A 94 mile ride from Dover into Nashville and our rest day at the Hermitage Hotel. An absolutely beautiful ride along smooth, car-less roads, through arches created by trees that were turning color as we rode by.
Thunderstorms were forecast again, and we left early to eat breakfast down the road at the golden arches. A large coffee, large OJ, Egg McMuffin, Pancakes and 3 hash browns later I was ready to go. We left in the fog, probably not the safest idea, but seemed like the right approach at the time. For some reason, I left everyone behind (must of been the 3 hash browns) for the first several miles, but then Jeff and later Joseph inevitably caught up. Jeff and I were riding fairly fast, and Joseph really had to push hard to catch up. Just as he did, Jeff flatted twice - slowing us down enough that Bill and Dave passed us. This of course meant another hard push so that we could catch them before lunch!
We didn't have much hard riding to do post lunch as we caught Bill and Dave, then rode into Nashville with them. After such a beautiful ride through the Tennessee countryside, it was strange to turn a corner and see the Nashville skyline. I then realized that this is the first city skyline I've seen since leaving SF (unless you count that Frank Lloyd Wright high-rise in Bartlesville). Dinner tonight is at our hotel restaurant, rated as one of the best in town, and I'm looking forward to a great meal. Sara - I finally found a set of scales in my room and it's confirmed - my weight hasn't moved a pound since I started. This is clear testimony to the amount and caloric density of food I have managed to shove into my mouth for the past 32 days!
After a rest day in Nashville tomorrow, we have only 6 real days of riding to go! It's pretty hard to believe, especially when I see a map of the US and see exactly where Nashville is. That said, there is still several long, 100+ mile days and much climbing to be done.