Kathy Scourby – October 5, 2009

Day 1 – 112 miles.
What a long day, but what a great day!!  We started our ride this morning in the pitch black at about 6:45.  I was nervous leaving out of the hotel in the dark, but we were surrounded by the flashing red and blue lights of our state troopers and all the blinking lights on our 82 bikes.  It was a grey day with overcast skies and very cool most of the day, but it did not rain.  Actually, perfect riding weather.  For the first half of the ride, as we were heading south from Johnson City to Knoxville (Maryville), we had great views of the the Appalachian mountain range.surrounded by low hanging clouds – very picturesque.  I did my best to get some pictures (not easy to do while riding a bike).  For most of the day, my riding buddies were Scott (my best riding buddy from last year), Anthony, Rebekah and Betsy.   We kept each other going through the long miles, especially as I started hitting the wall at about mile 92.  Like last year, I marvel at how all the riders bond with each other and work together to help each other through the long miles. 
Once we got off the main roads this morning, we hit the back roads and all the little towns.  One of my favorites was Greeneville, a typical small TN town with a town square and lots of old Victorian houses.  Even though it is only October 5th, there were so many Halloween decorations out already and we must have seen four or five signs for Haunted Houses!!   We rode by many farms, rolling green fields, old gas stations with the old signs and churches.  My favorite church sign was for a church called the “Church of Perilous Times Ministry”.  My small group only encountered one dog who ran in the road in front of us, but no wrecks.
Once again, our THP (state troopers) were wonderful.  They stopped the traffic in the intersections so we could ride through, they kept the traffic away from us as much as possible and tried in every way to make our riding easier for us.  They are a great group of guys and even stopped a drunk driver this morning and prevented him from coming near any of us!!  We could not do this ride without their support.  They are here with us all week and part of this group.
Our support crew (with many of of the same folks as last year) are superb!!  They are there all along the route, cheering us on, at every rest stop to take our bikes, feed us ibuprofen and food.  Speaking of food, our food today was great. It doesn’t matter how many calories we are burning while riding, we make up for it in what we consume during the day!!
We rode into Maryville around 5:30 this afternoon to approximately 500 cheering people..  What an amazing site.  All the tv stations were there and we heard early in the day that our ride had been picked up by the Associated Press.  The celebration tonight just brought home why we are all riding this week…there are so many children in foster care that are looking for a family and there are many people out there looking to adopt.  Our mission is to bring awareness and make a connection with the children and families.  We are hoping to touch a lot of lives this week!!
We start early tomorrow at 6:45…

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