46.86 miles (Total: 342.01) Average Speed: 10.2mph Max Speed: 33.5mph
I would like to tell you I have an exciting story to bring you today but in truth it was as bland as the final destination, Daleville. It began really foggy and the road was still wet from yesterdays storms, the 76 route signs that had stopped coming into Lexington picked up again.
I was soon onto some of the quietest back country roads I have been on all trip, I could tell it was going to be a dull one from the off so pulled out the iPod and put some essential Bob Dylan on. It helped pass the first 20 miles and then I finally had some company. I spooked two deers on the field next to me and they started running parallel with me along into the forest, they then realised I was no threat and stopped to chew on some leaves a little further up.
The rest of the ride then ran alongside the interstate which wasn’t much fun, even though I had this road to myself the noise was annoying. It did have frequent services though where I could stock up on food and gatorade. I decided to treat myself to some handlebar bag snacks so picked up Hawaiian Punch jelly beans to munch on.
I continued on some fun rolling hills where I could generate enough speed going down to get me back up again as I have had a few days ago. I past through Buchanan and then Troutville which was my first option for the night, camping at the park but its Memorial weekend and it was rammed. So I pushed on another 5 miles towards Daleville. Here I had a decision to make either go another 15 miles towards Catawba or get a motel here. I knew in Catawba I could camp but tried ringing the supplied number to no answer. It wouldn’t have showers either and after spraying past some puddles early in the day I needed one. So I swallowed my pride and got a motel again, it doesn’t really make a difference as my destination for tomorrow is Radford anyway so my 2-day schedule that I keep hasn’t changed.
I do now consider a 46 mile day a short day however which suggests my saddle fitness is improving. There is no rushing Virginia, I know its one of the longest states on the trip as the route goes up and down rather than just west. There is plenty of flat farmland out in the mid-west to crank out 100+mile days. The motel has been given some life by the hordes of hikers that turned up who are on the Appalachian Trail which intersects my path for the next couple days.