Yes, D Rex, there is a Virginia

Today, I met my match. It was my third approx. 1000 ft climb of the day. I made it about two-thirds of the way up, and my legs couldn’t do it. I paused, stretched, rested, climbed back on and made it 15 more feet. I was beat. I shoved the bike the rest of the way up, took a break at the top, and saddled up for the downhill. The downhills today have been some of the most incredible experiences of my life.

The mountains seem a little less butted up together along this stretch of the route, so it allowed me to more fully observe the mountain climbing experience. I’d be riding between mountains, look over to my side, see a mountain, and look down at my map. My map would tell me to go climb the mountain, and then I would. Then came the downhill, which went on for miles, switching back and forth as I unwound my way down the mountain.

Now I’m stopped for a late lunch at Elkhorn City, just before the Virginia border. My campsite at the Breaks Interstate Park is only another five or so miles down the road.

As I was climbing my second mountain today, I said hello to a kid on the porch of a mobile home perched on the mountain face.
“Why do y’all ride bikes all the time?” he hollered.
I kept pedalling and hollered back.
“It wears me out. Makes me so that I can sleep at night.”
He cocked his head a bit and smiled. I kept pedalling.
I’m going to sleep like a log tonight.

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