Samsun : Dachau
As we gathered for the starting photos of today’s leg it began to rain. I had checked the weather forecast early in the morning and it did not call for rain so I was not expecting much rain. We were almost ready to take off when we decided we wanted to take our windbreakers. It’s a good thing we did.
We had all the same riders from yesterday’s ride except for Mark who would be heading home today. We had one new addition named Nick who had completed the first leg with us. We went over some pace lining rules as we started to ride.
The crew was working together well. This being our second day together helps a lot. Pace lining really takes many days with the same riders to feel confident with the other riders and to get everyone flowing smoothly. I was still paranoid from my two crashes so the riders that were not flowing smoothly I stayed back more than I would have liked and was always looking for my bailout option! I do not want to wind up laying on the pavement again any time soon.
We were flowed into Terra Haute pretty smoothly and quickly. We were 23 miles in. That is when it went from a few drops of rain to a very serious downpour. Some of the guys went into a coffe shop to use the restroom and I duct for cover against a building while Bobby adjusted our air pressure for better traction in the rain.
For the next 25 miles it rained pretty steadily, at times it really opened up for short periods. It is difficult to pace line in the rain because the water is shooting up from the rear tire of the bike in front of you. Plus with wet street and potholes everywhere there are safety concerns. This slowed our pace down quite a bit.
As the rain eased up the rain the road got even rougher. At times it was just gravel or dirt with holes and dips everywhere. The pace was even slower now. This extremely rough section lasted about five miles. The positive thing was the scenery was incredible. We were riding through a dense woodland area. It reminded me a bit of the Northern California Coast minus the redwood trees.
Once the forested area opened up to meadows and pastures we passed a few country homes here and there and the road became a little smoother now.
At mile 60 we stopped for lunch. A local guy was driving by and he asked if we were the group riding from California. He had seen a piece about us on the local news the night before. He said he had spent 20 years in the military and traveled all over the world and until that news piece he had not known about the Armenian Genocide. This was a reminder of why what we are doing is so important! He said “Its a shame what happened to those people” to him it was “those” people but to me they were my family and my people!
The lunch break felt good to relax and eat but we stopped longer than I would have liked and it was hard getting warmed up again. We continued along the country road a while longer before turning on to a busy road and then heading into the city.
Overall this leg seemed to have the roughest roads of all the legs I have ridden! Many of the busier roads have shoulders but they are so full of potholes, cracks and debris 90% of the time we don’t dare ride in them. It really made me appreciate the riding we have in Southern California!
Today Everone finished and Rafi and Ed having completed the last two legs said this is a new record for them! I have now ridden over 1000 miles!
Today’s ride stats:
3409′ elevation gain.
Today would be the longest day both in miles and time.