Last night in Cleveland we had lots of Olive Garden that was donated! It was delicious! I’m pretty sure I’ve been eating for at least two people each day. It’s necessary to keep eating with the amount of riding we are doing; however, with all the free food we eat way more than needed! After dinner the church has many couches and a big tv we watched Independence Day on followed by a group meeting about safety and chores. Unfortunately, we had a rider take a fall the other day and after a visit to the hospital found out he broke his wrist in a few places and headed home today. After the meeting I found myself stationed up on a couch and Avatar was playing. The ride today was a nice 61 miles rolling hills and a mountain climb up the Cumberlin Gap. It was so steep! Going down the mountain was a bit more scary to me rather than enjoyable. There were many sharp twists/turns and it was again very steep downhill. I was breaking the entire way and still going about 30mph. My hands are so sore! A few of us stopped in at Wendys before lunch and got some chicken sammiches and in Dunlap (where we are staying) we got some 6inch subs from Subway! We are staying in the Tennessee National Guard Armory! Apparently we are sleeping on cots tonight and we just showered here in the group shower. There was a leftover bar of soap in the shower that nobody wanted to use and we figured somebody had just dropped it! (haha get it? Don’t drop the soap!) I’m not sure what we are doing for dinner tonight. I hear its family dinner tonight which means we are probably making pasta, beans, and rice perhaps but we shall see. Oh! We changed time zones today! We are an hour behind now in Dunlap TN so that means we gained an hour of sleeping! I can for sure see myself getting stronger now. My legs (quads, hammies, calves) are feeling rock hard! It’ll be interesting to see where I’ll be at the end of July. My legs will for sure be fit, but not sure about everything else with all this eating! While biking, it sure gives plenty of time for lots of thinking. I need to continue cycling when I come back for sure and perhaps join the UCF Cycle club or Tri-Knights. I’ve learned that this summer is not the time to be a picky eater, so I eat everything that is in front of me in order to make it through the day. When I come back it will be a challenge to eat less and healthier. I’m enjoying this adventure so far and the thought of applying to be a trip leader next summer crossed my mind. It’s such a whole different world biking cross country. Anyways, I’ve been writing long blog entries lately and will try to shorten some of them. I haven’t had internet lately and currently don’t have cell service but I will post the blogs when I can!
We biked into Swanee today about 47miles up a mountain and got caught in a storm. Most of us had to walk up the most of the mountain which was at a 12% gradient. At about mile 25 a storm pulled in fast and most of us were a little spread out but within site of each other or within a mile of two. I ended up pulling into an empty church that had steps and a little balcony covering. On my way in I slid out on the wet gravel and my bike and self are great my hip is a little bruised up now. I ended up waiting under the covering for about 2 hours while the van came around and was picking people up from the front first. A nice guy pulled over in the rain and handed me a rain coat and a cold Gatorade. Some people are just so generous, its absolutely incredible to see first hand just how kind people can be. I continued on when it cleared and met up with others and rode in. Sewanee and such a small town! It basically only has a college here. Oh and today we got chased by at least 10 dogs. It provided motivation to go faster! We’re staying at our first Catholic Church called St. Marys Sewanee. It’s old and pretty yet I find it rather eerie and creepy. There are small rooms we are staying in with twin sized beds which is nice. Theres old paintings and walls are pretty scratched up. It reminds me of the book “The Yellow Wallpaper” that I read back in high school. The view from the church is amazing! It’s a nice overlook on a valley that just keeps going on and on! I’m posting pictures tonight too! Thanks for reading!