Day 11: Just what the Dr Ordered

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

56.37 miles (Total: 457.61) Average Speed: 11.1mph Max Speed: 37mph

The Lee’s have cats and dogs, despite not usually being allergic I woke up with a running nose and sneezing. The dogs outside also start barking around 5am and I eventually got up around 5:30, very tired and bunged up. Thankfully I was able to have the best cup of Earl Grey and it set me right again. Cooper eventually got out off bed, before we hit the road for the day we stopped by a station to pick up another 5 hour energy shot which I now swear by.

The shot doesn’t seem to have the same effect for me today but Cooper is flying as I ignore my burning thighs to keep up. The weather is looking ominous and eventually the heavens open, we stop by a shelter on a local bike trail and hit the store for some lunch whilst waiting out the rain. “Are you from Liverpool?” asked the women. It turns out she spent some time in northern England so I commended her for at least recognising I wasn’t from London. She tells me her favourite place in the world is “right here in Draper!”. Seriously, the place was literally a gas station and a portable toilet, oh well.

After the rain we rode sluggishly, we had only covered a third of the day and it was already 1pm. The hills are steady and frequent enough to make it feel as if your constantly struggling up a hill hour after hour. We pass a huge Gatorade bottling factory and shout out to an old guy on his porch about it. He calls us over and says “he ain’t got the gatorade” but offers us some cold fizzy peach water. It was really refreshing, the guy then introduces himself as Perry Graham. He tells us how the area has become dominated by trucks, how he doesn’t get gatorade discount and how he had to retire “because I got a disability”. Just as he seems like a laid back old timer he starts to turn religous on us, his voice gets heated as he talks about the divine healing he has received. Ok thanks for the beverage Perry but we gotta roll!

We get to the outskirts of Whytheville and decide to stop at the busy services for food, there were trucks and cars everywhere. We have probably one of the most mediocare subways ever (they hardly had anything we wanted) before heading out to finish the last few climbs to our destiniation, Rural Retreat. Once we made it to the Historical Society building that allows cyclists to stay over Cooper phones the number provided on the locked door. A woman turns up almost immeidiatley to show us around, stocked kitchen, hot showers and beds! She tell us its free to stay but they ask kindly for donations. She then hands us the key and leave. The place is unbelievable and turns out to be the birth and deathplace of the original Dr Pepper (later we would discover the connection to the drink was loose, the drink is from Texas and only named after this guy through a friend of a friend, but Rural Retreat likes its claim to fame).

I crack open the fridge, free gatorade and Dr Pepper galore, I then spot two beers at the back. Me and Cooper instantly rejoice before necking them in celebration of a tough day. We head out to the store to get some more to drink and to replace the two we drank for the next tired cyclists that roll through.

Best moment so far

Champagne of Beers

Places like the Rural Retreat Historical Society, which you would otherwise not even consider a destination have been amazing. The woman who gave us the keys to this entire building/museum had no doubt we would treat it with respect and leave her a donation. She must have been proven right so many times over the years to be this comfortable that it restores your faith in humanity, especially when I think of some of the scumbags I encounter around Newcastle and Middlesbrough back home. Life is good.

10 Responses to “Day 11: Just what the Dr Ordered”

  1. Mike Anderson says:

    Thanks for letting us know, we were getting concearned.

  2. Amy says:

    Gald to hear your doin ok Rye, weather is scorchin over here for the next few days so been sunbathing in the garden, Brian has burnt his knees, he says “hi” Take care x x x

  3. mum says:

    Hi Rye,glad your having a great time,& that your ok, look forward to your next updates,luv mum xxx

  4. Scott says:

    Good to hear! Look forward to the updates.

  5. ryan says:

    Camped again last night, in Kentucky now. Sometimes pick up some wifi whilst stood outside a cafe but not long enough to upload photos and posts.

  6. Dad says:

    Good to hear from you again Ryan after those few days absence. Bad news here is Rio Ferdinand’s out of the World Cup, his knee has gone!!.
    I still dont give those Yanks a chance the first match Ha Ha.
    Helen, Bradley and Will say hello – we’ve had a barbecue this evening – you would have loved the food – very tasty! Safe cycling and look forward to your nest post.

  7. Jack Stoddart says:

    Good post Anders, nice to see you got yourself a buddy. Wonder which one of you will get sick of the other first and try to subtly break free and fly solo once more… Long live the the duo. x

  8. josh says:

    I’m glad your with somebody else now so you have company.
    Love josh

  9. Ben says:

    Too true regarding faith in humanity!!! Haha from Liverpool. Keep it going bud x

  10. keith says:

    Hiya rye,Nice to hear yourself and coop’s have hit it of ,it’s gotta be more fun with a pal.Take it easy.

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My name is Ryan Anderson, in Summer 2010 I rode my bike across America. Starting on the east coast in Yorktown, VA and finishing in Florence, OR. Read more

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