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DAILY REPORT: Weather -- Sunny and the high 80's; should be a great day to be out riding.
Yesterday when we were unloading our gear, Ron Jerina stopped by and introduced himself. It turns out he's the ride director for the Palmetto Peloton Project which is biking relay to promote the advancement of cancer research. The ride is from Greenville SC to Austin TX. He expressed an interest in riding with us in the morning. He met us in the morning while we were having our continental breakfast. He's is a great guy with three sons ranging in age from 6 to 11. His oldest has already competed in several triathlons and is scouts. Oh, and his family has a ball python!
We had to compete with the morning commuter traffic and because of the location of our hotel; it was simplest to ride through the center of Roanoke. Right from the start we witnessed a near miss/car accident at an intersection that we had just passed through not less than 30 sec before hand. Re enforced the need to be careful while riding w/ city traffic. Ron was familiar with the roads in town so that really helped out. It was great riding with him and we wish him the best of luck with his Palmetto Peloton Project bike relay this year.
The ride today should really be the end of any major hills. We passed the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway and began our roller coaster of hills. the Virginia country side was very beautiful and once we got on the secondary roads little to no traffic. We stopped for lunch in a small town of Rustburg. The town deputy stopped by to visit with us. Turns out he is an avid cyclist and would love to ride cross country. When we discussed our route this afternoon he advised against riding on one of our planned roads and recommended an alternate route. Always good to have local advise. It was a good call.
While in town, Skip took advantage of getting the car/trailer washed in preparation for our arrival to VA Bch. The Southern Pride Car Wash was nice enough to give him unlimited use of his pressure washer. We appreciate it; especially Skip who loves to keep his cars spotless!!
While riding today, both John & James got stung by bees. John had a yellow jacket fly down his jersey and James had honey be sting him through his jersey. the day before I got stung when a bee struck me while riding. Must be something about the bees in Virginia!! Now mind you we have ridden over 3,000 miles and in the last 100 miles we have all be stung. What gives??
We were staying at the Sheldon's Motel and Restaurant. The owner Grover was very supportive of our cause and provided the rooms for the Riding4Hope Team. the staff were exceptionally nice and posted one our posters in the restaurant and even were helping sell some of our "Honor Who Serve" bracelets!! Just a super group of folks. We thank you very much!!
We also had the pleasure of having Mike Itamura, a friend from Sandia Labs met us. He drove down from Washington DC were he works. He was taking the weekend to explore some of the civil war sites and decided to spend the night. He had dinner with us and then the guys talked him into a friendly game of poker. It was a fun evening. Thanks for taking the time and meeting with us Mike!!
So tomorrow we ride to Franklin. It will be another century day but the weather looks good and we are starting to run out of hills.
Thanks for joining us.....ride safely and keep the wind to your back!!
The Riding4Hope Team
(David, John, James & Skip)
Signing out 8/8/09; 0645
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