Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Day 12 - June 15, 10:27pm

60 miles. McConnelsburg, PA to Cumberland, MA

Woke up today only to realize how much I would miss my host family Don and Charlotte. They had a regal spread of eggs, pork and fruit. On top of everything Charlotte new i LOVE ketchup on my egss because they had read my rider bio. We talked about how she too had raised her kids that way. They insisted that we would not leave their house without trying Scraple. Its this little patty like things that is literally just leftover pork scraps. Between the sausage, bacon, biscuits and gravy, and scraple i basically ate an entire pig for breakfast.

All of last night I had seen Charlotte struggling to barely walk around her own house and this morning she told me about how MS is a mentally degenerative disease which i had no idea of. She mentioned how she was an active reader every day to keep the MS symptoms at bay. The strength, love, and perseverence from this small woman was overwhelming. Don was equally great and drove out last night just to pick up ointment for my rear which has since gotten much better.

When we got back to the Church ready to head out, I found that a bird had pooped on my bag as it was waiting to be packed. Yea.

Couple of highlights on the road:
Found a dead turtle on the road, which was a first. Passed through this nice little tunnel and Rob, Julie and I took the opportunity to chalk, i mean graffiti, a "P2SF wuz here" right before
our dope pose.

We also officially passed the Mason - Dixon line from PA into Maryland which was marked by this great obelisk.

Though i thought yesterday's two mountains were a special case, it turns out we had three today. So much for getting a break. As we were climbing on right at 2pm with the sun at its strongest, I remember never ever being so ridiculously sweaty and grimy and exhausted at once. Getting to the peak at 1,602 feet and seeing the view in my sweaty, panting glory was supreme.

On the way down i took a spill coming into a turn. It was obviously super scary but i managed only a scrape on my elbow and thigh. I seriously wouldn't put it being past a miracle. I'm literally 100% fine save for my scrapes but it was supremely humbling to think of how much i really should've hurt myself. I rode the last 20 miles in the van and it really sucked totally. On an emotional level i hated not being with my friends and not having that sense of accomplishment. On a physical level, my body was all hyped up on adrenaline and was literally craving for endorphins and physical activity so it felt horrible. Getting to our host site not being totally exhausted ironically enough is the worst feeling one can have on this trip. There were four other people who got vanned for various reasons so it was great that we could have some company.

It really made me appreciate the ability to be healthy and fit enough to ride everyday and enjoy all the fun stops and all. I'll admit that i love building speed on downhills and after this I learned that i need to be way more respectful of the dangerous endeavour I'm making. Seriously, beyond just cycling it's so easy to take things for granted, and with potentially dangerous things like this I feel that second chances are not really the norm. At least my camera and phone are still intact.

We're staying in a super sweet huge empty loft that is normally an art space, courtesy of Noah's cool friend Lucas and had dinner graciously provided by the Cumberland African United Methodist Church.

Really funny, on our way walking back across the railroad tracks we were midway when the bells started ringing and the bars started dropping. We all literally started screaming and running. It was absolutely terrifying and hilarious. I mean seriously, since when do trains actually pass by railroad tracks anymore?

For the record, I am considering my personal issue resolved. Not necessarily in the way i originally expected but its nice to be able to have come to terms with it and to be able to focus more on the trip now. A lot of us got a chance to hang out in the town tonight and i had some really awesome bonding/conversations. All i could think about during them was how much i am looking forward to being great friends with these people after this.

We're having a build day tomorrow. Finally, rest!

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