Kathy Scourby – October 6, 2009

Day 2 – 109 miles.
Another long but amazing day.  As I write, I am sitting on my bed icing down my legs.  Very, very sore and tired.  I think every muscle in my body hurts.  Other than feeling like if I turn my neck, my head will pop off and my calves feel like they might pop out of my legs, I have survived Day 2.
We left again this morning in the dark under escort from THP.  Imagine 80+ bikers riding 3 abreast on a lane of state highway at a major intersection (for those of you in Knoxville – we were by Foothills Mall on 321 and then 411) alongside of cars commuting to work.  Scary and dangerous, but we all did great!
Our route to Chattanooga today took us straight down Route 411 most of the way to Chattanooga.  Not the fun back roads, but long stretches of highway with rolling hills. Today was a totally different ride than yesterday.  With 112 miles under our belts and already working with sore legs, today was a day that involved pace lines, drafting and team work to get through the day.  Groups of riders worked together and helped pull each other through the long miles.  The group I rode with called ourselves the “No man left behind team”.
We all know that cycling can be dangerous and today was a good example why our THP friends are critical to this ride. On a long stretch of one lane road full of traffic, one of our riders went down after touching the wheel of the rider in front of him.  Other than being scraped up, he was fine, but once THP roared back down the road to where we were and stopped and directed traffic, we were ok.  We were all glad to get off that road!!  Not only did the troopers assist today, but we also had help from the local police in some of the small towns we went through.  One town in particular  really got in the spirit of things and sent their local utility trucks out to park their trucks in a major intersection in town until we all rode through.  What a great sight (wish I could have gotten a picture).
Probably the scariest (and admittedly, most thrilling ) was riding into the town of Cleveland.  A group  of about 6 of us rode in with two troopers trying to ride ahead and block the intersection at every traffic light in town.  Their sirens were blaring and we all felt like we were either rock stars or in a presidential motorcade!!  In Cleveland, we got to meet two families who had just finalized adoptions and the judge who presided over the adoptions in the town square.  The judge was also honored for her work in helping children find permanent homes.  What a touching sight that helped us all remember the reason we are riding and the important goal we have to bring awareness about adoption to the people we meet this week!!
We rode the last 10 miles into downtown Chattanooga under full police escort and were joined by the Chattanooga police bike patrol. Amazingly enough, we had overcast skies and no rain the entire day until we rode into our last celebration and then it started to pour.  By the time the celebration was over, we had 80+ people very tired, sore and very wet.  The surprise of the day was that it had been arranged for all of us to stay overnight on the Delta Queen, the riverboat on the waterfront in downtown Chattanooga.  What a great treat for all of us.
Since we are heading into Central time tomorrow, we get a break and don’t start till 8:30 tomorrow!!

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