Tuesday May 19, 2009, 57 miles (92 km) – Total so far: 370 miles (595 km)
Today started out cold. It was 34 degrees when I crawled outside at 8:30. I thought that was cold, Ted and Lisa (the Hawaiians) were appalled! We took out time getting rolling, hoping it would warm up. It sorta worked – it was up to 50 degrees when we started rolling.
The first 4 miles were down the banks of the South River, and I started thinking we were gonna roll. That lasted until we turned up a hill toward Lexington, VA. I had no energy, or power, or anything to keep me going. Somehow made it into Lexington (home of two colleges – look up the Battle of Lexington sometime if you want to read a really sad story). We had a nice lunch, and started out again. The lunch didn’t particularly help my energy level.
When I was a boy, Dad would drive us through this area, usually at 2:00 am or so, to try to avoid traffic. As I got older, our annual trips took the new Interstate 81, and I remember this area as “those hills north of Roanoke.” Now I have a new outlook: “Those beautiful, interminable rolling hills north of Roanoke.” I missed a couple of good pictures of neat waterfalls and the brook we followed south of Lexington, because when you finally get rolling downhill, who wants to stop? Virginia was riding strongly, and every so often she’d stop and wait for me to catch up with her.
Finally we made it past Natural Bridge and into Buchanan. Well, Buchanan is having a crisis – their water is contaminated – and the price gougers are out. Can you believe $9 for a gallon of bottled water from the Exxon station as you come into town? I’d rather pay for a banana, a V-8, and an order of salt with French fries on the side. We kept rolling.
After all that salt, I was able to pedal, albeit slowly. We followed the rail line almost all the way into Troutville. A zig and a zag, we got onto US 11 and cruised right through town. An ACA leader saw us coming, and gave us directions to the hotel and restaurant area.
I’ve had a good meal, and I’m ready to hit the sack and try again tomorrow. Does that make me stubborn, stupid, dedicated, or all of the above?