Jun 8, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in , , | 6/08/2014
I am going to recap the highlights and lowlights of each week. It has already been one week into the 4K. 62 more days to go until we reach Portland, OR! It's weird how my perception of time has changed since starting the 4K. This past week has felt like a month since I have been staying in different places every night and have seen so much and done so much. Back home, times flies when I am on the same schedule everyday and a week goes by in a blink. There are still many weeks left of the trip, and I wonder if time will start to pass by faster once we get into a routine. 70 days is a long time, but I know that when I'm in Portland, I will wonder how this summer went by so quickly. I want to savor every bit of this trip, make it last. I am loving being able to ride my bike every damn day, despite the difficulties my team has had.


Rest day in Pittsburgh- After a much-needed full night's rest, I went into Pittsburgh to explore the city. My favorite was visiting the Andy Warhol museum. We also had a dinner donated to us, catered by TGI Friday's.

Food upon endless food- Our hosts have been really great providing us with plenty of food. Our stockpile of food is getting kind of ridiculous. The amount we are receiving is more than what we are eating, so some food has been wasted, which hurts my heart :( I have been eating continuously since the start of the ride. We have water breaks every 15-20 miles or so, and there are plenty of snacks. Also, at dinner, there are always TONS of amazing desserts and I can't say no to homemade pie :P

Going for a run- I got to run on Day 7 when I had van duty and didn't ride. It felt great to be running again, and I am going to try to run whenever I have a day off.

Going through the abandoned tunnel in Pennsylvania- I admit, I was scared and a bit frustrated at the time when we were going through the tunnels because it was really dark, chilly, the road conditions were absolute shit, and we had a bunch of mechanicals and had to stop frequently. I am still glad we went through them in retrospect, because we freaking rode under two mountains and that's pretty bad ass. 

All the climbs in the first three days- Some people hated it, I really loved it. We climbed a few mountains going through Pennsylvania. It was hard, but it was also very rewarding to go through that challenging terrain. I personally love to climb because it's when I feel the most powerful getting over hill after hill. For a lot of my teammates, it was kind of like being thrown in a cycling boot camp since they haven't had much (if at all) hill training and were inexperienced with shifting properly on rolling hills. The best part was a three-mile descent into Ligonier, PA on day 3


Getting rained out on Day 8- Supposed to be a 72 mile day from Canton, OH to Mansfield, OH, but we got caught in a thunderstorm. It was down pouring, and it was just not safe to keep on riding. I got loaded into one of the vans, and got driven the rest of the 50ish miles. First day that I didn't finish a ride. Bummer.

Riding on gravel and dirt trails- Just say no to gravel. It is terrible for road bikes and highly uncomfortable and terrifying going downhill on a gravel road. Also, on day 8 when it was raining, we had to ride a few miles on a muddy trail. So not fun and terrible for the bike. I got off and rerouted as quickly as possible.


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