and we had a long way to go, our goal was to head into Cumberland and catch some lunch then start tackling the mountain.  Which we knew was going to be hard.

We started our adventure and it was nothing but spider webs every 30 seconds, it was disgusting and frusterating and it just makes you feel gross.  About 3 miles into the trip Ashley ran into a big one and tried to get it off lost control of her bike and fell off.  She got a nice gouge in her knee and we had to bust out the first aid kit and tweezers so she could pull the rocks out of her knee.  Guess we weren't going to have good luck after all. 

Ashleys knee

We got her all set and then we were back into the spider webs again, she was not to happy about it and neither was I but there is just not much you can do about things like that. Except just deal with it.

We rode for what seemed like miles upon miles with absolutely nothing but spider webs and trees, there was really no scenery at this point, and we wanted nothing more then to get out of it.  Then the heat once again started to pick up and with the soreness, we were already dealing with it was making our trip pretty difficult.  There came a point that I didn't think we were going to make it as far as we wanted.  I was riding a bit a head of Ashley but enough to where I could see her in my rearview mirror, sometimes we just did that, one of us would lag and then one would be ahead it's just how things worked out.  Well by this point it was one of those times when I was ahead, I heard her say something in the back ground so when I got just past the stop sign I stopped, I figured she needed a break because her knees had been bothering her big time.  So I sat there and waited and decided while she was resting back a bit that I would take a video, because it was a nice little spot.

None the least Ashley didn't need a break, she had been stung in the eye by a bee and she was not happy one bit, she said we were going to finish this trip tomorrow which meant todays mileage plus 134 tomorrow.  She rode on past me and kept going, she was about 2 miles ahead of me, which honestly ticked me off, because we always stayed together and kept each other in sight at all times. after all we are alone in the woods on the path and two girls to boot.  So after I finally caught up with her I was a bit sarcastic and said if you want to ride solo that's fine! I filled my water bottles at the pump and then got my cooling towel wet, because it was blistering hot and then ventured off.  lets just say she had a few choice words for me and then went on ahead of me again.  So that was that.  After about 5 miles she had the trail blocked with her bike, she wanted her things so I gave them to her and grabbed a few snacks and then said I guess I'll see you in Pittsburgh and then I left.  at that time she apparantly called her dad and a few other people and told them I left her. So with very little cell phone power my phone was going off and I talked to my husband and he was furious wanting to come get both of us telling us we can't do it alone.  And I said I was finishing this one way or another, there is nothing I can do.  I knew Ashley was upset about getting stung, but I felt she shouldn't have left me the way she did, we have been there for each other thus far.  So what maybe riding solo wasn't a bad thing, I mean we were around each other 24 hours a day and sometimes peeps just need there space. 

The ride to get to Cumberland was miserable there was alot of openness and very little shade and the temperatures just kept getting worse. I stopped several times and drank water and slowed down to see if Ashley was coming.  Eventually she caught up to me then once again rode past me without one word.  Which was ok, atleast I knew she was ok.  So from that point on she stayed ahead of me, until we got about 5 miles or so from Cumberland then I past her. I got to mile 184 and texted her and told her there was food just past it and we could grab a bite to eat.  She didn't respond.  But I sat there and waited a good 10 minutes before I finally seen her. In the mean time some bikers came up to me and wanted to take my picture and asked where I was heading.  They rode their bikes from Minnesota and were heading towards D.C. guess they were with 20, 000 other people doing a tour.  Wow!

When Ashley arrived I asked her if she was done with her attitude yet and she says me?  Your the one with the attitude and then says I am only here to get my lock and my charger so I grabbed them out of my bag and in the mist of that the bag fell over and all the stuff tipped out and she just left.  I couldn't believe it.  So I picked all the stuff up put it in the bag, my body was trembling from not eating since 6 this morning and we were 40 miles into the trip and it was a bit after one.  I felt so sick like I was going to pass out, I was dizzy, nauseous and trembling.  I hurried up grabbed the stuff and followed her.  she parked next to the train station. I told her there was a pizza joint right around the corner and then it started raining she reached for her poncho and I said I have some already open so you don't have to use yours, she ignored me and continued on so I grabbed my things and went to the pizza place to sit down for lunch.  I was sick, I thought I was going to have to have the waitress call 911, I knew the heat was getting the best of me.  I sat there for about an hour and charged my phone a bit then headed back to the station to see if Ash was still there, it appeared she was so I went down the street and then into the train station to see if I could find her. but I didn't.  So I headed down stairs to wait for her and low and behold the bike I thought was her wasn't she already left.  So now I was alone and so was she. I figured I better get to the gas station quickly and get some ice for us.  I filled up what I could with my bags and then the rest I would carry until I catch up with her to give it to her.  I was hoping she wasn't to far ahead of me.

The ride up the mountain was horrid, especially carrying ice, my tire was loosing air from all the weight on my bike. I couldn't go more then 6mph.. I tried calling Jim to see if he could get a hold of Ashley so that I could get some air, she had the air pump the sleeping gear and the food. I had all the other things. lol so more or less neither one of us could make it without the other.   My phone died right after that.  Which made me break down.  I had tears in my eyes and I will still 10 miles away from any form of city climbing a never ending mountain.  I had to walk alot of it because of my bike and the tire,  I begin to get lightheaded and dizzy again, I had no way to call 911, the sun was just blistering down on me, I knew at this point there was no way I was catching up to Ashley because I hadn't seen her at all for miles.  I was scared being alone, I kept seeing deer and feared I would run into a bear and that was going to be it.  At about mile marker 10 and 6 miles to go I could here thunder in the distance, which made my fears grow even more.  I wanted to give up, I wanted to quit and all I could here was Constantine in my head telling me I could do it, not to give up.  So I kept walking, then I tried  riding my bike some more, only going 4-6mph the mountain just kept getting steeper.  I was so happy when I got to mile 12 and 13 I got back on my bike and kept saying it's only 4 more miles, half hour later 3 more miles.  You can do this, you have people counting on you.  That is the only way I got through the rest of that.  By the time I got to the 14 mile mark it started drizzling which i didn't care, I was so hot, and felt weak and faint, by 15 it started to get a bit worse, when i hit the town it started pouring and thunder was closer and closer, I asked some bikers where the closest motel was and they pointed up to this steep hill that was out of this world.  but then showed me this path to get there which was almost as bad, so I walked my bike to the top, found the place got a room, soak and wet.  As soon as I got checked in the first thing I did was take a shower.  I really wanted to take a bath, but the room did not have one.  I was disappointed but new either way the hot heat on my muscles would feel so good.  after that, I went down to the cafe to get a bite to eat.  It took me almost 2 hours to eat a turkey sandwhich and fries.  I was so sick, but after eating, I started getting my strength back.

Once I finished that I sat and talked to some other bikers who were telling me how they had a run in with a bear.. oh my, My heart was beating.. I got to do this alone with a chance of running into a bear. With that, I texted ashley and told her and hoped she was safe. Which she was, she had gotten a room at the Days Inn, in the same town as me about 2 miles from me. Ironic huh? None the least we decided we were going to meet back up and finish together.  Which was great neither one of us needed to be alone anymore.. Especially with the chance of running into a bear like the other bikers did.

I just think after 4 days in 100 degree heat, and all the challenges and pain we were in that it just made us both cranky and irritated. No big deal, sometimes people just need their space.

With everything ok, I cranked up the air and went to bed.  I once again woke up in excruciating pain, muscle cramps are not fun.  It had been this way for 3 nights now.  I just didn't know if my body could keep this up.

Well regardless tomorrow we are going to attempt to finish out 134 miles because we need to get home!

What a nice end to a horrible day!

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