Steve O, Mark C and John S traveled to WV to participate in the"Ride for a Reason" century ride, originating out of Wheeling. For Mark, it was a chance to show his two buddies his roots so he forced them to drive with him early Friday morning so he would have plenty of time to show off his old stoomping grounds. Here was the house in which it all started for our beloved Mark C.
Early in his childhood, the family won a small lottery and moved to a place overlooking the river. Because it was in a flood plain, they wisely put the abode on stilts.
Then, when Mark was 16, his father stumbled upon a corn mash making operation in the woods at exactly the same time the Feds raided the place and Mark's father was accidently shot in the leg. As part of the settlement process, Mark and his family made enough they were able to buy a nicer house. Anyway, I turn it over to Steve to describe the rest of the journey.
On friday Mark took me for a ride from his parents past his boyhood homes and his sisters house. We rode about 67 miles total and there is not a flat area around the area his parents live but we took it easy. The worst part was that his mom had a feast prepared for us just before and it took the whole ride for me to digest it! (but her cooking is beyond outstanding!) Here is a pic of the home Mark lived in from the time he was 16 (he can tell you some stories about all his antics in the neighborhood!)
We continued on and we got to his sisters house. Now I understand Mark a little better and where he gets his competitive spirit. His sisters "stage name" is Jillian Michaels and she will kick your butt at anything!!!
Here is a pic of the results of Mark C. stop sign jumping at it's finest! We left an hour after most of the other century riders and Mark had heard we were catching them. Of course he set forth with new resolve after he heard that and at one point blew through a stop sign ignoring the "wide load" truck that would put the fear of God in any sane man! Mark didn't flich but the trucker did!!! We heard that it delayed everyone behind us the rest of the day...
When we came to the second to the last aid station, we learned that the lead groups were only about 10 minutes ahead. We left with a new determination that we may be able to catch them. Going down a descent Mark was once again going with reckless abandon. John and I were much more cautious and as we all know the more cautious one is, the greater chance of something happening and John hit something that made him flat immediately. The attached pic shows how many it takes to change a flat (when I had mine a few weeks ago it only took Mitch and I).