Today the weather was great, but oh my, it was quite possibly the most physically demanding day so far. It started with 400ft of climbing in the first two miles. We had several 12 percent climbs and one that had to be 18. So steep that you had to baby the pedals to keep traction on the gravel road where we found it. The ride was primarily on Route 22 which is through some breath taking countryside. It is the beginning of the Appalachians and we are all very happy to know that the bulk of the range will be crossed on rail trail which limits the grade to 2 percent. We came to the top of a hill about midway through the day, in Salt Fork Stte Park, to find vast fields of parked cars and eventually an enormous area full of tents and, in the distance, a stage. We rolled to a stop where Sheriffs were manning a gate and asked what was going on. It is what is billed as the world's largest outdoor expo. It's called Deerassic Classic Festival and it is a fundraiser for an interpretive nature park for youth. We read that they expected 20,000 attendees and it looked like they got them. We rode on a few miles to lunch. After lunch the grades and frequency of hills became more intense. We rode past Piedmont Dam to a left turn which for the first three miles was the longest stretch of flat we had all day. Then came the very tough stuff. A lot of it on gravel including steep climbs and a couple of steep, very fast, descents. We were 2 miles from our destination, still riding steeps on the woods and wondering when it would end. Finally, we rode out of the woods into Cadiz.
A view of Zanesville.