Christiansburg to Wytheville 55 miles
Woke up at 7, faffed around for a bit, and finally left around 8.15ish. For some reason my saddle had slipped down (presumbly when I had the bike upsidedown to clean it yesterday), so I quickly had to raise it up again.
Altough sunny, the weather was definitely cooler than some of the previous days, which made for pleasant riding. Soon turned on to route 666 – truly the road to hell!
As ever, the trail was up and down, although perhaps not quite so much as previous days. Got to Draper, which was around 30 miles, and stopped for a quick break.
As I was waiting, I saw a cyclist coming in the other direction, and called out to say hello. He came over and we had a nice chat. Ed was a 49 year old from Reno, who set out on theWestern Express route and then joined the TransAm. The Western Express route starts in California on the coast and heads in a pretty much straight easterly direction, arrivign at Pueblo Colorado, where riders can then join the TransAm. Its almost 500miles shorter than doing the TransAmerica route, but the downside is that you have to ride through the desert basin in the SW of the country. Ed had started in April, so it was probably cool enough then. Dave and Brad who I had met were planning on doing this route and then should be hitting the desert in July – lovely!
It was nice to swap route tips and places to stay with someone. Ed confirmed that the Appalachians are the hardest part of the ride. In fact he said he had managed a few 100+mile days on the flat sections, including one of 140miles! I warned him about the climb he faces from Vesuvius up to the Blue ridge parkway, and he pointed out a couple of nasty climbs I'll have to tackle.
What amazed me most was how little kit he had. Just two panniers which didnt look that full and a tent. Makes me think I should probably have another purge soon!
Set off again and rode until about 1, when I came across a restaurant. The road today pretty much ran parallel to the much busier Interstate road, so this whole area with the restaurant appeared to be like a motorway service station in the UK. Had some lunch and then set off again.
The amount of cloud cover was much greater today, although usually here that tends to mean one thing: thunder!
The closer I got to Wytheville, the greyer the skies got until they opened up. It was certainly a change to be riding in the rain as opposed to the the heat. And even though I got pretty soaked, it wasnt even slightly cold. Actually it was quite refreshing really. The only problem I could see would be if there was likelihood of thunder and lightening. Although I heard a few distance rumbles today, there wasnt too much.
|Getting a bit murky by this point|
Overall, another reasonable successful day. Its weird to think that in terms of time, if not distance, Im already over 10% of the way through. Its gone pretty quickly really. Odometer says 445miles, but that includes detours and cycling around looking for places to stay.
And have a few random photos from today for good measure!