Day 22: Damascus to Rosedale

After writing the last post, I took my bike into Sundog Outfitter to get it checked. The bike mechanic, Mike, told me my rear tire can still go about 500 miles, my chain is also good until the 1500 to 2000 miles mark. He ended up adjusting my brakes so they are more sensitive and lubricated the chain. The total charge was $15.

Back at the hostel, I packed up everything and donated $7 to the church. It took a bit of searching to find a small size can of pepper spray. I bought the last one at Adventure Damascus. After I finished my errands it was about lunch time. I had a Hawaiian pizza pie at a pizza place that’s on the same block.

Lunch is served!

After lunch around 12:30 PM, I continued to follow Route 76, passing by farmlands after farmlands. A dog chased after me and had gotten very close to my bike. I didn't have the pepper spray on me so I had to pedal fast. Luckily, I out biked the dog. After this, I made sure to carry the pepper spray on me at all times.

The temperature was getting very hot so I decided to make a pit stop at a McDonald’s. And guess who I saw. The Dutch couple, Tom and Dineke! They were chatting with their children on the phone. I went inside and bought a mango pineapple smoothie to cool myself down. Tom was also using the electrical outlets to charge the batteries of their pedal assisted bicycles. I left before them but they caught up to me and went up Hayters Gap first.

The steep inclines on every turn as I walked my bike up

I was warned by Roy that Hayters Gap is a big incline. He was right. I couldn’t even ride my bike up the hill. I ended up walking my bike most of the way for 3.7 miles, up an elevation of 2000 feet. When I almost reached the top, a lady in a red truck stopped beside me and offered me a ride. Since I was almost at the top I declined her offer. The ride down was treacherous. I was glad that my brakes had been adjusted as I cruised down the hill.

Bike hostel at a church, again!

At the Elk Garden United Methodist Church just south of Rosedale, I stopped for the day since the church is also a biker rest stop. Dineke came in a little later and I was so glad to see her. She told me Tom is getting beer for me for going up Hayters Gap. The fridge in the kitchen had some frozen meals. I ended up microwaving three of them. I was so hungry. When Tom got back, he brought a six pack of Coors Light, ice cream, and other foods for him and Dineke. Under the pavilion outside, we drank all the beer while the weather was still sunny and warm. Once the sun came down we came back into the church and tried to plan our ride tomorrow.

My dinner for the night

Enjoying a beer with Dineke and Tom

Tonight, I’ll be sleeping in the hallway of the church while Tom and Dineke will stay in the main section of the church. I hope I can rest easy tonight and the sunburn on my upper back will not hurt too bad.