Day 5: Bottoms Up Charlottesville

53.20 miles (Total: 213.86) Average Speed: 12.4mph Max Speed: 35.5mph

A freight train passed through Mineral about 5am. Despite sleeping soundly on the mat in my tent I couldn’t get back to sleep so I eventually packed up and got going by 7am. I stopped at the station for a delicious egg & bacon sandwich on the chunkiest bread I’ve ever seen. As soon as I was riding it started to rain for the first time on the trip. Most of my stuff is waterproof and I had my jacket on so kept on riding, as I keep saying its humid so I’m never cold.

The climbing increased again today, but I don’t mind because the downhills that follow have been too much fun. There are lots of rolling hills where I can almost generate enough speed on the way down to get back up, I even hit a new max speed for the trip of 35.5mph! The only town along the route today was Palmyra where I stopped for food and refreshments but I was motivated again by the thought of a motel room in Charlottesville so didn’t hang around.

When this happened I heard the voice of Track & Field say "New World Record!"

Charlottesville is actually one of the biggest places on the trip being the home of University of Virginia. It was a horrible climb into the city from the welcome sign, I had to go almost the whole way in my granny gear. When I made it though it was worth it, college bars and quirky food places dotted along main street and a beautiful campus. Not to mention everybody was around my age, it made a nice change to be back in a busy town.

After washing up in my room at the Red Roof Inn I headed back out to the Mellow Mushroom bar just next to where I was staying. I’ve only read great things about this place from other cyclists that pass through. I had an amazing Mighty Meat pizza whilst sat at the bar sampling some of the incredible range of micro brews they offer.

The bartender Adam was really cool and we chatted a little along with the other faces around the bar. I did my best to get them enthusiastic about the forthcoming World Cup but the fact the US were playing a friendly against Czech Republic on the screens and were getting beat 4-2 didn’t help. Having only had maybe a bottle or 2 of beer for the past couple of weeks I felt these tonight. My favourite was the Drifter Pale Ale from Oregon which I found fitting being my destination. Adam then offered everyone round the bar a free shot. It was a great night but I had to stop there before I went from tipsy to drunk.

Blurry Adam, I blame the low light not the drink.

Tomorrow I will only be going around 25 miles to the cookie lady house, a women that has let cyclists stay in a bike house next to her home since the trail started in ’76. I probably won’t have wifi for about 3 days now though so updates may be slow.

12 Replies to “Day 5: Bottoms Up Charlottesville”

  1. “The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us” – Very fitting

    Like the sound of cookie lady. I can imagine you being an old cookie man one day over in the US once your old n grey! haha!

  2. Hi Rye,glad things going well for you,Charlottesville sounds a really nice place, your room looks comfy at least you should get a good nights sleep ,looking forward to hearing about the cookie lady house, enjoying the updates&pics,keep up the good work luv mum xx

  3. Hey,

    When amy first said u were doing this i thought u were mad….. but looks like ur having a great time (infact i’m alot jealous!!….apart from the cyclying part…that looks way too hard!!!) i think me and ames should have come along in a car and followed u incase of any bike related disasters!!! Anyways ur doing really well….. can’t wait for the next blog update!! Hol x PS has ur sis spoke to u about stranger danger? lol!

  4. Hello mate, look’s like I’m the first today to say well done and I hope your safe and sound, I see you have added me on Skype…. great I look forward to chatting to you when you should get the chance. Does your route take you into Montana… its only around 500km, 8 hours drive, might pop and say hello lol.

    Well stay safe and keep up the good work.

  5. hiya rye,it just gets better and better.love the name of the pub”mushroom bar”and a micro brewery, sounds like heaven to me.Look forward to your next blog.Take it easy

  6. Hey Guys,
    Thanks for these comments, really needed them to pick me up when I found wifi after an exhausting Day 7.

    @Craig, Yeah I will be going to Missoula, Montana.

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