BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY RIDE Prologue – Day 0

Bill Browne :: Friday, June 25th, 2010

Good evening.  Back again for another cycling adventure.  We have arrived in Waynesboro, Virginia at the Days Inn.  As we pulled up it felt like de javu seeing the two story motel with exterior doors directly into the rooms.  The drive from Indianapolis took us just about 10 hours including a stop at Arby’s for lunch.  Hopefully the last chain restaurant until heading home.

We are driving a 15 passenger Ford van, with the back seats out to accommodate the five bicycles.  My father, “Tonto”, once again will be driving the SAG.  The cyclists include Tom King, Mark Lawrence, Kevin Fry and myself.  We will be joined on Sunday afternoon by Jim Cunning.

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Stage 17:Corinth, IL to Mount Vernon, IN – Day 18

Bill Browne :: Monday, September 14th, 2009
Back Home Again in Indiana

Back Home Again in Indiana

Well we did in fact make it back to Indiana.  When we were planning the trip, calculating the mileage and the route, it appeared that in the 17 days I had available, we would come up short of my returning home.  Tom had extra time built in, but due to our early efforts of picking up three extra days, we were in fact able to arrive by noon of the 17th day.  This was a great surprise and made me certainly feel as though I could claim victory.

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Stage 16:MO side of Chester, IL to Corinth, IL – Day 17

Bill Browne :: Saturday, September 12th, 2009
Tom & Bill riding across the Mississippi River into Illinois

Tom & Bill riding across the Mississippi River into Illinois

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Stage 15:Centerville, MO to MO side of Chester, IL – Day 16

Bill Browne :: Friday, September 11th, 2009
The High Water Mark

The High Water Mark

Today our goal was to finish off the Ozarks and Missouri, which we basically accomplished.  The day broke about 6:45 a.m., and after a good nights sleep at the Three Rivers Motel and breakfast at Hall’s Cafe, we drove to Centerville to begin the ride.  It was slightly foggy and bit cool at 58 degrees, but the sun soon warmed things up and the fog was gone in short order, as was the chill.

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Stage 14:Houston to Centerville – Day 15

Bill Browne :: Thursday, September 10th, 2009
Spent after a long day in the saddle

Spent after a long day in the saddle

And we thought Colorado would offer the most climbing.  Well let me tell you, we ascended 5,380′ today, a full 100′ more than our biggest day in Colorado.  And to add to the enjoyment, can you say 15%?  We had four of these graded climbs in a row, after lunch.  And we believed the morning at 14% grade was all that we would see.  Ouch and ouch.

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Stage 13:Fair Grove to Houston – Day 14

Bill Browne :: Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
Appropriately, Stage 13 is our first day of rain.

Appropriately, Stage 13 is our first day of rain.

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Stage 12:Runnelsville to Fair Grove – Day 13

Bill Browne :: Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
So why are there antlers on a knights helmet in the State seal?

So why are there antlers on a knights helmet in the State seal?

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Stage 11:Chanute, KS to Runnelsville, MO – Day 12

Bill Browne :: Monday, September 7th, 2009
Downtown Walnut, Kansas

Downtown Walnut, Kansas

Today is Labor Day and perhaps one of ,if not the first time I have been away from home since being out of college.  A bit odd.  On to the day.  Following our daily pattern, we all arose and made our way to breakfast at 6:30 a.m. in the hotel.  We then headed south to Chanute to start the ride south and east.  Once again we were greeted with a thick fog as we headed out of town.  The wind was still out of the NE, but a bit more calm than the last few days.  We decided that our first rondeveaux point with the SAG would be Walnut, a small farming community about 2 hours away.  We arrived there on time.

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Stage 10:Rosalia to Chanute – Day 11

Bill Browne :: Sunday, September 6th, 2009
Heading out of Toronto after Lunch

Heading out of Toronto after Lunch

Today, Sunday, was a pleasant day with only a few surprises.  After arising at the usual time, dressing, packing the van, and eating breakfast, (this is certainly becoming a total routine), we headed to Rosalia to begin the ride at 8:00 a.m. again.  The weather channel predicted heavy fog, which wasn’t visible at the start.  However, it wasn’t too long before we were completely engulfed in the fog, with little visibility.  The up side for the day was that although we climbed over 100′ at the start, we finally headed downhill, resulting in over a 650′ elevation drop for the day getting us down to around 850′ elevation.   A far cry from the 11,500′ at Hoosier Pass.  The benefit of the fog is that it allows you to only see the present and not the future, which can be a good thing if all you see ahead of you is rolling hills, which is what we have experienced for the last several days.  

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Stage 9:Buhler to Rosalia – Day 10

Bill Browne :: Saturday, September 5th, 2009
Picnic Lunch on the Road

Picnic Lunch on the Road

Always be sure to count your blessings.  Today it could have been sunny and hot, while we rode into a headwind and across rough pavement.  So, we were certainly pleased to have an overcast cool day to tackle one of the more difficult days.

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