Down to my last 2 days on The Moxie Ride! Feels a bit surreal…
(Unfortunately, the Internet connection at this RV park is not strong enough to upload any pictures tonight. See tomorrow’s Blog for a host of great pictures.)
Tuesday’s Route: Elysburg to New Tripoli, PA
Rode 67 miles from Elysburg to New Tripoli, which is just outside of Allentown and north of Philadelphia. We are now about 20 miles from the NJ border and about to enter the 11th and final state! (How did that happen? How did 9 weeks, 4,100 miles, and 10 states just pass in a blink and a few pedal strokes?)
It was jungle hot when I started at 7:30am this morning and the humidity never let up all day. The temperature topped off at 101 degrees without even accounting for the humidity. I drank more water than imaginable and sweated every drop of it. Crazy hot today with more to come tomorrow!
Scaled Blue Summit
After climbing 5,075 feet of elevation today, I am finally on the other side of the Appalachian Mountains. I scaled the Blue Summit and crossed over the Appalachian Trail. The uphill climbs today reminded me of Utah and Colorado – a steady 5-8% grade lasting for a few miles until a crest and an insane downhill. A few more rolling hills tomorrow will have me on the descent to the Atlantic Ocean.
Western Pennsylvania definitely got most of the state funding for their roads, and eastern Pennsylvania clearly got short-changed. In no uncertain terms, the roads in the eastern third of this state are bicycle-intolerant. The shoulders are useless – tar and gravel, forcing me to ride in the roads which are laden with cracks, bumpy patches, potholes, crevices, and crazy drivers. We re-routed me at least twice today to get me onto a shoulder of some sort and out of the road with the already-feeling-like-NJ-impatience traffic.
5 More Lessons
In preparing for the end of this adventure, I’ve been compiling a list of lessons I’ve learned over the past 9 weeks and 4,000 miles. Here are a few more to add to the list I started on Day 61:
- I don’t miss the chaos. Before I left I had spent the prior 6 months in self-induced chaos getting ready for the trip. Even before that, I had convinced myself that I must thrive in chaos because of the tornado that followed me. I take it all back. I have savored not living in bedlam and mayhem for 9 weeks. On the ride, there is no room for chaos.
- I love being out of touch but connected. I was delighted to discover I did not know about the day the Casey Anthony verdict was announced. I loved not having a TV for 9 weeks. I loved not reading the newspaper (except for the articles written about me, of course!). It has been incredibly refreshing to be out of touch. But not being connected to people due to no cell coverage or Internet connection proved a bit frustrating. I actually resorted to using a payphone and a calling card in Glen Canyon UT (something I haven’t done that since 1998…)
- The country is phenomenally beautiful. I knew this. It was just reinforced on a daily basis. The mountains, the trees, the fields, the farms, the hills. Driving I forget to notice. Flying it appears almost fake. But on a bike, I can’t help but notice and appreciate.
- The landscape changes at the border. I was most struck by how each state is distinguishable from the last (OK, each state except for indistinguishable Indiana). The state borders seemed to be drawn intentionally to separate one striking landscape from another.
- There is an underground RV society. I never knew so many people traveled by RV. The campgrounds are usually hidden, but overflowing with RVs of all sizes. I originally thought our 30-foot RV was massive until I saw the plethora of houses on wheels. I am grateful to have joined the club for a couple months to avoid sleeping on the ground for 67 nights.
What do you love about your job?
I’m giving away my new book, Moxie for Managers, until Sunday night. Just quench my curiosity for what you love about your job and I’ll send you your own signed copy. Email me: your job, what you love about it, how your boss influences your success, how you influence other people’s success, your address. If you are not working and/or retired, tell me about your last job. (See Blog Day 59 for a few rules I concocted.)
Day 66 Stats
Day 66 miles: 67.30
Total miles: 4,106.05 miles
Day 65 ascent: 5,075 feet
Day 65 descent: 5,216 feet
Total interviews: 104
Road kill count: 2,018
(Added 85 today. 2 more days of counting dead things. I’ll be sure to announce the winners of the contest on Friday.)
Destination for Day 67: Annandale, NJ – state #11