Friday, August 12, 2011

BitE trip Day 1

Oh, my.

I had planned on leaving by noon today.

That didn't happen.

I had some things to take care of before I left, plus run around and find all the things I can't live without on a bike trip, but never use.

This is what I want to get on the bike.  About a third of that is bike stuff.  Air pump, bungy net, tire repair kit, rain gear, etc.  the dog didn't make the cut and the clothes are on the right.  Bare bones in the clothing dept! 

Desperately trying to finish the email I started 4 days ago.
I went through some email and made sure that I'd gotten caught up, for the most part.

Rear wheel with 7k on it.
Front wheel with 7k on it.

I finally got out of the house at 4.  Once I left the house I stopped at Tj's to drop off some paperwork.  So, finally on the road at 430.  Ok, well, not really, cuz I'm gonna stop at Jon's to say goodbye and return a charger he lent me last week.   Get to Jon's at 5.  Didn't have the power cord.  Leave at 530.  Just in time for rush hour.  And the setting sun.  But the backups didn't last very long and we moved along pretty well.

At about 6, I stopped for food.  My choices at this exit were McD's and a chinese buffet.  Yes, I was tempted, but decided to go with the chain.  A happily uneventful meal and I was back on the road.

I was very proud of myself for not stopping at Harper's Ferry NP

 I took 70W to 81S which puts you spitting distance from Charles Town Races and Slots.  The gps said that the distance to get there would add a whole minute to my route.  Of course, I also lost an hour and $45, but it was a good break from having the setting sun in my eyes constantly and I was able to down a couple glasses of water while I was there not winning anything, so I guess it wasn't a total loss.

On my way out a guy noticed my gear and we started talking bikes.  Al had won the money to buy his last bike.  A ridiculous story of winning hefty amounts over and over...  I was a bit envious, to be sure.

The very ledge where 2 years ago I'd left my tracking phone the week before I was supposed to leave for a cross country trip. 

 When I left the casino, the last of the color in the sky was fading and I didn't have to squint!  I wanted to make another hour or two before finding a hotel to stop at.  It was chilly when I left and I regretted not putting on another layer. 

I saw several things that caught my attention pretty quick:

A sign for Front Royal made me think I might pass Ron and Barbara's place, so I stoppped at the next turn off to call them.  Remarkable, they were up.  And are able to meet for breakfast tomorrow!  I got directions to a Denny's we'd meet at at 830 and got moving again.  And regretted not putting on another layer.  again.

On the way, I saw signs for a Nat'l Battlefield as well as for Skyline Dr.  I was considering how much time I might have for flower sniffing and thought it might be worth a little back tracking in the morning...  10 mins later I pull into the Denny's find out that the hotels on this exit are $100+ and take Matt's advice on the Super 8 less than 4 miles away.  Even though it's north of where I am. :/

When I get there she quotes me something higher than Matt found online.  I asked for the least expensive room for me for one night.  She offers a room where the tv is broken and has a discounted rate, since the internet is down and may not be updating Travelocity.

When I get to the room, the first thing I do is turn on the tv. Check!  It works.

Then I pull out the computer to test the internet. Check, too!  Awesome.  Now to heat up a microwave meal from the saddlebags, shower, do a couple things here and there and get some sleep!!!

So.  An impressive 127 miles today.  At this rate I don't know If I'll make it from the starting point to the checkpoint before the deadline. lol.

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