Days 18 and 19: Natural Bridge to Catawba, then to Christiansburg

Yesterday morning, Wendy and Mike made pancakes, biscuits, and sausages for breakfast. I’m so lucky that all of my hosts are great cooks! I packed up my things soon after the meal and said goodbye to Doug, Barbara, Mike, and Wendy. I started my ride at 9:15 AM.

Riding along the highway

Lunch in Buchanan

For the beginning of my route, I rode along the local road that paralleled highway 81. There were a lot of hills throughout my day. By 11 AM or so, I reached Buchanan. It was a little early for lunch, but looking at the map who knows where the next restaurant will be, so I decided to eat some fried chicken and mashed potatoes at the only restaurant in town, the Buchanan Fountain and Grill. The people there were very nice to me as I enjoyed my meal outside in the sun.

I must have stayed there for over an hour just relaxing. The next few days are supposed to be just as nice with temperature between 60s and 80s. When I got on the road again, I was met with more hills. I rode along the train tracks for a while before arriving in Troutville.

Along the railroad tracks

I had planned on staying there for the night but since I was ahead of schedule I decided to ride on. In Daleville, not too far from Troutville, I decided to have an early dinner at Papa John’s. I ordered a ten inch pizza pie with the meatiest toppings I can get, but there were no seating in Papa John’s. Instead, I went next door to Subway and bought a cookie so I can eat my pizza there.

Devoured the whole thing!

Planning on staying at the Four Pines Hostel in Catawba, I got on the road around 4:30 PM. The ride, however, was hilly again. I can’t stand riding up hills! The scenery, however, was great as the sun was going down, but I was getting tired. By the time I reached Catawba, I rode over 50 miles for the third time during this trip. I decided to camp behind a recreational park on the side of the road instead of riding three more miles to the hostel.

Beautiful afternoon

Hawk sightings


Sunrise over Catawba

This morning I was awoken by the birds chirping at 6 AM, before the sunrise. I had no internet last night or this morning so I couldn’t write my post. When I was riding along the road, I heard someone saying hi to me. As it turned out, it was a young man riding his bicycle across the country, too. His name is Dan Ahn and he’s only 24 years old. He had stayed with Dirk back in Lexington the day after I did. We talked while we rode our bikes for about five to ten miles before we had to split. Dan was going to Blacksburg and I was heading toward Christiansburg. I wished him good luck and maybe we’ll see each other again, even though he is trying to do 75 miles per day. His website is

Dan, the youngest cross country cyclist I've met so far

I arrived in Christiansburg around noon. There aren’t many family restaurants that are open right now, so I ate two burgers at Burger King. The hosts whom I requested to stay with in Radford couldn’t host me tonight, so I reached out to another one. I hope I can find a host to rest my bones tonight.

Main Street in Christiansburg