Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Day 25: Wednesday, 8 August

Harrisonburg, VA to Ashland, VA...[map]
We're breaking more heat records today...
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Mileage: 121.2miles, Start: 7.00am, Time: 8hr:42min,
Avg: 16.3mph, Rolling: 13.9mph, Climb: 4,363ft,
Weather: Very Hot and Humid, Temp: 76-102°F
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I don't know if we're having good luck or bad luck but the weather on this tour has been hot, very hot. A couple of weeks ago in Minnesota and Wyoming we were in record breaking temperatures. We regularly hit the 100s, which for the mid-west is rare. (Conversation heard by Doug from a local old boy about the MT weather: 'Yep, it's hot, ..., it as hot as it was..., hell, it's as hot as it's ever been'!). Now we're nearly at the east coast the hot spell has moved over us again! Temperature 102 degrees, with humidity = Heat Index 110+ degrees (the temperature it feels like). My that's hot!

So, it was already nearly 80 degrees when we mounted at 7 this morning. We had quite a long climb first thing and it was a sweaty one! No kidding, the sweat was dripping off of my handlebars at the rate of one drop a second! Ask Michael. Then the heat started kicking in and everyone was frying. It was quite funny watching the Weather Channel on the TV this morning. They were giving out 'heat advisory' warnings. Basically don't work outdoors, avoid strenuous exercise! As I said, quite funny...

My physical condition is probably getting near it's limit. I'm definitely not recovering fully each day now. I tend to have a poor patch betwen 30 and 60 miles and then tend to pick up, but I'm certainly less strong than a week ago. I guess 26 days is a little excessive!

The PAC Tour daily routine is now well ingrained though. This is what I do every day: Alarm goes off (at some ridiculous specified hour - always 1 hour before breakfast). I have no idea which town I'm in. Kurt gets up and phaffs around doing god knows what. I doze for another 39 minutes. At the magic moment, I arise, use the bathroom, put my kit on, sun-screen up and take the bike outside. (The bikes spend the night indoors, of course). Then we have breakfast. I always have: 2 cups orange juice, 2-3 cakes of some sort, 1 bowl of porridge with a lot of brown sugar, 1 bowl of sultana bran flakes with banana + any specials that are going. After breakfast, I go back to the room and collect my bag (Kurt phaffs around a bit more) and take it to the motel truck and leave it. I then ride anywhere between 85-167 miles with 2/3/4 sag stops for refreshment and lunch. I spend an hour or two wishing the bloody hotel would appear around the next bend. When it finally does appear I congratulate myself on surviving another day. I then have to mend my bike if it's gone wrong (in the 100 degree heat of course). After showering, we go to the nearest restaurant that isn't McDonalds(TM) and eat them out of house and home. I then blog on Kurt's computer. (I could say Kurt phaffs around a bit, but he doesn't, he tends to go straight to bed). I then listen to some music on the iPod(TM), lay the kit out, turn the aircon to low and go to sleep. Then the alarm goes off (at some ridiculous specified hour - always 1 hour before breakfast)...

I think everybody is looking forward to our last day in the saddle, I know I am...



Nobody's in a particular hurry to leave this morning...
Lots of roads like this one, today...
...and some pretty white churches
Devil's highway: Right at the next turn!
It's my new hobby, 'sign-spotting'!

2 comments:

Martina said...

Well - final day today. My that is just awsome! :-#

Reading your daily routine you'll have finished by the time you get to read this - so MANY MANY CONGRATULATIONS.

Amazing achievement. Well done. You deserve a big long rest now :-)

Mx

R & A said...

Well done, and in all that heat as well, an achievement never to be forgotten, never to be repeated .. we shall see ...

Can't express how proud we are

R & A