Day 7- to Valley Hi, PA & Day 8 – to a b n b in Somerset, PA
Firstly – everything is fine & there is no need to worry.
About 10 miles into day 7’s anticipated 60 mile ride I swerve to avoid something & lose control of my bike whilst speeding downhill. I go flying & get scraped up real bad, though feel very looked after – I am fed chocolate, cleaned, bandaged & hugged as I sit on the side of the road in tears. My bike is checked over though I later find a crack in the wheel rim, holes in a pannier & tomorrow, cracks in my helmet. I have to buy a new helmet which freaks me out. I have been owning the hills (apparently I am a decent climber) but now feel pretty shaken up about all this speed business. I decide to hitchhike through the mountains.
A few cars stop on the side of the road to make sure I am ok. One chap drives home 5 miles to get his pick up truck & returns to collect Elle & I. He is on his way home from church & drives us at least 40 miles out of his way to our next destination – Valley Hi. We are met by Roy, who grew up here & who’s family own the valley, lake & land. He tells us that Route 30 was built over a native American path as they found the best route through. He also tells us that the chap who created the American cycle routes in 2001 cycled every mile personally. Roy is very passionate about the history of the area.
We swim in the lake & set up camp. The 1st riders are very surprised to see us there before them! Roy makes masses of pasta. One group found a roadkill deer on their path & arrive with the heart & tenderloins which they add to the dinner pot. They were cut out by John, who used to be a hunter & is now a vegetarian.
The next day I am very achy & I have a broken bike. A few people feel sick / exhausted so Roy gives us a lift in his dumptruck to ‘Fat Jimmy’s’ bike store. We have a terrible lunch & hitch from there. A couple stop but have no room for our bikes as their back is full of gas cans. We give up hitching & cycle for a bit. The couple, Doris & John, have pulled in up the road & are rearranging their van – piling the gas cans into the back seat with their sun. John chains in 3 bikes & 3 women into the back of the truck – the back is down & our wheels are close to the edge but we are pretty secure. John stops every so often to check we are ok & gives us Gatorade. Doris is a nurse & they have 2 daughters in the army, one is a field medic.
We get Mexican food, a hotel room to share between 5 & chill the fuck out.