Kathy Scourby – October 7, 2009

Day 3 – 73 miles.
 Chattanooga experienced a major thunderstorm during the night but we were so fortunate to wake up to blue skies and sun!! Today was our hilliest day and it was certainly full of hills!  We headed from Chattanooga to Manchester today and the route took us over several very hilly roads and then over Mont Eagle.  The climb up Mont Eagle was 3.5 miles straight up at a 6-8% grade.  Our legs were already very sore, but this just added to the muscle aches. Once we got up to the top of Mont Eagle (with those who had reached the top cheering us on as the rest of us arrived at the top) we had an approximately 20 mile ride to get to our lunch stop, that, although flat to downhill, was downright brutal in that the road was very torn up and bumpy.
Today’s ride was more about each our group riding individually as everyone set their own pace to climb all the hills. For many in our group, the descent down the other side of Mont Eagle was the highlight of the day with at least a two mile descent with many hairpin curves.  Our THP troopers were able to close off the descent for a period of time so that all the riders could ride down using both lanes.  For me this descent was very stressful, as I am very cautious going downhill.  My hands hurt from braking all the way down and the troopers laughed at me for being so cautious!  Once down, the rest of our ride was flat and carried us into Manchester at about four p.m. this afternoon.  We saw some beautiful scenery today…mountains, lakes, rivers, farmland, lots of soybean fields and rural farms. Manchester is a little town of about 9,000 people. For those of who know music and concerts, Manchester is famous for hosting the Bonaroo concert (a mini-Woodstock) each year.
Once we got to Manchester we had time for dinner and then got back on our bikes in the dark and rode under police escort to the town square for a parade honoring our arrival in town.  A band was playing and lots of families were out to see us and hear about our adoption awareness mission.  The good news is that we are close to half our goal of trying to locate 100 families interested in adopting.  All in all, a great, but very tiring and sore day.  Ice baths to ease our sore muscles and some sleep are what was needed for everyone.
A little information about our riders.  We are split almost 50% in terms of male/female riders and our ages range from 15 (yes, 15) to mid 60′s. In our 50+ club we have about 7-8 members, and I have the distinction (not sure whether it an honor or a curse) of being the oldest female rider on the tour.
We have some great photographers with us on the tour.  If you are interested in seeing some great footage of the last few days on the tour, log on to www.adoptiontour.org .
Tomorrow we get to sleep in and have a “short” 60 mile ride to Columbia, TN.

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