Last night I stayed in just about the only hotel in town. It was on the pricey side, in spite of being part of a chain of “economy” hotels. The nicest thing was that they had a real breakfast. If you haven’t figured it out by now, my days revolve around the weather, the route, and food. In doing the day’s ride planning, I knew I would not have any eating opportunities for at least 30 miles. I ate breakfast accordingly. Scrambled eggs, and biscuit with sausage gravy was the first plate. In honor of my brother, Mike, a waffle and 2 sausage patties was the second plate. Somewhere along the way there was a banana, yogurt, and copious cups of coffee. I was able to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I took back to the room for packing in the day’s supplies.
On my way out of town, I got to see a little of the downtown and neighborhoods that I had missed on the ride in yesterday.
Most of the time Google maps does a good job of its route suggestions. I have had some issues with “phantom roads” and unexpected loss of pavement, but today Google maps did a good job. Rather than immediately dumping me on US 250, it led me along a paved road that followed a creek. This meant I had a relatively flat ride for the first 12 miles or so. Since I was riding upstream, I was working uphill, but it was a small grade. I saw what I thought was a large dog. It turned out to be a very young deer. The road eventually put me back on US 250. The shoulder was narrow, it got hilly, but it also had some beautiful views! There were some steep hills along the way as I crossed from West Virginia into Pennsylvania.
The ride was going smoothly when I ran into some road construction. For almost 6 miles I could only do 5 to 7 mph. The road had been scored and was as rough as some of the rumble strips I had the misfortune to cross. It didn’t matter if I was going uphill or down, the shaking Hidalgo and I got kept our speed low. I was pretty tired and beat up when I finally rolled into Graysville. At a small diner, I got a burger and fries, lemonade, and refills of my water bottles. It had been a slower than average 29 miles.
I tried to make up time as I went on to Waynesburg, but it was getting pretty hot, no less hilly, and the wind was not helping me. I was going through a lot of water and did a refill, along with a frosty and small burger at Wendy’s. It was mostly downhill to Masontown. I got a gatorade and talked with a man working the gas pump. Even though Pennsylvania allows self serve, apparently certain municipalities mandate others pump the gas. It was another 15 miles to Uniontown. There I did my final ice cream fix, filled up with water, and navigated my way through town to avoid a busy highway. I had to climb a lot of hills before I could get on the road that would lead me to Connellsville.
Once there, I had to make the strategic decision of where to stay. Choice 1 was 2 miles shorter and half the price of choice 2. Choice 1 had wifi, but no fridge, microwave, or hair dryer (important for drying laundry). Choice 2 was closer to restaurants and groceries and offered continental breakfast. I went with choice 1. It was after 6 PM by the time I got settled in my room and tried to connect to the wifi. Even though I was only a few doors down from the office, my signal strength was barely on life support. I stayed in my bike clothes and rode a half mile to a restaurant where I locked Hidalgo and got a good wifi connection while I ate.
I am finishing the blog in the lobby of the hotel, because the signal is too weak in my room. It’s all part of the adventure!
The Lone Rider.