Pete from Arlington helped me train for my ride across the US by including me on numerous tough rides, particularly Skyline Drive, but also Sugarloaf Mountain near Frederick MD, and many rides in the Virginia countryside. Pete joined the ride today to traverse West Virginia, where he grew up. He has a lot of local knowledge that adds to the quality of the ride. In particular, he knows a lot about the construction of the new Route 50 where most of the West Virginia riding occurs.
Here’s a video as we crossed the Blennerhassett Island Bridge from Ohio over the Ohio River into West Virginia.
West Virginia is known for its hills. When I thought about riding in West Virginia before I actually did, the old commercial kept coming into my head, “Ruffles have Ridges.” This video shows Pete and me steadily making our way up a long hill to a ridge. Pete promises there are many more such hills to come. “Mind in neutral, bike in low,” said Merlin back in Pagosa Springs.
Near the end of the ride, Pete leaned over a guard wall to peer way down into a ravine. Monstrous amounts of earth were moved to smooth the grade of Route 50. More than once, I could see the tops of town buildings off to the side of the road. It took modern machines and lots of energy, plus the political will to authorize such a mammoth project. It echoed Mound City we saw back in Chillicothe OH. There, human power and human will moved earth and changed the landscape on a different scale 2000 years ago.
Start location: Athens OH
End location: Ellenboro WV
Distance: 67.6 miles
Cumulative distance: 2667.8 miles
Elevation gain: 3202.1 feet
Special feature: Ninth state crossing into tenth state (Ohio to West Virginia)
Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/741733485