Transplant Athlete
Sunday, February 06, 2005

"UNMARKED AND UNCHAINED," starting from Clarke County High School, Berryville, Virginia. MEETING TIME 7:45am. Yet another reincarnation of this ride into West Virginia's eastern panhandle! It now bears almost no resemblance to the original ride. The new route features much improved scenery, and most of the roads are now signed, but there are still plenty of unchained West Virginia dogs. We'll climb up to Apple Pie Ridge in the morning and visit with "Daisy the Country Dog" at the White Hall store. The route to lunch through Berkeley County's fruit orchards is particularly scenic. After lunch in Hedgesville the terrain mellows out quite a bit as we head into Jefferson County. We'll have a rest stop at Charlie Brown's store late in the ride. 101 miles with a few shorter options. Rolling terrain--shouldn't be much more than 5,000 feet.

With Sebring not far off, I decided to pedal to the ride start. The W&OD trail was mostly passable to Leesburg. However, I fell twice and squished the bananas I had brought along. With poor conditions on the trail, I jumped onto Dry Mill Rd in Leesburg and then onto Business Rte 7 through Hamilton, Purcellville, and Round Hill. Then there was an 11 mile stretch on Rte 7, with a eye-watering descent down to the Shenandoah River. Finally, back onto Business Rte 7 in Berryville. I had left home at 4:45am, but I was now a half hour late for the ride. It was actually pleasant riding, it was peaceful and the traffic was light. The ride was a perfect tune-up for Sebring. There were some minor climbs, but overall, it was flat. I eventually caught up to the group at the lunch stop. The last 50 miles went fast as Chris and Chuck pushed the pace with their tandem. The eye watering descent down to the Shenandoah turned into a gut wrenching ascent on the way back.

Over 16 hours on the road, 180 miles, somewhere between 6000 and 8000 feet of climbing (in contrast, Crista's centuries uusually have 6000 - 8000 feet of climbing) and I had nailed my food and drink. My weight at the end of the ride was the same as the beginning, which tells me I was drinking just the right amount of water. I was still riding strong and hadn't bonked, so my food intake was just right. This was the showstopper last year at Sebring, so I think I've got one less thing to worry about.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
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  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
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  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity

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