We did 75 miles pretty miles today with about 4,000 feet of climbing. So even though we are out of the mountains and into the rolling hills we are still working our butts off and sweating just as hard as ever.
We started the day off with the breakfast buffet at the Lodge at Rough River Dam Park. I think skipping dinner last night was a mistake because I totally stuffed myself at breakfast and felt sluggish the rest of the day. I was too full to even drink a whole cup of coffee. Rookie mistake, Tara. See how far away the other cyclists are in the picture above? Yeah, that’s how I spent a lot of the day, about 100 yards behind everyone else. I have saddle sores on on my upper thigh and they are killing me. It hurts so bad to bike, walk, sit down, or anything. I’m so annoyed. I feel strong and everything is going great except for that. I wish they could just heal and I could cycle happily and pain-free. So today was one of those long days where you just had to ride your bike all day. I didn’t take many pictures. But I looking back I honestly had another great time out on the road. In no way does it get boring or monotonous to ride my bike all day. I am happy and enjoying every second even with saddle sores and other various aches and pains.
Today we went through lots of sort-of-sad small towns that looked liked they used to be full of life and business but now have abandoned storefronts and ‘meth watch’ signs everywhere. They are neat to ride though; it’s like seeing what remains of small town America. The countryside was beautiful. Several times today I felt like I could be in Pungo or Chesapeake. That sort of landscape. Other times it reminded me of the hills around Richmond approaching Appalachia. Yesterday I felt like I was in Kansas and today I felt like I was back in Virginia.
Tonight we are staying at the First Baptist Church in Sebree, Kentucky. This place is awesome. They have a really nice cyclists hostel on the ground floor of their church with comfy couches, a huge kitchen, ping pong, a big TV, showers, and lots of space. That alone would make our night. But then there was dinner! The pastor’s wife, Violet, has been making cyclists dinner for 31 years. She invites them to eat with her family around their kitchen table every night; last summer they fed and housed 260 cyclists. We were too big of a group to fit in her dining room, so we ate in a nice area of the church upstairs. She made us a million types of casseroles, vegetables, beans, and desserts. I can’t imagine the money, time, and work that goes into feeding 30 people. And she’s been doing this for 31 years and isn’t sick of it yet! I am so amazed and thankful for people like this. It makes me so happy. In addition to food, they gave us all Kentucky pins because (drumroll) tomorrow we are leaving Kentucky for Illinois! I guess I’m going to have to just get a pin from every state and start collecting them or something.
Ok, sorry for the short and not very entertaining update. I’m totally beat and all I want to do is go to bed. Only 55 miles tomorrow which is usually easy but I hope I can hold up.
See you all in Illinois!