TRIP 2007

Update #22 - August 12th
South Charleston, West Virginia
8926 miles (14,282 KM) since Jan 01st
8085 miles (12,937 KM) since March 03

The ride from the last place where I posted an update went okay. I've ridden across the southern section of Indiana, took a chuck out of the southwest section of Ohio, along the Ohio River in Kentucky, and a nibble out of West Virginia. West Virginia is my 27th state to be ridden through since March. The only states that I've not ridden through east of the Mississippi River and most of the Midwest since March are Delaware, Michigan, and Tennessee.

The heat has been a major factor with this section. For over a week, highs in the afternoon have been in the nineties with one day passing one hundred degrees. Heat indexes have been as high as 108 degrees. I had to take lots of breaks throughout the days and drink a lot of fluids. For the past couple of days, the highs have only been in the upper eighties.

I've made a lot of new friends along the way and I've gotten more help from people outside of church settings than inside church settings. Several times the past couple of days, people have stopped to talk to me and slip me money in "Green Handshakes". I've also picked up more loose change "Road Manna" from the side of the road. Right now, I've found around $135.

One of the newest friends is Burt in Eaton, Ohio. I met him at the First United Methodist Church in Eaton, Ohio. He is really spry for his eighty years of life and nothing is holding back even though he has had his right hip replaced twice and recently had a double heart bypass. I stayed with Burt and his dog "Spunky" for most of the Sunday I was in Eaton instead of camping out in the parlor of the church.

Some of the best people who have helped me along the way have been the law enforcement officers (police and sheriff). They have gone way across the bounds of duty to help me out. This was the case of what happened last night (August 11th). I had ridden 84.17 miles from Greenup, Kentucky when I stopped at the police station in South Charleston.

A planned rest stop at a church in North Charleston had fallen through (the information hadn't been passed around to the appropriate people) and I wasn't able to connect with the Warm Showers Cycling Association members in Charleston and South Charleston. It was almost 10 p.m. when I got to the police station.

The four officers there were quite friendly. They were not able to connect with the local minister who served as the department chaplain. Instead of letting me be stranded in the dark, Officers C. Crowder and R. Herab came up with a unique solution to my problem. I got a two police car escort to the Wingate Inn where officers Crowder and Herab arranged for me to get a room for the night. The Wingate Inn is one of the fanciest places where I've stayed at this year.

From South Charleston, I'll be following U.S. 60 across West Virginia over the Appalachian Mountains to Lynchburg, VA. I've taken this route several times before. The only real concern that I've got will be staying out of the path of coal trucks. These coal trucks are huge dump trucks and they usually come in pairs down the highway between the mines and Charleston.

Hopefully, there will be more paved shoulder for me to get out of the main roadway. Before doing this, I've got to locate a new front tire either here in South Charleston or Charleston. The twenty inch tire that I've got on the recumbent now is the original put on in 2005 and it has almost 6000 touring miles on it. Usually, I try and get a new tire around 5,000 miles. I've already had to replace the rear tire twice (the last time being around 500 miles ago in Bloomington, Indiana).

I'll try and post and update as often as I can if my plans change. The next update should be posted between August 19th and August 26th. Hopefully, I'll have more to write about by then.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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