Apologies for the long silence. The past 3 days have been interesting – I’ve been driving the support vans for the past 3 legs - Blacksburg-Marion, VA, Marion-Kingsport, TN, and Kingsport-Knoxville, TN. I’m really excited to get back on my bike tomorrow for our ride to Dayton, TN. We’re scheduled to ride about 94 miles (which will most likely end up being a century with reroutes and side-adventures). I was so sad to miss the team’s first century yesterday, but was happy that I could support all 25 of our crazy riders that day by chalking their turns and finding their lunch.
Riding the van has proved to be 3 of the most stressful days of my life. Riding on the road certainly isn’t relaxing, but on a bike you’re never responsible for more than the 4 other people in your pace line for the day. As a van driver, your responsibilities may include: chalking turns on the route (lest the entire team get lost in backwoods Tennessee), finding lunch for 25 starving riders, getting water to each of the groups, and keeping track of the progress of 5 teams that have somehow spread themselves out over a 15 mile stretch of road. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the relaxation of getting back on my bike tomorrow.
We’ve stayed at some great hosts in the past few days with real carpeting on the floor! It’s sad how quickly little things like this have become such a large part of our happiness on any given day. Last night (and tonight as well) we stayed at St. James Episcopal Church in Knoxville. The people here hung out with us for a few hours last night and cooked us an amazing dinner of spaghetti and meatsauce. This morning’s breakfast was even better (eggs!) and I’m sure dinner tonight will be fantastic as well. After a morning of community service at the Fellowship Center at Fort Sanders Hospital and an afternoon of cleaning and laundry, I’m looking forward to a good dinner and an early night to bed. The team’s second 90+ mile day, and hopefully my first century is tomorrow!
Thanks so much to everyone for all the support through blogs, facebook, texts, and calls!
Cycle, Inspire, Unite