Thursday, May 20, 2010

Elkins, West Virginia

"Dye mon, gen mon"
- A Haitian proverb, translated: Beyond mountains, there are mountains

Each day I try my best to explain what we accomplished, what we saw and how we got to our next stop along the way but sometimes it's hard to describe what we went through as a team over the miles and hours spent on our bikes.  It's easy as I sit here and type to say that as a team we went 93 miles, climbed 6200 feet, including one hill that lasted 5 miles and now our legs hurt but that doesn't begin to express what we experienced on the roads that led to our destination and only the other 25 riders will truly know. It's just us and sometimes I think that is what brings us closer together as a group.  Although we all come from different backgrounds no one else is having these experiences with us, and these experiences bind us together as a team.  It truly was a scenic day of riding as the riders spent most of the day enveloped by a wall of trees, which helped keep the sun and the heat of the day off, something we haven't had to deal with for awhile as the weather has been less than ideal.  After starting the morning on a busier highway on the way out of Harrisville we made a right turn onto county road 151 and got up close and personal with the back country of Appalachia, where porch sitting seems to be the main pastime.  It amazes me just how out in the middle of nowhere people will live, 30 or 40 miles from any type of service but I'm sure they all find some joy in being so far off the grid or they wouldn't do it. There is really no such thing as flat lands in West Virginia, just roads that lie in the valleys separating one climb from the next. We seemed to spend most of the day either going up or coming down and for some reason it always feels like more of the prior. In the end everyone survived and we are now staying overnight in the town of Elkins where we are surrounded by mountains in every direction, it truly is a beautiful small town whose main industry is the recreation that takes place in the surrounding country. The church we are staying at is cool and dark, everyone will probably crash early as I'm sure tomorrow will continue to test the strength and stamina of our legs and minds. I cant wait to get back out there.  No chain!

If you were the marble champion of USA, you would have this in your front yard too.

The sun. Holy crap.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, super creepy. Served as a sanctuary for the mentally ill during the 1800's. Housing up to 2000 patients at one point during it's prime.

Poor Katie's bike. Her derailer is broken and she can't get into her large cassette now. The guy at the bike shop told he could get a new part for her in 2 weeks.  We finish next Tuesday.  

Finally descending.

As we hit the outerlimits of Elkins. Beautiful.

We forgot to shut the passenger door at the bikeshop. We quickly got a new mascot.

If the insane asylum wasn't scary enough, Pete found a clown suit in the church we are staying at. I jumped.

1 comment:

  1. West Virginia is beautiful, enjoy the ride!