Posted by: rustymccain | July 26, 2011

Kicking Ashland!

Last night we stayed adjacent to the campus of the University of Virginia. Charlottesville is a special town for me. If I could choose one historical figure with whom to have dinner, Thomas Jefferson would certainly be in the running for that choice. And to be in the town where “his” university is and near his home was a treat.

George Rogers Clark near UVA

Obviously, we are in a historic area, so today we took what seemed another history tour on bicycles. I am including a picture of a statue commemorating George Rogers Clark. Convoluted thinking, but we think it is appropriate that we are near the finish and see a statue of the father of William Clark, of Lewis and Clark. For those of you who have followed our adventure, our first escapade was to Meriwether Lewis Park on the Natchez Trace. Fitting to us that we have that connection near the end of our ride.

The weather has become a “hot” topic of conversation in the last few weeks. From Kansas until today, just about everyone we have talked to has mentioned the weather. Just about all of the conversations end with something like, “This is the hottest summer we have ever had!”. Generally, people are very friendly, but they think we are nuts for being out in this heat. Today was no different as no less than 5 people expressed that sentiment on some part of our ride. We are beginning to side with their evaluation of us!

Near Charlottesville, VA

Today we started heading southeast. We had a bit of a hectic time getting out of Charlottesville, but soon we were on the rolling hills and making progress. We are dead tired but otherwise in pretty good shape. My buttitis has gotten somewhat better. By the way, for those who are interested, I got some samples of Chamois Cream from Britton at Gran Fondo. The brand name is Enzo’s Button Hole. It is a good chamois cream that has a touch of menthol. The first time I tried it the menthol gave me a bit of a “hello!”, but it has turned out to be a very good product. My butt and I agree that we would both recommend it.

Buttitis aside, we made good progress this morning despite the heat. Ray did make a good friend, but we never got his name, so Ray called him, “Highway”. I took a picture of him and Ray at a store. I think they got along well because Highway was old and friendly. Note, I did not say “also” to end that sentence. I am just saying there was a reason they got along well.

Ray and Highway

Later in the ride, we passed several old farms and churches. I was really thinking a lot as we rode today of how things must have been for folks when those farms and churches were first established. Then we rode by Scotchtown. Scotchtown is the house that was once owned by Patrick Henry and was the place where he lived when he made his famous quote, “Give me liberty or give me a at least a new bicycle!” Of course, Mr. Jefferson didn’t think that was dramatic enough, so I think they changed the final draft to something else.

Riding near Ashland, VA

Later, we cruised into Ashland, VA, home of Randolph-Macon College, where we will spend our last night before Yorktown. We are really excited that we have made it this far. Tomorrow, we do our final long ride. We think it will be about 100 miles from here to the official finish at Yorktown, VA. We plan to ride at a leisurely pace as the jerseys have all been decided. Ray has snared the White jersey of best young rider and the Green jersey for sprinters. I have secured the Polka Dot for mountains and we are tied for the Yellow. We have a gentleman’s agreement that we will share the yellow and cross the finish line together tomorrow. The next day, we will take the ceremonial ferry and ride to the Atlantic.

Wish us luck as we try to wrap up this great adventure!


  1. Mary Ann and I are looking forward to the official presentation of the jerseys. I have always wanted to be a “podium girl” and it looks like this is my big opportunity. We are very proud of both of you and look forward to seeing you tomorrow to celebrate your great journey.

  2. Great job. I am happy for both of you. Thanks for the write ups. Now, get this thing done and in the books. 🙂

  3. It was truly a pleasure for my wife and I to have met both of you last Monday morning (at beakfast) in Lexington. We wondered during the ensuing day and night if you made it to Charlottsville (you did) and whether you will succeed to meeting with your wives (you will). As a pastor, I felt it my honor to at least pray for your successful completion. If you are ever in SE Ohio, come and see us. Looking forward to reading the book.

  4. Rusty..i’ve enjoyed reading your blog. Congrats to you and Ray on completing your coast to coast ride! I’m glad i got to experience this adventure through your blog. I can tell by your writings your friendship with Ray is “priceless”. Safe travels to you all back to Nashville!

  5. You guys have done an awesome job and provided so much inspiration/entertainment for me reading it. I’m traveling cross-country west to east (by car-moving a child) and have thought of you often and what you’ve accomplished. Great job and enjoy your big finish! Congratulations!

  6. Have a great last “stage” in your Tour de USA. I just love Gale’s suggestion of her being a podium girl. That is awesome. It was great talking to you last night as well Ray. The R&R Express has one more day to impress. Go and have a good one.

  7. That should be Gail, but my iPhone automatic editor does some weird things. Have a great last ride to the Atlantic Ocean! Melonie and I are very excited for you both.

  8. I’m sorry we can’t be there, but mom and I will be thinking of you when Mary Ann meets you at the finish line.

  9. Fabulous writing and a fabulous adventure! Congratulations to you both. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  10. I am honored to have met 2 of the most inspirational people ever! It seems like such a short time ago that you started (surely not to you however). You realize that Nashville will be too small for you to ride now, but I’m sure the next big adventure is clicking somewhere in the back of your heads. Scrunch some sand between your toes for all your fans!

  11. We congratulate you both!!!! Ezie and I
    have enjoyed reading daily! What fun that you have shared these adventures with us all!:)

  12. I’m going to miss checking in with you guys every morning! So excited for you to finish this amazing journey. xoxo

  13. Good going guys. I looks like we are about four days behind you. But before we get there, we want to learn some of the history you have been talking about. We can’t believe it’s about over. There have been a lot of miles in the saddle since we first met outside of Fair Play, CA. Do you remember Carson Pass?
    Blessings on your recovery.

    Phil, Dave and Pete

  14. Just got to read your Kicking Ashland blog. So glad you are both safe and all in one piece. I was really worried about your dealing with the heat, but didn’t want to discourage by telling you how hot it was everywhere’ Sounds like a Mom doesn’t it. You both certainly deserve the yellow jersey, plus you’re a lot cuter than Kadel Evans. His last time trial was described by sportswriter Jason Gay as looking like Yogi Berra stomping grapes, but he knocked Andy off the podium. You guys did your own Tour de America and we in the hinterlands are darn proud of you. Can’t wait for the book.

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