45.20 miles (Total: 160.65) Average Speed: 12.6mph Max Speed: 31.5mph
After yesterdays false start I got up and going by 8am, I knew my bike was completely fine now it felt great and was shifting smoothly. Last night I gave it an extra special clean too, I’ve named the bike ‘Bullet’ cos it rides like one. I breezed past the place where it all went wrong yesterday and laughed. The riding all day was a combination of frequent short climbs followed by some nice long downhills. I passed through quiet countryside with pretty homes dotted along the way and some spooky abandoned buildings.
I know not to ride with my mouth open as it drys out the back of the throat but got caught out today when a bug went straight in and hit the back of my throat, after coughing it up I wasted half a bottle of water gargling. It was overcast and threatening to rain, there must have been showers during the night as patches of road were still wet. Suddently I notice what looks like bike tracks coming out of each wet section of road I’m passing. Up to now I’ve only met local cyclist, could this be my first fellow TransAm rider just up ahead? Then I get confused as there seems to be two thin tracks running only about a foot apart, perhaps they are towing their gear on a trailer like some do rather than have racks like me. I start getting excited thinking I may have a riding partner today so stand on my pedals and power out for abit.
I pass through a town called Bumpass and then stop at the store for dinner and refreshments. The shop has everything including freshly baked pepperoni pizza, I grab two slices, some Oreo ‘cakesters’ and 2 bottles of gatorade. I inhaled the first bottle of gatorade and than necked the pizza.
One young guy comes out the store and clocks my bike, he asks “How far ya taking that thang?” I’ve started to really enjoy replying ‘Oregon’ becuase they always have the same astonished reaction. His dad then rolls up and he tells him where I’m going. I ask them for advice on the next section of the route. I was on road 618 which gets to Mineral in about 8 miles but my maps tell me to take a right and cycle round Lake Anna which is 16 miles to Mineral. I was tempted by the shortcut but knew there must be a reason for the detour. They inform me alot of trucks go up and down that section of road with the logging. He then offers to put my bike in his truck and drive me to Mineral, I obviously decline saying I’ve got to cycle the WHOLE way.
The ride round Lake Anna was nice but there was still quite a few semi-trucks, I can hear the horns creeping up behind me and hug the very edge of the road trying not to go into the gravel. I had to deal with my first dogs today too some were tied up and just gave me a fright when they start barking out of nowhere but others gave chase along the front gardens of the homes they lived at. Kentucky is meant to be really bad for dogs but my experience cycling near dogs is that they just gave chase, as soon as you stop and shout ‘No’ they just stand still barking pretty much like every dog does to a stranger. There was one final nasty climb into Mineral to finish the day and I spotted the Fire Department across the street where I was hoping to stay.
I headed round the back to find 2 guys and sheepishly ask “is it ok if I stay here tonight?”. One instantly replies in the friendliest voice “sure!”. This time of year I imagine they get TransAm cyclists every couple nights. He shows me where the showers are and where I can pitch my tent. Not long after a big group of people show up on a cross Virginia ride. They have cars carrying their gear and soon set up a marquee and chairs outback after inviting me to eat with them. The food was amazing, pasta, potatoes, salad, cheese etc. We talked and drank some beer until around 9:30 when we retired to our tents. I can get used to this hospitality.