Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Day 12: The road to Damascus

Day 12
Wytheville to Damascus 60miles
Left the motel around 8ish, with the plan of getting to Konnarock and the dentist in plenty of time.
Weather today was much nicer. A lot cooler and a little cloudy, it was even a little chilly when I set off. But much rather that than it being hot as soon as I start pedalling.

According to the maps, today was another big climb day, with the highest elevation being greater than that of the Blue Ridge Parkway. But on the plus side, there would be some big downhill sections once the climbing was done.

The first 15miles or so were fine, and I stopped at Rural Retreat for some breakfast. This was my first proper breakfast stop whilst riding. Previously places had been shut or not there anymore.

So I celebrated in style with sausage and eggs. Although americans dont seem to do sausage like we would – they always look like burgers.

The riding today was some of the most enjoyable so far. The smaller ups and downs were not too bad, and even the big climb felt more comfortable than previously. Maybe Im just getting fitter!

Decided that staying here might be a bit dangerous!

Stopped in Troutdale after the main part of the climb for a sandwich and a milkshake and then carried on up to the top. The ride down into Konnarock was great as very little pedalling was required.

Managed to find my dentist, and it seemed to go well. He was worried that the cavity was quite big and might flare up. I have some drugs to take if it happens, but fingers crossed ill be ok until I get home and can get it looked at properly.

The rest of the ride was pretty much all downhill into Damascus. And was probably my favourite bit of biking so far. It was a lovely windy road with rocks on one side and a river on the other. Could get up to some good speeds, but never felt like it was too steep and likely to get away from you like the descent down to Vesuvius. It seems that there is a trail that runs next to the main road which is popular with cyclists – but only going downhill! So I kept getting passed by vans with trailers full of bikes which people can then ride back into town.

Arrived in Damascus and found “The Place”, which is a free hostel for bikers and hikers. Its pretty basic – you just have to grab a bunk anywhere – but it had a shower and a few people there. They all seemed to be hikers though. I met one guy called Jeff, although apparently his trailname is 'Serrin'. Seems like all these walkers have these nicknames. Perhaps I should come up with my own trailname – any suggestions welcome.

Currently now in the library (which is open till 7pm tonight luckily) using their wifi. Met another hiker called Josh, or Bookworm. Guess that the library is the most likely place to meet someone with that name.

Tooth is a bit sore at the moment, but im hoping thats just because it was poked a lot today.

Tomorrow is likely to be a tough day. There are a number of very steep up and down sections. Although the campsite I am aiming for has a pool apparently! Very poor phone reception all day today, so hence why I havent been able to text people sorry!


  1. How about if the bike is Whisky (or do the Americans add an 'e'?) and Rye?
    Keep peddaling and blogging!
    Kind regards Martin

  2. sorry to hear about all the teething problems. but its best to get them all out of the way at the start and remember the alternative is nine to five in the office. look forward to speaking to you again when you get some reception.