Archive for October 10th, 2008

return to the land of the handtalkers

October 10, 2008

I am camping, tonight, in the backyard of the Mineral Volunteer Fire Dept. I seem to be camping next to train tracks a lot lately. My shelter at the park in Troutville had train tracks running directly behind it, and there is a very noisy train passing 30 yards from me as I write this now. If this is anything like the night in Troutville, I’ll be visited by at least two more trains before the night is through.

I got a shower here at the firestation–my first in two days (Cookie Lady’s bikehouse shower was broken), and I’m feeling refreshed, but still pretty exhausted. Not sure if it was the huge Blue Ridge day, or that I’ve now been going for eight consecutive days without a rest, but I’m a little battered and bruised.

Despite the warnings I was given by the Charlottesville locals about the strenuousness of climbing Monticello, today was a relatively easy day of cycling. I think I just need a little more rest time than I’ve been giving myself.

Luckily, after pondering over my maps some more, I determined that a far shorter route from Mineral to Fredericksburg could be found.

Enter Google Maps and their walking feature, once again, with fanfare.

Tomorrow will be a slightly less than 40-mile day of cycling instead of a slightly more than 80-mile day of cycling. I will take some time in Fredericksburg to dig the city and rest myself. Then, I will enter DC on Sunday, rested and triumphant.

I realize I may be taking more of a risk using Google’s beta walking feature nearing the metro DC area than I did in getting from St. Louis to Murphysboro. There is more traffic here in general, so a wrong road could turn out to be a nightmare.

Especially considering that I have already noted a major difference between bad drivers down here, out of the mountains, and bad drivers in the mountains: cell phones. In the mountains, it seems, cell phone coverage is not consistent enough to be conducive to a serious handtalk habit. Here, on the other hand…

I can appreciate the urge to multitask, and the way we become accustomed to such efficiencies. However, it seems to be difficult for some multitaskers to multitask my presence into their awareness.

Please, think twice before picking up the phone while driving.

D Rex


this side of the mountains

October 10, 2008

I’m stopped for lunch in Charlottesville, VA. If a ritzier college town than this exists, I don’t want to know about it. It’s cute and quaint, but everything looks very expensive.

Had a solid night of sleep at the Cookie Lady’s, and got back on the road just after 8 this morning. My muscles are pretty sore though, from yesterday’s strain.

I wasn’t sure how intense the climb up to the Parkway would really be, so when I pulled up to Vesuvius just before 3pm, I decided to go for it. Several stops to stretch, refresh myself, and breathe later, I made it onto the Parkway. The Parkway itself was no cakewalk, and I began to regret not stopping for extra water before the ascent, because there weren’t any service stops up there either. But, for the most part, I took it in stride, and laughed at myself for grumbling in such beautiful surroundings. I probably would have enjoyed the Blue Ridge more if I had camped in Vesuvius, but I wouldn’t have slept as well. Win some, lose some.

I didn’t have much energy for talking after I reached the Cookie Lady’s either. Fortunately, she was happy to let me rest as she carried on the conversation. She was very nice and welcoming. She told me that she considers the cyclists who pass through her family. I have to admit though, that I felt a little sorry for her being all alone in her house in little Afton. I was glad I was able to provide her what little company I could.

It’s a little more than 50 miles to Mineral, my planned stop this evening. A little more than 80 to Fredericksburg, my planned stop for tomorrow. Then a little more than 80 to Arlington Memorial Bridge on Sunday.

DC folks: looks like I’ll be rolling in late Sunday afternoon.