Satellite weather photos showed clearing by noon, so we had a lazy morning and a long late breakfast. We loaded the car, put the bikes on the bike rack, and drove to the spot where we stopped yesterday. It was foggy, cold, and still raining lightly. The next piece of the ride was a 9% curving downhill on a wet road. I wished I had done it yesterday. It was terrifying. I used my brakes a lot and stopped several times, and finally I made it down to Cool Springs WV. Here’s a video of the descent.
Following six miles of relatively flat road, the next hill began. When my friend, Marie, wrote in her blog on her cross country trip in Summer 2015 that she would rather go up a hill twice than down it once, I didn’t understand. Now I do. I cycled that 3 mile hill today with grades up to 10% without ever stopping. Traffic was light and drivers who passed were courteous.
That uphill was not followed by a terrifying downhill; instead it topped out on a plateau that rolled. It was cold and I had not put on enough layers so my strategy was to cycle as hard as I could to generate body heat. The 2689 miles I rode between January 1 and March 18, 2016, during the Freezing Saddles game were my training for today’s ride. I never stopped for food or “porcelain” during the entire ride. Suddenly, I saw Pete stopped ahead; he was at the Maryland State Line sign! I had cycled from California to the state where I was born and grew up. What a sweet treat!
As we got to Deep Creek Lake, the sun finally peeked through, promising a nicer day tomorrow. Pete completed his traversal of West Virginia and heads back to Arlington tomorrow morning. Harriet, who lives in Cumberland, joins Susie to sag for a few days. Goodbye, Pete! Welcome, Harriet! Thank you, Susie!
Start location: 17 miles east of Grafton WV
End location: McHenry MD
Distance: 42.0 miles
Cumulative distance: 2790.8 miles
Elevation gain: 3129.9 feet (Note: 13166 feet total in the last three days)
Special features: 10th state crossing (WV to MD) and 11th state
Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/743842942