Monday, July 21, 2008

Ben is back in town! (oh yeah, and we're almost home)

We met up with Ben half-way through our day in Christiansburg, VA and he is now driving all our gear for us. Not having the trailers makes a world of difference. Ben, you’re the man now dog! We can now average around 15mph instead of 11mph and that has made the days feel much shorter. It’s also a lot more fun to have some snap in your legs and feel like you’re riding a bike again, instead of feeling like you’re just towing an anchor around.

After dinner in Lexington, VA we began to plan out our route for the final days coming into Larchmont and it dawned on us that we are less than a week away. Even if we trim down the mileage to help save our legs (we are still really sore!) we can still arrive in the LMont by Saturday the 26th. Hard to believe that only 51 days ago we were under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco with 0 miles in our legs and 4300 miles left to go. We are now within 500 miles of home in Larchmont and less than 1,000 from the finish line of the PMC in Provincetown August 3rd.

We are taking a rest day in Fredericksburg, VA, our first full rest day in about 13 days, and we look forward to chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool, shootin’ some bball outside of the school, ya dig? Actually we’re just going to see a movie and hit up the local bike shop, maybe even Bed Bath & Beyond, but I don’t know if we’ll have enough time.

The rest day could not have come at a better time because we are now finally over the last mountains of the trip. The Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia were our last hurdle, but they were tough. When we ran into cross-country cyclists in Utah they warned us about the climb out of Vesuvius, VA so it daunted us for weeks. When we arrived at the base of the climb we gave Ben the thumbs up, thanked him (again) for taking our trailers, flipped on our favorite pump-up mixes on our iPods – Jamie’s is Phill Collins’ Greatest Hits and mine is that song from Billy Madison, “I’ll Tumble For Ya” on repeat – just kidding. After 2.5 miles up switchbacks averaging an 11% grade we were wiped. It was also a scorcher and we sweat like whoa. At the top of the climb we were drenched in sweat but we were relieved to know we had completed the last of the tough climbs.

As we climb the tough stuff and grind our teeth up the hills, we often use that time to remind ourselves what we’re suffering for. We are suffering for the cancer cause and the harder the riding is, the better we feel about our efforts in the fight against cancer. Getting to the top of a climb like that out of Vesuvius, VA makes us feel victorious, like we’ve made a small step in the fight and part of us wishes there were more mountains left to climb. We also think a lot about our parents and how we wish they could be at the finish line in Provincetown on our mother’s birthday. We are riding for them and having them in our minds and in our hearts has helped make even the Blue Ridge Mountains seem flat.

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