Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 49 – Athens, OH to Harrisville, WV (87 miles)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This morning started off with an amazing breakfast. There is no better way to start out the morning that with a delicious breakfast. While some of the other riders decided they wanted to forego breakfast and head out right away (I guess to get to our site earlier; but to do what, I have no idea…), eight of us wanted to experience this little cantina that had been highly recommended to us. And we definitely did not regret our decision. It was a Mexican-style breakfast. I had the most amazing huevos rancheros I have ever had. I was completely stuffed afterwards. I tried to take a little nap on the bench before heading out to start our ride. While I was afraid that the excess breakfast food might upset my stomach during the ride, it was just the thing I needed to power me through some of the hills that we were going to have to face.

While the route was relatively scenic, we did run in to some hills along the way. I guess that is to be expected, since we are entering Appalachian country. We also probably spent at least half of the first half of the day (the time before lunch) on gravel/dirt roads. Apparently there is no direct route from Athens, OH to the Ohio-West Virginia border except the highway and unpaved roads. Awesome. But it really was a neat experience. We just had to be super vigilant so as not to fall over in a rut or let our wheels spin out under loose gravel.

We passed in to West Virginia today (and, again, crossed the Ohio River). One more state down, two more to go. I was very distraught that I did not find the Ohio state sign, however. (If you remember, we did not find the Ohio sign on the way in to the state.) I guess the Ohio state sign was directly on the opposite side of the West Virginia sign. Who would have thought? Obviously not me. But Jeff managed to snap a shot of it, so I’m going to steal it from him and pretending that I took it. Don’t tell anyone, ok?

Soon after the lunch stop, we passed through a cute little town called Cairo (pronounced like Karo syrup – we asked a local). This was the start of a rails-to-trails bike path that we were going to take part of the way to Elkins. We were very deceived by the trail, though. We were under the impression that the bike trail would be paved. We were wrong. Very wrong. The trail turned out to be gravel and dirt. It actually reminded me of some of the roads we were on at the beginning of the ride. Who knew our road bikes would get so much off-roading experience?!?

After another massive hill, we made it to our site for the night. There’s no better way to finish off a tough ride than climbing a 21% grade hill, right? We are staying at the 4H camp right outside of Elkins. It’s very nice. And a local pizza shop donated dinner for us, which was amazing. I think all of us will sleep well tonight.

End of the forty-ninth day. And it was off-road.

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