Day 8 - June 16, 2002

Radford to Rural Retreat, VA (Rural Retreat Lake Campground)

Ride length: 59.8 miles
Total to date: 451.97 miles
Moving time: 5 hr. 42 min.
Average Speed: 10.5 mph
Total ascent: 4291 ft.
Minimum elevation: 1828 ft.
Maximum elevation: 2663 ft.
Ending elevation: 2534 ft.
Wind: Calm in the morning; stiff headwind for the mid day and calm after the shower at 2:00pm .
Weather: sunny morning, overcast afternoon. 15 minute shower around 2:00pm

Is this becoming routine?

Today was a fairly uneventful day. Mostly rolling countryside much like the last day or two.

I met up with two riders at a restaurant who are brothers. I would guess one is 28 and the other is 24. One is from Philadelphia and the other lives in Maryland. They too are heading westbound but are moving at a very leisurely pace. They started on June 2 from Yorktown; one full week before me. I caught up to them in just eight days. The younger brother is having great trouble with his knees - it seems to be tendonitis. He pushes his bike up most hills and coasts back down. They are only heading as far as Montana in the next few months.

They lent me some advice about my ankle that hurts. A doctor prescribed 600mg of Ibuprofen to the one with the bad knee to keep the swelling and pain down. I got some and it worked very well for most of the day. They also said that icing and massaging it will help with blood flow and decrease healing time. Once my ankle stops hurting I'll be able to ride in relative comfort with ease.

I rode with them for a few miles but went on by since they travel so slowly. I found out a few things about recumbents and uprights by riding behind them for a few miles. Their bikes are outfitted with lower gears than mine - something that I am jealous of. The other is that I am more stable in crosswinds while they get shoved around a great deal. The biggest difference is riding downhill. While they have to get into a full tuck to hit 20 mph, I can just lay back and do 35 mph with no problem. The recumbents ARE more aerodynamic.

I listened to A Prairie Home Companion today on NPR and listened to Car Talk and Weekend Edition yesterday as well. It was something familiar that I enjoy and it made me smile. I'm a long way from home and the riding can be lonely. Sometimes I feel like I'm in another country but good old NPR keeps me grounded and helps me realize that I'm actually enjoying the USA and not a faraway land. I can't wait to listen to Prairie Home when I'm in Kansas.

The first is a picture of the typical rolling countryside I saw today. The second picture is a puzzle to me...

My appetite was much better today. The campsite I'm staying at is quite nice. The people in the site beside me offered me a cheeseburger and some chips which I gladly accepted.

Food: 1 banana (105 kcal), 2 bottles of Gatorade (480 kcal), 12" Subway Trio sub (880 kcal), ham dinner (ham steak (700 kcal), mashed potatoes (300 kcal), apple sauce (180 kcal), muffin (300 kcal)), 1 glass of orange juice (140 kcal), 6 quarts of water, 1 cheeseburger (560 kcal), 1 serving sour cream and onion potato chips (400 kcal)

Total Energy: 4045 Cal.

Food cost:. $4.55 for the sub, $4.20 for Gatorade, $8.56 for the ham dinner

Camping fee: $10.50

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