Day 10: Kingsport, TN to Asheville, NC
Total Mileage: 83 miles
First off, sorry for the delay in blogging. We haven’t had wifi the past couple of nights and we finally have access to internet today (thanks Woodfin Fire Department).
Lamie and Michael, our ride directors, warned us about the steep inclines cause today we crossed over the Great Smoky Mountains into Asheville, North Carolina, another state line! Mentally, I was prepared for the steady 5 mile incline they told us about to get to the summit of one of the mountain tops, which helped me climb those inclines with much more ease.
Having the right mentality is a crucial part to having a good ride day, especially when you know you have 40+ miles to go after lunch. I was fortunate to have such a great team to ride with today. Each person kept my spirits up the entire time 🙂 Today’s team name: the Hoodrats with Gloria, Kat, and Lamie. Long story short about the team name: we’ve all got street smarts. I’ve ridden with Gloria and Lamie before, but this was my first time riding with Kat and I’m glad I chose today to ride with her. We pushed each other up the hills all the way to the host and cheered each other on.
We’ve gotten a lot stronger since day one. Had this ride been on day two, I don’t think we all could have made it to the top. Team members that reached the top first climbed back down to cheer on and accompany the other riders that were midway from the summit. We’re here to support each other every step of the way.
Team San Fran 2013, we made it to the top of the Smoky Mountains! Started from the bottom now my whole team here.
After reaching the summit, we crossed into North Carolina. Unfortunately, we didn’t see a “Welcome to North Carolina” sign, but Danny and I did climb up the sign below that showed how much elevation we gained. For the non-believers, Madison County is in North Carolina, I swear! Another exciting thing about today is that I reached my max speed down a hill, 42.8 MPH. Reaching that speed made climbing to the top worth it. Such an exhilarating feeling flying down the mountain at such a fast pace that’s not a car. We actually exceeded the 35 MPH speed limit that the trucks had to obey.
Guest Segment! By Rachael Taylorson:
Today our group of five girls… aka “the smokey helper womanizers” had began to go a little nuts before the last 12 miles. We stopped by a gas station to ask for a quick snack donation because we really needed food for energy. Then the five of us had a great idea! Operation Hitchhike! In our delusional minds we decided it would be a fantastic idea to throw our bikes in the back of a pick up truck and then have them drive us to the host. Then, as fate would have it, a man in a pick up truck pulled next to us. We asked him and he said yes so we shoved our bikes into the back and went on our way. We ended up getting lost, then right before all of our phones died we had a message that said it was a different address than the one we had. I ended up having to go into KFC and ask the woman to print out directions from their computer. We had Brett (the driver) drop us off a 1/4 mile down the road so we could pretend like nothing happened but eventually everyone found out! Great experience that we will all never forget that made the last part of the day very interesting!