Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Point Pleasant WV to Parkersburg, WV May 6

May 6....59.96 miles in 5:26....My heart is always smiling when I'm in West Virginia, and today it was grinning from ventricle to ventricle. The morning brought sunshine and some warmer weather that we have been missing. That pesky headwind was still there, at least for the first half of the ride, but it wasn't terrible, just noticeable. The country roads rolled along, and I climbed over 2300 ft, but I had lots of level spots mixed in. I made a left out of the campground onto WV 2, away from the town of Point Pleasant, which I never did actually ride through. No shoulder was the norm, with a few improved spots mixed in along the way. As I climbed out of the Ohio River Valley, I got up over 900 ft above sea level, but I was never far from the river, because it makes a big loop in this area, and I went away from it, only to have it loop back to the road just before I got to Ravenswood, 17 miles into the ride. During the entire ride to Ravenswood, I could see the huge smoke stacks from a nuclear power plant, every time I would top a hill, even though I was going away from the river for 8-9 miles. The river was twisting around all the hills, and I was just climbing them. What made it a little more difficult was my loss of a front sprocket shifter that happened yesterday. The cable is ready to break, so I don't want to mess with it, but I have to get off the bike and change the sprockets by hand if I want anything besides the granny gears. I chose to set it on the middle sprocket of the three, so I didn't have my big speed gears, which I didn't need, but I didn't have granny either. I'm not ashamed to admit that I resort to the granny gears to save my legs on big hills, but not today. Every hill was negotiated with the big boy gears, and my quads just whimpered a little louder than usual. I had ice cups in the freezer for my evening ice massage, however.
WV 2 dropped out of the hills into Ravenswood, and the ride through the town is right along the river, with the big blue bridge carrying US 33 to Columbus Ohio in full view. WV 2 joined Interstate 77 to go to Parkersburg in Ravenswood also. That is the way Pam went in the RV. The old rt. 2 continues north as WV 68, and I was concerned that maybe it was in even worse repair, but just the opposite was true. The road was improved, with nice shoulders ( two footers, but I'll take em), and it was straight, flat, and scenic as I pedaled along the river and some railroad tracks. I saw the second set of locks and dam since I've been in WV.  Eventually, the road left the riverside, and climbed above 900 ft again. It descended into south Parkersburg, where I rode on a very bike unfriendly WV 95, to locate the Walmart where Pam had set up. We hit the Jumbo Chinese Buffet across the street, before icing the quads and getting ready for a century ride to Wheeling tomorrow.

Train bridge as we left Point Pleasant - height was 14' 10" so the motorhome made it underneath!

The camo flag of WV helped to welcome Mike home.

Every bus shelter had the state outline painted on it, and there were alot of bus shelters!

The first of many power plants, and it's clean smoke (from a distance!)

Ravenswood bridge across the Ohio river

WV 2's lovely shoulders and a passing train

Barge traffic is becoming very common near Parkersburg

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