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Uphill and Against the Wind - TransAm E-W
By Dave T

Day 12: Damascus to Elk Garden Hostel - Killer climb, dangerous downhill

Wednesday May 28, 1986, 34 miles (55 km) - Total so far: 563 miles (906 km)

It rained pretty hard last night and got all my stuff wet again today. I'm staying in a Church Hostel tonight so maybe things will get dried out. Breakfast was with the whole crew today as we all took our time this morning getting going. It was nice to get back on the road today after a day off, as I was pretty bored in Damascus on a rainy day.

The ride was semi flat with some moderate hills until Hayter's Gap then it got mountainous. I rode today with the whole BC group until Hayter's Gap. Going over Clinch Mt there was a pretty tough 4 mile climb, and the rain didn't make it any more fun. Everyone got strung out going up the mountain as everyone is different on the climbs. I got to the pass first and took a break to watch everyone else come chugging up. It seems these long pulls are not getting any easier.

The downhill side of Clinch Mt. was very dangerous, one lane wide with many switchbacks. I descended pretty carefully today because of the wet and dangerous conditions. Gene and I arrived at the Hostel first, at which time the weather started to clear up.

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Elk Garden Hostel near Rosedale VA.

Didn't have much to do today, and we had no beer group because of the church hostel rules. It is nice to have places like these hostels but you have to abide by all the rules. This hostel was a log cabin and it was kind neat.

Since I had nothing to do I gave my bike a complete check, tires, rims, spokes, cranks, brakes, cables. Everything on the bike has been performing perfectly. My brake pads are getting a little worn but nothing major. I've had no flats or broken spokes to this point. Gene and Sheryl ask me to check over their bikes as well. Everyone in the BC group is also doing well on equipment, with relatively few flats and broken spokes. I think Diane had 2 flats in one day.

Tomorrow I'll be at Breaks Interstate Park, right on the state line of Kentucky.


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