Day 48 Clarksburg to Washington D.C. – 45 Miles – Final Destination

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We reached the final Destination, Washington D.C. — 3300 Miles by bicycle from Seattle.

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Taking the bike trail into D.C.
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Special Greeters – with bicycles for the last couple miles. Thanks Ben, Jenny, Paul, Lizzie, Andrea and Teddy!
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There was an electrical fire as soon as we reached D.C. Because when we arrive, we bring the power, makes them come alive… see video

 

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2014 Big Ride Family bonding
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Our route was blocked by Palestine protests in front of the White House.
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The last lap
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Everyone on the ride got a customized “2014 Big Ride Across America” medal.
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Success!
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We couldn’t have done it without them – Thanks Lynn, Will and Charlton!

 

Day 47 Gettysburg to Clarksburg, MD – 50 Miles – Our 12th State

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This part of our coast-to-coast bicycle tour was getting bittersweet — happy to be reaching our destination but a bit sad to see it end.  Most of us were in great spirits as we got into Maryland ready for our final night in the tents at a campground.  We worked our way through narrow country roads that were in pretty good shape.  The traffic was bearable even on Maryland Route 27 South.  The road had a shoulder that was wide enough to keep us out of the traffic.  The weather was cloudy and threatening all day but never got wet.  We were thrilled to get through yet another rain-free day on the road to D.C.  Our dinner was catered at the campground that evening and we all enjoyed steak, chicken and a welcome bit of booze.  The Big Riders gathered for our final dinner together as a group and declared ourselves a “family” — the 2014 Big Riders.  We will go down in history as having the best possible weather in the history of the ride.

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Riding into our 12th state on rolling hills

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State #12 – Maryland

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Maryland has big turkeys that are free to roam.
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Maryland also has lots of huge turkey vultures.
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Horseback riding signs all over the back roads.
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This is the last night on the road at the Bennett Park Campground

Awards — I missed a few of them but here is what I listed:

Most Bonus Miles: Anita
Chamois Cream King: Kenny
Best Motor: Terry
Sweethearts: Kevin & Jen
Longest Distance Couple: Charles & Lisa
Coffee King: Paul
Party Planner: Lisa
Influencer: Kenny
Most Flats Queen: Jen-  7
Most Flats King:  Kenny – 6
Least Flats: Paul & Cathy – 1 each
Fastest Eater: Anita
First in Camp: Terry
Last in Camp: Anita
Least Gears Shifted: Rob
Eagle Eye: Kevin (95 bungee cords counted)
Fastest Recovery: Becca
Best Climber: Jen
Best Ass: Paul
Most Likely to Sing: Cathy
Best Lunch: Will
Most “Favorite Ever”: Becca
Most Charitable: Cathy
Most Self-Sufficient: Lynn
Best Smile: Charlton
Bad Ass: Charlton
Class Clown: Rob
Late to Breakfast: Lisa
Most Improved: Anita
Breaking a Fast: Terry
Most Photos on rides: Jen

 

Day 45 Bedford to Gettysburg, Pa – 102 Miles – Through the Pennsylvania Mountains

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MapMyRide Stats:  102 Miles  |  Time:  9:26  |  Speed 10.8 mph

Another rain-free, cool summer day – perfect cycling weather.  We stopped several times to rest along the way on this century bicycle ride.  There were several well needed breaks along the way including a wonderful home cooked meal.  Tony, an alumni of The Big Ride Across America packed up his garden’s bounty and prepared a gourmet meal including grilled burgers and chicken.  He carried in his own barbecue grill and delivered fresh salads, flowers and an abundance of deliciousness from his garden.  We met his son Ryan who will be attending Penn State in the Fall.  Thanks Tony!

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Still in the Polar Vortex – the morning was really cold in the 50’s
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Pennsylvania Apple Cider is coming your way soon!
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Today, I noticed there were some unusual signs on the road like this one
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The mature Alfalfa crops are sweet smelling
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Panorama view of Pennsylvania farmland
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Share the Road Sign
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Going down…the maximum speed I saw on the odometer was 35 mph

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Gettysburg - Just two more riding days!
Gettysburg – Just two more riding days!

Day 44 Confluence to Bedford – 81 Miles – We had Cheerleaders!

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MapMyRide Stats:  80.4 Miles  |  8:00 hours  |  10 mph

This ride was very hilly and mountainous, and it was a hard day for everyone — even me.  I could not have done the riding on this day without the Pedego electric assist.  The hills were long and hard and my old legs needed the support.  The first e-bike battery lasted about 29 miles — the fastest discharge of the entire trip.  The second battery lasted about 30 miles.  I was getting a little nervous when I was on my third battery thinking I might run out.  The land started to flatten out as we made progress and the third battery got me to the 80-mile mark.

Kristina and Brooke are Cheerleaders in Altoona, Pa.
Kristina and Brooke are Cheerleaders in Altoona, Pa.
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Thanks Pedego, I got to the top of all the Pennsylvania mountains…whew!
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It was a chilly July morning – we are all still wearing coats.
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Strip mining for coal in Pennsylvania
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Rail-trails on the Highlands Trail to Rockwood at 1826 ft. elevation
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Yikes, what is that in the corner?
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It was a cloudy day, but rain-free until the very end of the 80-mile ride
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Let’s Roll…
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The Flight 93 memorial was sobering. Cherish every single day!
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Pennsylvania had many scenic views to enjoy and ponder as we rode through the hilly terrain.
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You can see the thickness of the air, but no rain – fortunately

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Our loving cheerleaders greeted us with signs and a special cheer as we entered the campground. Thanks Mom! See Kristina, Brooke, Pat, Dee and Corky

Day 43 Washington to Confluence, Pa – 83 miles – on the Bike PA S Path

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MapMyRide Stats:  83 Miles   |  Time: 7:59

The day we started to ride through my home state of Pennsylvania it was cloudy and cool but no rain.  We started out in a moist fog which was cold for cycling – about 45 degrees.  It warmed up to the 70’s but the day never really got warm.  It was a wet and cold summer day.  The Polar Vortex is still with us.

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Much of our route was country roads on the Bicycle PA route S

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Company arrived at our Confluence campsite. My Uncle Maurice rented an apartment and rescued us from the rain and a wet tent. Best Friends here!
My good friend Sally Martin rode her bicycle around the world - 22,000 miles in 1996
My good friend Sally Martin is wearing her national championship bike jersey.  She also rode her bicycle around the world – 22,000 miles
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My Sister and my Uncle came to ride with us from Ohiopyle to Confluence on the bike trail.
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What? Not going in the bushes?
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Pennsylvania bike trail is lush and green
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Youghiogheny River Trail

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Day 42 New Waterford, Oh. to Washington, Pa. – 82 miles

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On this day of cycling across America, day 42, we woke up to rain.  The tents were soaking wet when we packed them away.  The day started out wet as we left the Terrace Lakes campground and headed out to our next destination which is very close to home for us.  Riding into Pennsylvania was exciting as we get closer and closer to our final destination – Washington, D.C.

Leaving camp with wet roads ahead
Leaving camp with wet roads ahead and thick clouds in the sky – 6:00 a.m.
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Gene!
Ohio River
The Mighty Ohio River – Flowing out of Pennsylvania
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Shippingport Nuclear Power Plant

 

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Cooling Towers – watch video below…

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Camping at the Whispering Pines Family Campground
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Family came to visit us as we entered the state of Pennsylvania

 

Day 41 Newburg to New Waterford, Ohio – 63 Miles into Amish Country

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MapMyRide Stats: 63 Miles  |  4:29  Time |  14.0 mph

Lots of rolling hills as we get close to Pennsylvania. We saw several Amish buggies traveling the countryside as we rolled through Ohio back roads near the border of Pennsylvania.  Home is just 45 minutes from this point.  The air was crisp, the sky was clear and the day went smooth as silk as we pedaled our way through some narrow country roads and brief urban traffic.  We had dinner in the campground and were lucky enough to enjoy the company of avid cyclist friends Terry and Kevin from Pittsburgh, Pa. They drove in from the city to check out the riders and see what it is like to ride a bicycle across the country with an organized group.

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Jen’s bike got a little hung up today!
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Check out that blue sky – another crystal-clear, cool July day.
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Terry and Kevin came to visit our campsite at the Terrace Lakes Campground.

Day 40 Sandusky to Newburg – 66 miles through downtown Cleveland

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MapMyRide Stats: 66.26 Miles  |  4:36  Time |  14.4 mph

Sandusky, Ohio is a resort town located between Toledo to the west and Cleveland to the east.  It is on lake Erie and has a big park called Cedar Point which attracts lots of families to this city of 25,000.  As we rode our bikes out of town we headed towards downtown Cleveland.  The ride was as smooth as it could be.  The sky was blue, the land was flat and our group of cyclists stayed together to get through the city traffic.  It was really exciting to ride the bicycle trail that follows along lake Erie.

 

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This is the Lakefront Bikeway we rode through Cleveland

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Lake Erie under blue skies and cool 70 degree temps
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My Pedego bicycle traveled many miles to see lake Erie

This ride was made exciting by a ride through downtown Cleveland, Ohio.  We went past the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and several Cleveland neighborhoods.  There was an unplanned stop along the way through a little Italian community with authentic pastry and gelato.  We rode in small groups for safety as we traveled the city streets.

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Cycling through downtown Cleveland
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There are many food trucks in Cleveland
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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
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Industrial Cleveland, alive and well.

Day 38 Napoleon to Sandusky, OH – 88 Miles – Flat with a Tailwind

Cycling Napoleon to Sandusky through Flat Ohio roads - with a tail wind.
Cycling Napoleon to Sandusky through Flat Ohio roads – with a tailwind.

MapMyRide Stats:  88 Miles   |  Time: 5:20   |  16.5 Mph

The day started with thunder and lightning.  We woke up to a boisterous thunderstorm that slowly phased itself out as we left our campsite at the Bayshore campground and headed out in the dark with wet roads and dark clouds ahead.

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The temperature on this July afternoon was 74 degrees…it was excellent!

The weather turned on us as it cleared up by mid-day — a high of 74 degrees with a crystal blue sky.  The cool summer day was complemented with a tailwind and then a blue sky.  We have got to be the luckiest cyclists ever on the Big Ride Across America!

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The clouds gave way to a brisk tailwind and blue sky
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Can you see the tailwind blowing the soybeans in the same direction we traveled? I love tailwinds!

Once we got to Sandusky, we found these amazing insects — the Mayfly.  There is a website called the Mayflies of Lake Erie which gives all the background on this localized insect.  Mayflies usually live for 24-72 hours. They spend 1-2 years on the bottom of lake Erie as a nymph living burrowed in the mud. They hatch around June and can be found everywhere around the lake.  They fly around lights at night and then latch on once they get tired of flying.

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Sometime around the middle of May and lasting into July, there is a plague of insects that strikes the cities, towns, and villages along Lake Erie’s shoreline: the Mayfly.
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Mayflies were all over the men’s shower door
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Home Sweet Home for two nights at the KOA campground in Sandusky, Ohio

Day 37 Kendalville to Napolean, OH – 70 Miles

Cycling on flat Ohio country roads
Cycling on flat Ohio country roads

MapMyRide Stats  70.5 Miles 4:35  15.4 mph

This bike ride between Indiana and Ohio was fantastically flat with more corn and soybeans. You can imagine how thrilled we were to see a field of oats to give a sense of variety.

The roads are now becoming more populous as we head East.  There are more cars on the roads, more potholes, ruts and objects that take a high degree of focus as we ride.  Our ride leader, Charlton DuRant from VeloSante, tries to start each day out with a gentle reminder about how important it is that we keep our guard up and use best rider practices.  As we ride in the same lane as the car traffic, it is important to know when to “take the lane” and when to keep to the side.  Safety is an important part of our coast-to-coast bicycle ride, so we have the highest regard for our rider safety — every day!

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Entering state #10 – Ohio

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More Corn!