Sunday, June 22, 2008

Crush your smokes, it's day 6!

After 2 days of resting in Lost River, it was time to finish get to DC. Day 6 would be from Lost River to Winchester, VA. This would be my shortest ride, at 60 miles. However, it wouldn't be without its complications. Each time something goes wrong on my trip, it tends to happen within the first 25 miles. Day 6 was no exception. I was taking some backroads to get to Route 55 that would take me into Virginia. It was a nice ride, I actually ended up in George Washington National Forest for most of the ride. Partway through the ride, I see a sign that tells me to take a left to get to Wardensdale, a town I needed to get to. There were no street signs, so I had no way to know it was the road I wanted, but I figured it had to be right. As soon as I got on it it turned into a gravel road.

Oh and it was up on another hill too. This is West Virginia after all, I've just come to expect it.

It wasn't a good feeling. I knew that it wasn't a question of if, but when I would get a flat tire. Every piece of rock looked like it was waiting to stab into my tire. I intently focused my concentration on the thousands of rocks, endlessly scanning for anything that looked remotely pointy. About 4 miles into it, I heard it. That terrible hissing sound was coming from my back tire. Sure enough, no matter how much I didn't want one, it still happened. I sighed, got off my bike and quickly got to changing it. Thanks to the several trials the other day with bicycle tubes, I was able to replace it in only a matter of minutes.

However, this was my last spare tube I was carrying with me and the patch kit wouldn't hold the pressure of my tires. Now more than every I felt the weight of every rock, worried that if I got a flat my ride could potentially be over. What would I do? I'd have to find a park ranger and somehow find a way to the nearest bike shop... in Winchester 40 miles away. Would I hitchike? Would people pick me up? All these thoughts haunted me till I made it till the end of the gravel road, about 45 minutes later. It was such a joy seeing a paved road again and I was soon on 55 making a break for the VA border. Only I needed to climb another mountain to get to the border.

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