October 6th, 2013
Day 5 - Sunday

Today started out well, leaving Uniontown, PA, after breakfast. However, I had a flat tire (on the back) at 10 o'clock. Someone (not to mention any names) had not turned on their cell phone, so I sat (slept) on the side on Hwy 119 until we connected and the tire was fixed. I lost about 1.5 hours of riding time. It's also interesting (to me anyway) I have gone years without a flat and now... ?

In Morgantown, WVa, we usually stop in to see our buddy Chip, but it's Sunday and they are closed. We (my support & I) had arranged, however, to use this as a meeting point and had a bite to eat and some drink before continuing on.

I didn't get to the motel in Philippi, West Virginia, until 7:50h, but made it to my destination for the day. Here's the link to see today's stats.

You can change from Imperial to Metric along the top right of the page. You can also click in the map and zoom in to see exactly where the bike was. You can even see which side of the road I was on, or riding circles in an intersection. Amazing.


October 7th
Day 6 - Monday

Well... This was not a great day at all. It was raining as we were getting up, and still raining after breakfast. I didn't really rush, but decided to get going because it didn't look like a change was taking place.

Let me tell you a story.

I had written to Garmin asking for a discount, maybe even a substantial discount, on their bicycle gps. I stated I could do a review for them on a longer ride. I never even received the courtesy of a reply, even if it was negative.

I bought, paid full price, and acquired a bike gps. My review would not be good after today.

I was on a perfectly good road, Route 250, and the gps advised I leave it and take an alternate. I never should have. It led to a road called Skidmore Run. There was a split ("Y") in the road and the gps never indicated which way to go (it does this often I find) until I ventured up one path and realized the colored path (indicating my route) had gone the other way. I had to backtrack to the correct run. The road became worse, then worse, and even worse. A mountain bike could never have trans-versed the route. Now I'm about 5 or 6 miles (8-10 kms) from where I left route 250, so I decide to trudge on. I figure the road must get better and go back to how it started, even if from the other end. Wrong.

It wasn't long before I couldn't even ride. I was now on a walking trail (in the rain) and climbing uphill. An walking hour later, the road ended, but the gps still showed a road. The one I had been following (on foot).

I ended up carrying the bike straight down the side of the mountain over rocks, trees, and lots of debris. I just kept heading to the sound of vehicles. Oh, let me add one more aggravation. There was no Verizon phone service. I couldn't even call anyone to say I was okay, but way out in no-mans land.

Eventually I made it to the bottom, scratched up, ripped clothes, and totally soaked. I was in a stone quarry.

After trying to look at the gps and trying to figure which way to go, and seeing a road just off to the right, I headed (uphill of course) up the road. Thanks to a construction guy, he told me I was heading to a dead end and gave me directions to get out. Worn out, soaked, and totally frustrated with Garmin, I finally made it to route 250, about 4 or 5 miles from where I left it, over 2.h hrs later. Oh, and look at my max speed. According to Garmin, I did 118 miles per hour. Must have been while I was sliding down the mountainside.

Take a look at this terrible route.

I took pictures of the road (path). Sorry about the focus (a wet cell phone), but you'll get the idea I'm sure. There are pictures of even worse. Garmin needs to refund my purchase price plus pay for misdirection. There may be less updates from this device as I just might give it a heave.

And here's the results on me after getting back to civilization.

I had enough. I called it quits for today in Elkin, W VA. Thanks Garmin. For nothing.


October 8th
Day 7 - Tuesday

Today was heavier fog than yesterday, so we went to Bob Evans for breakfast. I headed out at 9:50h even though there was still fog, but at least I could be seen by the traffic.

I thought today was overall rather nice for riding. It did start at 43 F, but ended up going to just over 70F. I did have to climb over Cheat mountain, but rather enjoyed it this time. We are in Marlinton, WVa for tonight.

Here's today's link. Go ahead, take a look.


October 9th
Day 8 - Wednesday

We are in the bottom of a valley at the base of a mountain. The fog is really intense this morning. After consulting the maps, gps, and my own records, I decided I'm on an off cycle. This means I'm not where I should be at night, so, I decided to have a short day today and get back on 'track.'

I finally headed out at 10:40h as the fog was lifted enough to be seen, and a temperature of about 47F, but wasn't concerned as I planned to only do about 40-45 miles (65-75k). I was in the motel in Lewisburg, WVa at 15:15h (3:15 p.m.). It was a nice relaxing afternoon. I'm glad I left with days to spare. This will still get me to Florida by the 17th.

Here's today's link. Lots of hills, up and down, and also over Droop mountain.



To go back to the beginning, click here, or
to continue to the ninth day, click here,
or if you want just the route from the beginning, then go to
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10
Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15