Day 16: Charlottesville to Lexington

Yesterday morning, Sarah made a huge breakfast consisted of bacon, bagels, and fruits. I also made some fried eggs. It was the biggest breakfast I’ve had on this trip. After eating, we put the bike in Bob’s Ford Explorer and I said farewell to Sarah.

Bob and I headed out to the Blue Ridge Parkway around 11 AM. Once we got to the top the heavy fog set in. Bob wanted to drive me up the mountain because of the steep hill that I’ll have to ride if I was on my bike. I really appreciated that, but at the same time I thought I might be cheating, such as the time when I took the light rail from Hunt Valley to BWI. Then I thought about what Tim, the young guy who rode his bike around the world, had said, "It’s about the adventure.”

Up the foggy mountain

When we got to the top, Bob dropped me off at Ravens Roost Overlook. After we bid farewell and I saw Bob drove back, the fog magically lifted. I rode on the Blue Ridge Parkway for some time, often stopping to admire the magnificent views.

Magnificent view of the mountains

There were still hills going up and down. I saw more bicyclists. They were either training for something or they were just riding for the day.

Finally, I reached a point where the hills started to descend. I was going about 25 to 30 mph down the hills. I knew I might be going too fast when I realized my turning radius has to be bigger as my speed increased. On a treacherous bend where the road was turning left and I was trying to turn with the road, my bike sled on the gravel and I fell with my hands sliding across the ground.

One of many injuries during the wipeout

My body was in shock for awhile. I used cleansing wipes to clean the wounds, then applied antibiotic ointment, then put on Band-Aids. I ended up using all of my Band-Aids and I didn’t have enough large pieces to cover all my wounds. My wrists hurt the most since I landed using my hands. They were painful as I held the handlebar for the ride down the rest of the mountain.

As I rode along the river the view was very scenic. There were no cell phone signals, however, and I didn’t write down my Warmshowers host’s address so I had no clue where he lives. All I knew was that he lives near the town of Lexington, which I decided over Vesuvius since Bob had dropped me off deeper into the mountains earlier in the day.

Riding along the river

I decided to knock on the doors of one of the local residents to see I can use their internet. Luckily, someone was in the house on the first door I knocked on. The man who opened the door was named Mike. He had a thick southern accent and allowed me to search for my host’s address using his slow but working internet. Once I found the address I thanked him and continued my ride.

I stopped by the only store I saw, the South River Market, and bought a box of Band-Aids. Then I followed the road all the way to my host, Dirk’s place, which was right on the bicycle route.

Dirk was fixing his lawnmower when I pulled in. We chatted for awhile and Dirk offered me some first aid so I can bandage the other large wounds. Dirk also made dinner, consisted of sausages, salad, and potato paddies. As we were eating, Chrissy, Dirk’s wife, came back. We finished our dinner together over conversations about Warmshowers and various guest they've hosted.

I wasn’t able to help out with the dishes since my fingers were bandaged up. I ended up going to bed at 10:30 PM.

That night, my wrists were hurting so bad that I couldn’t move much. When the morning came, I took some ibuprofen and anti-allergy pills. Chrissy made pancakes, bacon, and strawberries for breakfast. Her coffee was so good that it’s the best coffee I’ve tasted on my trip so far. I asked Dirk and Chrissy for some life advice. They told me to be active in life and do what you want without worrying about what people think of you.

Dirk and Chrissy, along with their Dog, Roxy

Today, I think I will only ride 15 to 20 miles due to my injuries. I hope to stay with a Warmshowers host at Natural Bridge.