So only a short 365 days ago, my brother and I ran into the Atlantic ocean, thus ending 7 weeks of pain, suffering, near heat stroke, and lots of great memories. All told we rode 3,775 miles on the dot. The last week was rather interesting as we rode through coal mining country in West Virginia, some really cool back roads in Virginia, got a free pancake breakfast in Hinton WV from some really nice people, slept in some really random places...including sleeping behind a senior center which was behind a church which was behind an elementary school...man did we feel safe!! We also got lost for the only time on the whole trip, and as it turned out we were on a road that wasn't even on our map and it turned out to be a shortcut in the end!! We also got pulled over by two cops....within 1/4 of each other and kicked off a nice divided highway with little traffic and GIGANTIC shoulders and then told we could only ride on the business route which was 2 lanes, riddled with stoplights, heavy traffic and no shoulders....we were a little ticked at that whole thing. Our bikes were in dire need of some lovin as we were both riding on tires that should of been replaces several hundred miles ago.
However, our last night on the road was one of the best as it turned out. We pulled into Ivor Virginia and found a nice city park for the night, however when we talked to a local he said we might have some problems sleeping there because of the town cops and kids that liked to hang in the park late at night. So we then found a baptist church just as bible school was letting, found the pastor and asked him if it would be alright if we borrowed a patch of grass for the night to sleep on in the back of the church. He said "well, I cant let you sleep there, but you can come next door to my house and use my backyard"...SCORE!! So our last night we had a yard light to use instead of our usual little head lamps, a power outlet....and even a brand new pool that he insisted we use. We were camping in style that night, and the pool felt amazing compared to our nightly water bottle over the head showers we were so used to.
After a trip/experience of that magnitude your manor of thinking is forever changed. Getting up each morning and not knowing what lies ahead or where you will lay down that night is a fun way to live for awhile, but it gets old before too long. Sure we had our bad days, but for the most part everyone we met across the county was very nice and very interested in what we were doing. Many many people said "oh I which I could do something like that". We always said, and still do say...."so do it". You may not ride across the country, but get out the door and see the country on a bike. On a bike, you are in the landscape and feel the landscape in a way you can't even come close to in a car. From the time we left to the time we finished I believe that we both changed quite a bit, you have to in order to survive that long and still have a smile on your face. As much fun as it was, we both felt glad to be done. Who knows, I may ride across the country again some day, may ride up to Alaska....who knows, but nothing will ever come close to the experience of doing it the first time with your brother.
Like I said, there are WAY too many stories to tell here so if you ever want to hear some don't be afraid to ask!! Hey, you could even do it yourself and make your own memories!!
Here is a close up of the sigh in the previous picture. It still doesn't show up too well, but it is a "Tank Crossing" sign....gotta love it
25 cent shrimp....and a hat...too bad we only had $0.75
My roomate Dave and Meg came to see us....just chillin in some town
This is what riding in 100+ heat and then downing way too many root beet floats looks like
A hammock is a must have on any trip
Just look at the view!!
Some Stats....as I remember anyway
Trip Miles - 3775
Days on the road - 50
Days we rode - 48
Daily Avg - 79
Flat Tires - Who even knows...invest in more tires that we did!!
Broken Spokes - 8 (yeah, I don't know either)
Dogs Killed in traffic - 1
Times we got run off the road - 2
Time we got into "situations" with drivers - 4
Times pulled over - 2
Times woken up in the middle of the night by cops - 3
Nights we paid for camping - 1
Memories - Way too many
Get out and ride!!!!!!