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Day 19
Lewisburg, Tennessee to Chattanooga, Tennessee
130 miles, 5100 feet climbing

 

After three days of not really riding, we finally reaped the rewards with three days of riding in the mountains, starting in Lewisburg, Tennessee. We rolled out in the morning in the company of Mike Myers stoking the tandem with Lon. We played tandem games for a while and really pushed the pace up some big hills. After three days of rest, we were like newly freed formerly caged animals. At the first snack stop, I asked Lon if he couldn't find another victim, uh er stoker, so we could keep playing. He called Ray over.

Ray is a real hammerhead that we met earlier in the year and rode with for a few miles of BMB, before he took off and toasted the course. Ray had been racing, but it was often hard to tell race days from non-race days, since he hammered along all the time. We surmised that he was probably one of the strongest riders on the tour, if not the strongest. With Ray stoking, we'd never see them again, so we decided to roll out and let them catch us. It took a while, but we began to feel the ground shake as the pounding of cranks pushed their bike closer to us. We latched on and played past the second snack stop. They decided to turn back, but we pressed on toward lunch.

Lon climbed back on his single after lunch and pushed us over Mont Eagle. By pushed, I mean that he stayed with us and made us ride much faster than we would have alone. Ray and his roommate, Dean were also along shaming us into keeping up the pace. We'd ridden with Dean a fair amount on the trip. Dean does a lot of tandeming with his wife and understood the dynamics enough to enjoy riding with us. We all enjoyed the descent off the mountain and the rollers going into Chattanooga.