Day 15, The Quad Burner Day

Getting one’s arse into gear can sometimes mash ‘em up a little. By the time I actually headed off from the campsite and along the three or so miles to get out of Breaks Park, it was already past 8am. Not such a great start time for a 70+ mile day that was to include five significant climbs. Well, they looked big on the map, but those elevation charts are a little deceptive at times. Again with the mist. Almost as soon as I turned onto the route again, I saw a touring cyclist coming the other way. I went …

Day 14, The Social Day

Imagine mother nature has cooked up a giant pot of rice to make, I dunno, sushi or something. She’s taking a class. Trying to broaden her horizons. Anyway, she’s cooked up this giant pot of rice (she really needs a rice cooker), and is looking for a colander to strain it through. “Ah, there’s one,” she says, reaching for my face. I’m serious. That’s what it felt like as I slogged it out today. Hot as hell, and leaking like a sieve. Pores that have never leaked before opened themselves up like attention seekers in a free therapy session. They …

Day 13, The Switchback Day

Hot stones. They are the way of the future. Well, that’s what my quads think. Since I hightailed it to Damascus a day early, I decided to treat my body to the loving hands of a skilled masseuse. Damascus is a hiking town, so I figured there’d be some really good muscle manglers about. We shall call mine Miss Patty, although she was a Mrs. Getting the massage from Miss Patty was the smartest thing I’ve done in a long while. My poor body had more knots than Don. You know it’s bad when the masseusse tells you you’re a …

Day 11: The Freewheeling Day

It seems all it takes to bring me back is a couple of good, long downhills. As part of my take-it-easy strategy, I was set to ride a comfortable 33 miles to Troutdale from Wytheville. I felt ok. Legs were still a bit tingly, but I had enjoyed a nice dinner at The Log House restaurant (which was such an eclectic place that I’d recommend it just to look inside. You don’t even have to eat there), and taken a bit of a stroll around historic downtown. Nice to just walk. I managed to get all my junk sorted and …

Day 10, The Reset Day

I badly needed that rest day yesterday. You could say I absorbed it like a selfish piece of not-getting-out-of-bed-today sponge. Just me and my laptop, in my jimmy jams and watching really bad daytime TV (I mean honestly, wtf is with that Maury show?!) Strangely though, it still wasn’t quite enough. Mentally or physically. Mentally, I found myself filled with a sense of real dread about having to get back on the bike at all. I read a stat that said 50% of solo transam cyclists don’t finish. It’s very easy after a day like I’d had to see how …

Day 8, The Bastard Day

Give me a giant wad of knowledge and I’ll sit on it and let it simmer, then pull it out at a time sure to show me as superior in every way. Give me a tiny little bit of knowledge and I’m a lethal frickin’ FAIL missile! Today was awful. Part of it was my fault. Precious had some gear changing issues, and me, thinking I know enough about boats to fix ‘em, got to fiddling. Oh, wait, it’s a bike. That explains it. Last night I hooked the nose of the saddle to a high bench as a makeshift …