I think I’m starting to get sick. Ugh. Either that or all this mountain wind is taking quite the toll on my throat. Today’s ride was a dreeeeam! It was short, not super mountainous, and wonderful weather! We arrived in Waynesville (our last night in NC!) before 11 am! Which was awesome seeing as our last ride took till almost 9pm. We explored the town, had a nice lunch in the park, worked on affordable housing curriculum, and then went to the Main St block party. The block party was super fun, there was a cover band and lots of good food. Dancing happened and it was swell.
Cars, trucks, and motorcycles. You have no idea how discouraging it is to see these vehicles fly up the mountains until you see it from a bike. They’re flying up the same mountains that you’ve been suffering on for hours - they make it look so easy. But, after riding from dawn till dusk, a good 12.5 hours on my bike, I started to realize how cool it was that I WASN’T in a car, truck, or motorcycle. I was bringing myself up these mountains purely by myself, my own personal physical (and mental) strength.
Yesterday’s ride was a mind game. A horrible mind game. 80 mile day - 55 mile accent up - 25 mile decent. Finishing yesterday’s ride was one of my most proud moments to date. Not only for myself, but for my entire team. It was such a bonding experience sharing all that pain but getting fly into Asheville and celebrate together. Definitely made it all worth it.
Last night we went out to Mello Mushroom for dinner in Asheville. This city is pretty awesome! So many fun activities, great music scene, amazing outdoorsy scene, great art scene, and an awesome downtown.
It’s really starting to sink in that I’m riding my bike across our country. So far we’ve traveled through three very distinct landscapes in North Carolina. We started ocean side on the costal plains with flat swamp lands. We then moved to the piedmonts which is a hilly agricultural area right before the mountains. Starting two days ago we entered the Appalachian Mountains going through the Blue Ridge Parkway today. I can’t even begin to explain the beauties that I am seeing - it’s truly unreal. I feel so fortunate. We’ve also been spending a lot of time with communities which is such a treat. These people who welcome us, a bunch of smelly cyclists, into their homes are such wonderful and genuine people. It’s great reminder of all the goodness that’s in our world. Tomorrow we ride into Asheville, NC, which I’ve heard is quite a stellar town. We’ll be spending three days there and building for two of them. Hopefully we’ll get the opportunity to work with the families that will be moving into the houses like we did in Chapel Hill.