Day 9: Marion, VA to Kingsport, TN
Total Mileage: 77 miles
After spending eight days in Virginia, we finally made it across the state line into Tennessee. I didn’t realize how difficult riding through Virginia would be till we actually got on our bikes and started cycling through mountains, downpours, and occasional bursts of sunlight. Hoping Tennessee will treat us a little better, especially in terms of weather. I think most of us are getting accustomed to the hilly terrain, especially since we’re cycling 9+ hours each day.
Today’s team name: Hay Rash with Gloria, Ali, Julie, and Sasha. Excited about riding with this group since it was the first time riding with all four of them. I really wanted to take a picture of our team on top of hay bales, so we decided to make a brief pit stop to a field full of them. After climbing atop the hay bales and taking a team picture, we realized we all had rashes from the hay, thus team Hay Rash.
We rode on US-11 S for a majority of our trip out of Virginia. As soon as we reached Bristol, we knew we were at the edge of Virginia and about to pass into Tennessee. It’s been a long 8 days in Virginia, so we were all excited to cross into a new state line. We met two other teams at the iconic Bristol VA-TENN border sign and I set my camera on timer to take a group shot. Definitely one of my favorite pictures of the trip. We even tried taking a picture of us holding our bikes above our heads when a 3-car train was passing on the railroad. It was pretty hilarious trying to see us lift our cannondale’s above our heads and get pictures in before the train passed by.
As soon as we saw the “Welcome to Tennessee” sign, we were determined to take a picture. My GoPro has been doing great at taking group shots thus far in the trip and I’m thankful for my parents for getting me one as a graduation present. There were a couple storm clouds as we were approaching our host (Colonial Heights Baptist Church), but we avoided the rain, lightning, and thunder. Two miles before our destination, we decided to take a pit stop at the Ralph Yelton Bridge and decided to jump into the river just to relax after our 77 mile day.
So far so good Tennessee.