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 my 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 climb 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

At Ravens Roost Overlook

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 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 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 got faster. 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 started to bandage my wounds by first using cleansing wipes to clean the wounds, then applying antibiotic ointment, then putting 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, and they were painful as I held the handlebar for the ride down the rest of the mountain.

As I rode along the river on bicycle Route 76, 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 to stay instead of Vesuvius since Bob had dropped me off deeper into the mountains earlier in the day.

Riding along the river

I decided to try and use someone’s internet if I knock on the doors of one of the local residents. Luckily, the first door I knocked was at a house that's owned by a gentleman named Mike. He had a thick southern accent and was really nice. He 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 riding.

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.

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.

Last night, my wrists were hurting so I couldn’t move much. This morning, I took some ibuprofen and 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. Dirk also gave me some life advice, 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.