Vesuvius to Charlottesville: 65 miles
Total Distance: 3890 miles
Days in the saddle: 70
Thoughts on today:
So today I got slapped out of the zone pretty emphatically. But I guess when you have a mountain named Vesuvius that you’re meant to cycle up, what do yo expect?
Last night I again camped with my South Korean friend Park (not Ji-Sung Park). We’ve been running into each other since seeing each other in Summerville, Missouri a while back. It seems that he’s faster than me, but doesn’t really want to ride in the rain, which gives me a chance to gain ground. This was the sixth night we’d camped out at the same spot. If that’s not friendship, I don’t know what is*.
So on to the morning and by the time I wake Park (big P) and left the park (little p). Today is all about conquering Vesuvius. And it’s a toughie. But, as with all things, after 69 days in the saddle, day 70 isn’t going to throw up too many life-questioning stretches. Yes, it was five miles of bone-crunching climbing. But I’ve climbed nine miles up Monarch Pass. Yep, it was steep. Very steep. But I’m that guy you heard about who’s just climbed through The Ozarks and The Appalachians.
It was like getting to the final level of that tricky video game and getting to the final boss and realising that the programmers (is it programmers who make computer games?) have been a bit lazy and basically just took the attributes of all the other bosses and put it into one mega boss.
Look: it’s not going to be easy, but there’s nothing there I haven’t seen.
And 65 miles down the road I’m done for the day. I’m tired. And if I’m going to be in Washington DC in three days I’ll need to rest up. But the mountains are over. The boss is completed. And now, I head North. I can almost smell NYC.
*it’s not actually friendship. He seems like a nice guy but I don’t think we’ve really bonded. I don’t speak any Korean. His English is better than my Korean. We’ll leave it at that.