27. May 2016 · Comments Off on Day 20 – May 27 – Wytheville to Afton – 164 miles · Categories: 2016 Ride

IMG_2127 250I think its time to get off the road. This morning I road out from Whytheville and got lost twice. At one point I realized I was heading back west. The sad part was I didn’t realize this for about 15 minutes when I noticed I had seen this stretch of road already.

I noticed today that lots of my clothing is wearing out and believe it or not Spandex can loose its elasticity and that is not good when you have a physique like mine!

Other than my misdirection, this morning started out in the very peaceful and pretty town of Whytheville. I had to start early to make up some miles so I headed out in a bit of fog and cool temperature.

Heather headed off to get some groceries and planned to meet me in Christiansburg for an early lunch. I proceeded to get lost one more time on my way but realized that my mistake was actually a short cut.

decoration-day-190x300I could tell the Memorial Day long weekend was coming as the roads were busy, and people were in a rush and had all sorts of camping gear and kayaks tied to their cars and trucks.

Virginians – as do Americans everywhere – dress things up for Memorial Day – formerly Decoration Day – and the town of Lexington was particularly well decorated.

Lexington is also home to the Virginia Military Institute so pageantry is part of the city. There are a lot of Confederate flags too.

The campsites along the rivers were full by about 3:00 PM and lots or folks were into serious relaxing in the shade and in the rivers to beat the heat.

The roads after Christiansburg were really nice and with a westerly breeze I cycled through more farming communities and made some good miles. It is amazing how many old farm buildings I passed that could all be turned into postcards.

IMG_2144 250The day was hot and since I was out in the open I could feel the heat. The last few days cycling under the trees in the Appalachians was much cooler.

There were some stretches along rail lines that were nice and level. I did run into my turkey vulture companion but fortunately he was busy eating something else.

There were times that it seemed like I was in Europe on the narrow roads, small farms and communities right along the road.

At a stop where I was trying to figure out where I was another cyclist stopped and told me he was a local and that I was on the right road and in fact for the next 15 miles into Lexington it was all down hill.

It was so hot that the pavement was squishy and I could feel my tires sinking in and slowing me down. I consumed two bottles of water in that short distance and the sweat was running down my glasses to the point I had to stop and clean them off as I couldn’t see.

IMG_2190 250The highlight of the day was coming over the final hill before the last couple of hundred miles of near flat terrain into Yorktown.

I didn’t get rolling on the Blue Ridge Parkway until about 6:00 PM which was okay as it was a bit cooler.

It’s a spectacular road that winds its way through the Blue Ridge Mountains down to a town called Afton.

The climbing made the downhill run well earned. The fastest speed on the trip was achieved today at 42.7 miles per hour.

Merriam’s-wild-turkey 200The road was nice and followed the contours down the mountain and there were big sweeping corners.

Some of the other hills on the trip had such tight corners that I nearly went off a couple.

Heather saw a wild turkey in the area and I can imagine it must be spectacular in the fall with all the trees turning colour.

I didn’t finish riding tonight until 7:30 PM so is was another 12-hour day.

I’m looking forward to Sunday and being able to take a day off.

I love the cycling and all of the experiences on the road but methinks it is time for a rest …

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