Today’s mileage: 53.8
Total mileage: 115.8
What a day! We woke up and packed up our stuff, ate breakfast, and cleaned up the church a bit. Before leaving, we made sure to sign the church biker guest book. It was neat looking at what people wrote. There were people from the UK and some honeymooners (what a cool honeymoon!!) who are riding the TransAm and had signed the book just a couple of days before! Maybe we will run into them.
The church is a very popular place for bikers to stay. Their whole entrance to the church is designated for bikers: the guest book, Adventure Cycling Association magazines, rules for bikers staying the night, and even pictures on the wall!
After we left, we even passed a church sign down the road geared towards bikers (see what I did there?). 😂
So, it didn’t take too terribly long for the day to get interesting. Before explaining, just know that we are using the Adventure Cycling Association maps for our trip. The reason we are using the maps instead of a gps is because we don’t want to run our phone battery down, because if we run our phone battery down, we would have to charge it. We will be doing a lot of camping, so I have to charge my electronics with an external battery charger, which I also use to charge my light that flashes on the back of my bike, and my gps that we only use to track mileage with. Plus the maps have tons of details regarding places to stay, people to call, elevation information, and even climate information.
*Somebody* (me) didn’t play close enough attention to the map today, and at some point we missed our turn. We ended up riding below our route towards Richmond, VA, which is the capital of Virginia and a pretty large city…one you don’t really want to ride your bike through.
I thought this sign was very fitting to our situation:
We stayed on the outskirts of the city and made our way north back to the TransAm route. It was about like riding through Murray or Paducah for half the day. There was a ton of traffic, although the picture below doesn’t show it. It was mentally draining riding through such a busy town, but we made it out of town safely.
Before leaving town, we stopped at Wendy’s and grabbed some food. We had to eat our food outside with our bikes because there wasn’t a place to lock them up…and ya know, we kind of need them. 😂
As we were getting outside of town, we turned down a road that was closed and hoped we could make it through. Two road cyclists stopped to talk to us for a minute and they rode ahead to make sure it was open. They said if it was closed they would ride back and tell us.
They didn’t come back 😊.
A little while later, we stopped at CVS to get a Gatorade. My parents were headed home from the weekend and so they stopped by one last time!
By the way, I have several people live tracking my ride via my gps. I actually had a friend check up on me today when I was stopped at CVS. They had seen that I had stopped for a bit and wanted to make sure I was ok. It’s so amazing to have such good friends watching out for me!! I can’t get over it!! 😊💚
After we left CVS, a pretty long train passed by, so we had to get a picture!
Aa we continued on, the terrain started to change. We went from being in a city all day to bring out in the middle of nowhere…and it started to rain.
The roads were slick with water and loose gravel, so we tried to be cautious on our descents. We are in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so we started seeing some steep little hills today.
The streams flowing alongside the road were flooding. Bad.
After studying the map for a bit, we knew our goal location for tonight wasn’t a good or safe place to stay. It was near a larger stream and a lake. We didn’t want to chance getting there and the area being flooded. If that were the case, we would have had to ride in the dark to the next town.
As we were riding, I just happened to see a pavilion on a hill located just off the road next to a softball field. We weighed our options and decided to stay at the pavilion and get up early in the morning to make up the 15 miles we didn’t get.
Stealth camping it is.
I put on some dry clothes and laid my wet ones out to dry. Hopefully they will be dry in the morning.
But, if they’re not dry, it’s no big deal. It’s going to rain all day tomorrow too. 😂