Because of you, no one fights alone.

Day 11: Asheville, NC to Newport, TN
Total Mileage: 82 miles

Today’s ride was in dedication to Bertha Aguilera, my friend Liz’s grandmother, who passed away from lung cancer.

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Two mountains were conquered today as we left Ashville for Newport. Eleven days into the trip and we’ve already climbed a couple in the Appalachians. Most of us didn’t even train on steep, steady inclines and here we are conquering the Appalachians. It’s physically taxing on our knees riding day after day. When you don’t have your mind set on finishing a long day, your mood can greatly influence how you ride. It’s always important to make sure you clear your mind and remember why you’re doing the 4K for Cancer.

The day started off with a breakfast donation from Denny’s. We had to wake up extra early for this treat so that we would have adequate time to get to our host. Generally speaking, we wake up at 5:30AM every single morning, but because we had a donation from Denny, we got up 30 minutes earlier. We biked 5 miles from the firehouse to Denny’s, had breakfast, and got lost on our first two miles since we missed the first turn. The first group (Team Reroute with Kevin, Zac, Danny, and Abigale) went 10 miles into Patton Avenue when they were supposed to only go 217 feet, so they rerouted the entire route to meet us at the lunch stop. Turns out they had to tack on 14+ miles to the entire trip and climb the highest mountain in North Carolina, Crab Tree Mountain. Props to Team Reroute.

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Today’s team name: “Chunken Champs Minus 2” with Gloria (3 days in a row!), Casey, Rachael, and Dany T. Pretty rough start to the morning since Rachael was feeling a bit dehydrated and woozy. Even through her rough morning, she still wanted to ride, but we decided that it’d be better for her to take the rest of the day off. Climbing Doggett Hill was tougher than climbing yesterday, mainly cause the inclines were steeper and we had to climb two mountains simultaneously, one before lunch and one after. I wasn’t as mentally prepared as I was yesterday, so the climb was more difficult for me to complete. I did it thanks to the motivational words the chalkers put on the road and the support of the rest of my team as I reached the summit. “Because of you, no one fights alone.”

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After the first water stop, there were only three of us left. Casey is a speed demon and Gloria is a fighter. This definitely comes 2nd to Lynchburg in terms of difficulty. Most of us have sore knees, tight quads, and aching backs, but we continue to push on.

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And we finally found the North Carolina State Line sign as we were leaving North Carolina for Tennessee. About 5 yards to the right of us is the “Welcome to Tennessee” sign.

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Team San Fran 2013.

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