Hey guys, I’m back from tour now and I plan on updating you all on the past week or so! Starting with my recap of the first day of riding!
Day one: Cincinnati to Chillicothe. (97 miles totaled)
We left the church we were staying at (Real life church) in Forest park OH. a town just outside of Cincinnati around 7:00am. I was really nervous on how the day and mileage would play out but also the whole team was ecstatic to finally be able to get on the road and start what we all came to do! The morning started with a large breakfast, ive never eaten as much as i did while on this tour in my entire life! We than broke up into our small groups to discuss the daily devotional in the Venture discovery guide given to everyone on tour. After this we checked our bikes, filled water bottles and filed outside for a group meeting. The leaders than distributed the route maps for the day.
We prayed while lifting our helmets, than set out for the first twenty miles. I was in the front group for the first twenty and it felt amazing to be a part of a moving pack of cyclists all for one goal! We prayed 27 minutes into our trip for the 27 million slaves in the world today. We reached our first rest stop 20 miles in right after an intense down hill onto a two lane road bridge suspended 20-30 ft. over a beautiful river. Those first thirty miles seemed to go by so quick it was wonderful!
The next forty miles came quickly as well, because the bike I was using was heavier then the other on my team the hills were a little bit of a challenge. At the next rest stop I decided to ride with the next group after mine. The stretch of roads between mile 20-60 progressively went from flat roads, plenty of shoulder and hardly any traffic to busy road, tons of semi trucks and a small grove of shoulder. Around mile 54 we than changed onto a road with much less traffic and found the support vehicle waiting for us in really sweet persons front lawn. We waited there for about an hour (to make sure we all ate lunch together) before the whole team was present. We ate a quick lunch and did some stretches.
At this point it was time to get back on the road! My team leader Emily, my teammate Clay and I stayed in a group for the rest of the day. We stopped to let Emily try to pet some horses and goats. The next 37 miles of the day were progressively more and more hillier, which got harder for me on my bike. around mile 89 we stopped by a tree to get some shade and water due to the intense heat and meet a man named jerry. He let us into his home for some nice air conditioned relief and re-hydration. He kept pushing a swim in his swimming pool, which we had to accept( it was amazing, this man was such a blessing!!)
We rode out the next 8 miles with no issues, and just one last hill! Than an amazing downhill! We ended at a church called Lighthouse Baptist which was in Chillicothe OH. We ate a huge spaghetti dinner than as everyone was falling a sleep i had to stay up for another hour and a half fixing some issues with my bike, but boy did i fall asleep quick that night!
I leave you with a video compilation of the first day of our ride, shot by our resident filmographer and all around awesome guy, Thomas Roepke check out his blog of our tour (much better than my own) at http://samgamgee.org