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October 16, 2010 / jslipschultz

Day 35: Crossville to Sevierville, TN

The last (and only) time I bonked was September of 2003.  For you non-cyclists, “bonking” might sound like something fun.  It’s not.  Bonking is a physical state where your body decides it is so unhappy it won’t operate at the same level at all.  Back in 2003, I was halfway through a charity ride of 62 miles and had to complete the second half at 12 mph.  A grueling ride in. 

Today was dangerously close to my second bonk experience.  Not sure if it was the 126 + 106 mile back-to-back days.  Not sure if it was pulling Austin and Bill for a lot of miles going into lunch.  Not sure if it’s simply Day 35.  Or the 36 degF start for the first 10 miles (you could literally see the breath of all the riders in our group as we headed out of Crossville).  I felt fine for most of the ride.  It included quite a bit of climbing, but Joseph, Austin, Bill and I weren’t working overly hard.  Around Mile 90 or so, we had more rollers to tackle and the Great Smoky Mountains came into view.  Although we steered clear of the national park for today, the last 16 miles tested my will to finish.  I was hurting.  Obviously, stopping was not an option.  Just have to grit your teeth and muscle through it.  Fortunately, the guys kept it easy going for the ride in.

Tonight, I couldn’t even finish my dinner.  Yikes.  Well, the key is to rest and recover and hit it again.  Joseph, Austin, and I were talking at breakfast today and shared we were “itching to finish.”  Yes, we want to enjoy every day and not skip through some of the best views of Fall in the country right now.  But, at the same time, we’ve been at this for quite a while and getting to the Atlantic is the paramount goal now.  We are so close.

Pics:  A quick water stop in Kingston; lunch (nap is a staged picture for my coach) at Fort Loudoun Dam

photo lunch

By the numbers:  106.2 miles, 16.8 mph, 6:21:26 riding time, 5,299 feet of climbing; Totals so far: 2,858.9 miles, 105,479

Next stop:  Asheville NC (another state line–the second to last), 88 miles away.

Helmet-cam: A peaceful, but COLD start riding behind Karl (who’s wearing two pairs of booties) Crossing the dam; Shadow puppets on the road; Live from the peleton 15 miles out

Recap video:

Bonus pic: The Power of the W lives!  #18 Badgers upset #1 Buckeyes 31 to 18!

Badgers win!



Leave a Comment
  1. Tabatha / Oct 16 2010 7:38 pm

    Hang in there Jeff! No more bonking! You are SO CLOSE! We are cheering for you!

    • jslipschultz / Oct 16 2010 9:22 pm

      Every day is a new day. No worries! Here we go!

  2. Sarah / Oct 17 2010 10:50 am

    I cannot believe you are almost done!!! WOOHOO!!! Enjoy the last few days and have a great vacation with Jen. Then we’ll welcome you back to SRL in style when you’re all settled. Cheers!

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