Charlottesville to Afton – 30ish miles
Today was a shorter day to the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains. I planned to set off at 9am, but as I was packing my stuff up I noticed a weird looking two person bike in the car park.
|Wenlock clearly fancies a new ride|
Turns out it was owned by Pierce and his son Nash, who were using it to do the TransAm route as a science project/environmental exhibition. Pierce is a journalist and is trying to show how much can be achieved by using a 100watt motor. They have a small motor as well as pedal power. As we were chatting the old and young Daves also appeared – turns out they were also in the same motel!
We had a char for a while, and Pierce was telling us about some of the problems he was having with his bike. Apparently when taking tight turns there is a lot of sideward pressure on the spokes as the wheels cant bank like on a normal bike. He had been told by Blue Wheel bike shop that they could snap attempting the descent from the Blue ridge parkway!You can follow their progress as onebulbtour.com
Eventually set off around 10 and straight away felt my legs were going to struggle today! Quite quickly passed a road sign which made me think I was home already – although not quite!
|So near, yet so far...|
Was a tough ride, with lots of ups and downs. Stopped whenever there was a store, and usually ended up drinking lots of gatorade!
Posted my first postcard and then made slow progress to Afton. The final climb was a real killer.
In Afton there is the TransAmerica legend that is the June Curry – the Cookie Lady.
June has a house that she lets cyclists stay at for free. I was the first to arrive today, so went to get the key. Ended up chatting to June for almost an hour – she was telling me about some smuggling that was going on up in the mountains!
When I got into the house, it was filled with cycling memorabilia and postcards to June from grateful cyclists – I will definitely be sending her one when I get home! It also featured a fully stocked food cupboard, a fridge with a few bits in and everything you would need for a first aid kit.
June is clearly one of the world's good people.
Had a shower and then Dave, Dave and Brad arrived. We all had a bit of a sit down and then cooked various bits for dinner – I went for a chicken pasta soup thing which was pretty filling.
Also finished my first book, which I left in the house for other cyclists to take if they wanted.
Brad was having trouble with his Achilles, so him and his dad were planning on having a day off in the house to let him recover. Me and younger Dave agreed to get up early and hit the hill! I really wasnt looking forward to it!