NBG Mayor's Ride Begins: Days 1-3

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    Here is Day 3 from Denise Hill, Jim Muellner and OraSue Mckinnon, who are on the road from
    Washington DC to Pittsburgh!! If you want to contact them, you can reach them on their Pocket Mailer
    at this address <[email protected]>. If you want to start from the beginning and/or follow them
    as they move forward in the National Mayors' Ride at <http://www.bikeroute.com/NationalMayorsRide>,
    TransAm Vet and last year's Mayors' Ride relay rider powerhouse, Andrew Morton, has their reports
    (as well as all the relay cyclists who will follow) blogged. Point to their web site at
    <http://www.nationalbicyclegreenway.com/Events/Mayors_Ride/reports.php>:

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    Hi Everyone: Everyone of you can be linked to the route reports by e-mailing [email protected] and
    save me the trouble of entering all your names. Made it thru day two from Leesburg to Sharpsburg
    along the C&O Tow trail. We stopped in Sharpsburg, MD to take a bike tour of Antietam Battle Field.
    It was like living a piece of history -- the visuals were tremendous seeing the cornfield where all
    our men fell to keep our country whole, to free a people. The tour was something no one should miss.

    Forgot to mention that last night we tried to stay in a inn but they were all filled. So we tried
    the advice of Willie Weir, biker and author, who said stop at homes that have flowers. We did and
    Joanne and Paul who own one of the inns we called let us stay in their back yard. Saved us from
    biking an additional 12 miles. This morning after a little night rain, Joanne brought out some tasty
    coffee cake. She was an angel helping us out. They own the Jacob Rohrback Inn,
    www.jacob-rohrbach-inn.com. Be sure to stop and stay if your in the area.

    Now we are enjoying a little lunch and will be on our way to Hancock to stay at a hotel and shower
    and dry out. The range of emotions when it rains is wonderful, first its damn, then oh well, do I
    really want to get up, lets do it, damn its messy when everything is wet, wonder how heavy my gear
    will be with all this moisture, made it, where can I find a cup of coffee, that's good, that wasn't
    so bad, in fact that was a great morning and we are off for the day.

    Sorry these reports are so sporadic but between Denise and I the picture should start to take shape.
    Forgot to mention yesterday that the Sycamore trees were enormous, some had holes so large that I
    could have stood in them. They and other trees formed a canopy over us that keeps us mainly in the
    shade. The rock formations for the kayaks in the river are challenging for them and beautiful for
    us. Signing off from Sharpsburg, MD.

    Decided to add the afternoon ride. Mother nature is a wonderful painter. The flowers continue to
    line the trail, first in light blue, then yellow, then a little pink on the trees and the ever
    present trees with white flowers, whose name I cannot think of right now. What I need is a smart
    docent who just happens to be a biker to explain all these things to me. Even the rock cliffs were
    decorated with tuffs of white flowers. In the wetter area there were old trees with all kinds of
    large mushrooms growing either along them or up the trunk, some the size of dinner plates, some like
    saucers and some like demi cups. I thought either a little elf would come out from under one and
    offer me a pot of gold or the little Keebler elf would offer me a cookie. As I got hungrier today
    from the long ride I was hoping for the cookie.

    The river widened and the red banks were hung over with tall trees. I could just imagine a paddle
    wheel boat coming around the bend with a banjo player sitting on the deck playing for a few lovely
    ladies in long dresses with little parasols strolling along the deck.

    We took a tour of a lock attendant's home and that had to be a lonely existence. Love to all
    of you. Jim
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    Here is Denise's report:

    Ora Sue just showed us the trail map, and our progress away from DC, so it's time for the
    daily brag...

    location: Hancock, MD.

    on day 3 awoke to that rain we thought we'd escaped. Ora Sue woke up floating like an island on her
    foam pad in her soggy tent. fortunately it didn't rain on us during the day, but our wet gear
    influenced the decision to stay in a Motel 8 tonight (although despite that, I'm still in my
    tent/sleeping bag on the floor).

    we rolled around the 8 miles of battleground tour at Antietam, which was really cool, and had lunch.
    then we hit the trail with a vengeance, and I'm happy to say that we covered about 60 miles in 6
    hours, including this rolling hills detour that got us past the flooded/eroded/unmaintained part of
    the trail.

    and now, the numbers:

    soldiers killed at Antietam: 23,110 waitresses who called us 'sugar': 3 deer on trail: 12, all
    together! unidentifiable large rodents: 3 year my granola bars expired: 1999. still taste ok.

    "I'm gonna be sore tomorrow..."

    Jim, Denise and Ora Sue
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    Here is day 2 from Denise Hill, Jim Muellner and OraSue Mckinnon, who are on the road from
    Washington DC to Pittsburgh!! Soon also Jody Fitch will have webbed the bios we have for all our
    riders so you can get a better look at who these fun people are:

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    day 2: a lawn in Sharpsburg.

    that "nasty thunderstorm" we were supposed to get never materialized (woohoo!) and instead the temp
    dropped 15 or 20 degrees (hurrah!).

    we biked the Appalachian Trail today! or at least the few miles that overlap the C&O Canal around
    Harpers Ferry.

    we planned to go off trail to check out Antietam's battlefield and do a 12-mile bike ride tour, but
    the gnarly hills and conflicting directions delayed us. we're gonna see the battlefields tomorrow
    morning, and try to make up our lost ground in the afternoon.

    hats off to Jim, who never once stopped or got off his trike on even the steepest of hills. with
    all his weight on his tail, and without the leverage/benefits of gravity that an upright bike has.
    Ora Sue and I agreed that he definitely earned his evening ice cream cone and beer (not at the same
    time though).

    the numbers:

    muskrats swimming in the canal: 2 broken spokes: 1 creative remedies for broken spokes: 1 friendly
    innkeepers who let us camp on their lawn: 2 orphaned baby ducks: 5 (poor guys) people admiring
    Jim's trike: 4 "Just 2 Bikes" propaganda/brochures Jim gave out: 4 seedy bars with the Kentucky
    Derby on: 1

    so far so good, so good so far,

    Jim, Ora Sue, Denise
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    Here is Day 1 from Denise Hill, Jim Muellner and OraSue Mckinnon who are on the road from Washington
    DC to Pittsburgh!! Wow, this is going to be fun:

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    welcome to the first issue of the 2003 NBG Mayor's Ride Daily Update.

    May 2: Leesburg, VA (the FRIENDLIEST town in America).

    our first day out on the trail brings us gorgeous weather. the starting point, the DC Bike to Work
    Week festival, had several hundred folks and their trusty bikes out celebrating our superior form of
    transportation. Jim even won us a tire pump (woohoo!). around 9:30am we ceremonially dipped our
    front tires in the Potomic River, and we were off.

    the C&O Canal towpath was a nice shady trail all day long, and we averaged a chill 9 mph for a total
    displacement of 40 some miles, including the ferry ride and the distance into town.

    fortunately we found the Fife and Drum Corps Muster, which is having its bi-annual
    camp-out/competition, so we're camping for free and hanging out among their tents, RVs, families,
    dogs, and drums.

    the numbers:

    meter maids who cheered for us as we left downtown: 1 fuzzy yellow baby geese on trail: billions
    surly mom and dad geese: plenty turtles on logs in the canal: lots Clif bars consumed (net total): 4
    deer, turkey vultures, owls: 1 each blue herons: 2 trail mud eaten: yes creative detours: 1 water:
    iodine-liciois people who believe Jim the first time when he says he's riding to California: 0

    so far so good, so good so far.

    Denise, Jim and Ora Sue

    It's a very good thing I didn't release Denise's report to the newgroups or to our full mailing list
    as I didn't know that Jim Muellner of Just Two Bikes <http://justtwobikes.com> was going to surprise
    me with his report. Before Jody gets our rider bios up, 67 year old Jim, last year's Indy to Chicago
    relay rider, can be seen at our National Mayors' Ride schedule at
    <http://www.bikeroute.com/NationalMayorsRide>. If you want to contact Jim his Pocket Mail address is
    on the cc. And here is what this fun man, the inventor of the Smart Carte shopping cart system that
    passengers rent to shuttle their baggage around at airports, has to say:

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    Here is Jim Muellner's report. He is riding the fit in a suitcase folding trike made by Just Two
    Bikes <http://JustTwoBikes.com>

    Hi Everyone, well we are on our way. Met with the Mayor Anthony Williams of DC, a wonderful pro
    biker and about 500 or more riders who were at the presentation for the Bike to Work day. Wonderful
    program. City is filled with nice trails reaching to numerous areas. I did three 50 mile rides to
    different areas here in preparation.

    We left Freedom Plaza about 10 AM and rode to the beginning of the Chesapeake and Ohio Tow trail
    that goes all the way to Cumberland. It is not paved so it has some challenges. But the beauty of
    the ride along the Potomac River far out shadows any negatives. We have seen hawks, owls, large grey
    egrets, deer, turkey vultures, rapids and rock formations that are awesome. Lots of hikers and bird
    watchers, fishermen and birds. The large turtles in the canal are interesting.

    The flowers are breath taking and at times petals covered the trail. Blue bells and dog wood trees
    in bloom reflecting in the canal double their beauty if that is possible.

    Last night we biked an into Leesburg, VA for a delicious pasta and two beers. Set up at a local camp
    site and tested my equipment. Slept well.

    My fellow bikers are Dennis Hill, a woman from Pittsburgh and OraSue McKinnon from Marlton, New
    Jersey. Both are strong bikers and I need to pedal my legs off to keep up. Thankfully the weather
    has been cooperating and we keep applying sun lotion.

    Jim

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    MARTIN KRIEG: "Awake Again" Author c/o BikeRoute.com 79 & 86 TransAms, nonprofit Nat. Bicycle
    Greenway CEO

    Ever wanted anything so bad U were willing to die for it? Really die? By moving thru clinical death
    and reversing paralysis, *I saw God* when I answered that question.
     
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