Saturday, 14 April 2012

Easter Sunday 8th of April 2012 Curvaceous Mountains

What a day we had. I woke up not long after Dan today and he was there in his bag comparing iPhone to map to satnav, plugging in as it turned out, the first section of a route suggested to us by FJR man the previous day (I feel guilty having to call him FJR man as he most certainly introduced himself fully but I forget now what he was said it was). We left the camp and only took what we needed for the day allowing us to set off pretty early, after a cup of tea.

I had the pleasure of the RT. With it's leaking fork seal, it was easier to nurse than the SV on which we had to avoid using the back brake. All that was needed on the RT was to avoid bumps, heavy breaking and be ready for a little uncertainty in bumpy corners. No problem. The only problem was, for the third day running, I needed new shades as I had left mine in the tent. Buying a pair of shades every day was starting to get a bit silly. Still, we needed coffee and most stores sell both and we stopped at a nice place with a view of Senneca Rock.

Straight out of the store and onto roads that are almost certainly the most exciting I have ever ridden. We went up mountains and down mountains, seeming like we were never in the same gear for more than a few seconds at a time. Throughout the whole trip I lacked confidence where there was even the suggestion of gravel. Here, I was enjoying myself but regularly having a severe word with myself about poor approaches and stiffening up mid corner. Always out in front, Dan seemed to be having no problems making full use of the SV's superior handling and was clearly having a ball. As the morning progressed I was getting better but fuel and blood sugar were getting low.

Fuel wasn't too difficult to find as we came out of the first state park pass. We changed bikes as usual before setting out to find food. Before we left, Mum had insisted that I buy a lovely breakfast and even provided the funds. However, there were no suitable eateries open as we discovered after several miles of slowing down every time we saw one, only to be disappointed. It had not escaped my attention, (or that of my conscience) that there were no deserted churches, so I guessed we were on a looser there.

Eventually we had to settle for a very grumpily served Subway sandwich. Mine went a bit like this.
Server: What can I get'cha. (Frowning face.)
Me: May I have a BMT please.
Server: No response. (Frowning impatient face.)
Me: I take it you need more information.
Server: No response. (Frowning, increasingly impatient face.)
Me: I'm sorry, I've never had a Subway before. What to you need from me?
Server: You can have it on any kind'a bread. (Pointing at the list of bread.)
Me: Oh, thank you, I'll have this one please.
Server: No response. (Frowning impatient face. Possibly also a little resigned.)
Me: Still not enough?
Server: Do you want six inch or foot long? (See above)
It continued along those lines with further frustrations regarding cheese and salad but you get the idea. It was clear to me that, as is so often the case with me, we don't all seem to enjoy our career choices all of the time. Poor thing.

While breakfasting we did get some inside info about which Sheriff didn't like bikes and then set off for more mountain passes. This time I had the SV and did my best to make full use of it (while not using the back brake). My goodness that bike is fast, and so user friendly. By the end of the ride, Dan seemed to think I had got to grips with it. I'm not sure that is or will ever be the case as it's not the kind of bike I would ever choose but it certainly has it's place, in West Virginia, high on a mountain and for a bout 40 minutes at a go.

Eventually, I had to stop. We had made amazing progress when I noticed an old train by the side of the road in a town called Durban. Noting that it also had a cafe, it was clearly time to stop. We had a superb fruit cobbler with icecream at the cafe over which we planned a photoshoot using the train's two cabooses as scenery. Each bike would be pictured with each rider in front of each caboose (all Dan's ideas: I don't have that kind of artistic bent).

Getting the pictures was hard work as it meant getting both bikes down the railway line between two tracks, swapping them and in one case, dropping one, gently. I can't wait to see how the project comes out. Doubtless, the four pictures I took will be the ones that let it down.

The rest of the day consisted of equally awesome roads, a swap back to the GT and a return to camp in time for a chill, shower, tea and natter. Dan found us a local ski resort pub to go to for dinner. They had an all you can eat Tex Mex special on and as it turned out, one plate really was all I could eat. As the only customers, it wasn't looking good for their business, especially with people telling us that West Virginia didn't get a winter this year.

It just so happens that as I type Sunday up, it's just stopped snowing. There is a long, long ride ahead of us. Monday is just beginning. Tea is brewing and it's time for me to get on with enjoying the here and now. 

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