This is the report, mostly non-fiction, of a 588 mile, self-supported bicycle tour during the week of September 10, 2001. It is partly inspired by a similar tour 12 years ago. For a daily journal, check out the page-link "Report from the Road".
THE 1989 TOUR
The summer before my senior year at Ohio Wesleyan I rode my bike from Athens, Ohio [residence from 1980-86] to Hendersonville, North Carolina [residence from 1976-79]. It was roughly 400 miles, and it was completed in 4 days. It was mostly a pilgrimage of sorts, to a former home.
I did not train before the 1989 ride. This was a problem. The cardinal rule of distance touring was broken every day, 'drink before you're thirsty, eat before you're hungry'. The second cardinal rule, by the way, is 'Do not flip off truck drivers'. I broke the 2nd cardinal rule only once. Now I remind myself, 'if you're still alive to flip them off, they must have missed you'.
I rode about 100 miles a day straight - with very few breaks. Which means every day at 4 p.m. you could find me quietly soaking in a motel bathtub with 2 liter bottles of soda and pizza and sandwiches. Every day I was wiped out. My groin was numb for a week after the ride.
I plan to be more comfortable this time.
THIS Appalachian Tour
Saturday, DAY 1. Breaks Interstate Park to Holston Lake, TN. About 85 miles. Of interest: Hayters Gap, VA, Abingdon VA.
Sunday, DAY 2. To Linville Falls, NC. About 88 miles. Of interest: Crossing the Appal. Trail. CHEROKEE NAT. FOREST.
Monday, DAY 3. To a point between Linville Falls and Asheville, unknown. About 40 miles. Blue Ridge Parkway.
Tuesday, DAY 4. To Hendersonville area. 26 miles from Asheville.
Wednesday, DAY 5. Pisgah National Forest area. Sliding Rock, Jump Off Rock, Laurel Park. Camp at Mt. Pisgah Campground on Blue Ridge Pkwy [BRP].
Thursday, DAY 6. Hot Springs, NC. About 64 miles. Waynesville, NC. Cold Mtn, NC.
Friday, DAY 7. Kingsport TN. About 68 miles. Maybe Natural Tunnel in Clinchport VA. 22 more miles.
Saturday, DAY 8. Maybe Norton VA. 60-80 miles.
Sunday. DAY 9. Breaks Interstate Park, VA. Maybe 60 miles.
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