Days 4 (68 mi.) 5 (35mi.) 6(rest day/Lexington, VA)
On Tuesday, I left Charlottesville at 6:00 am headed from the fairly flat Tidewater district of Easter Virginia into the Appalachians. I ended up climbing for a total of seven hours in 90 degree heat - I drank almost four liters of water and sweated it out as fast as it went down. About 65 miles in, with another two hours worth of climbing to reach the crest, I thought to myself that my legs could really use some lovin about now - when I came upon a sign that advertised cabins in a resort, three miles up the road, in Love, Virginia. Really. I came upon this funky place that was just preparing for the tourist season and the owner said I could have a cabin, a shower and a sub sandwich for $60. I said, "Make it two sandwiches and you've got a deal."
Although I felt rested in the morning, I could still feel the lactic acid in my legs when I went down the stairs of the cabin - but the show must go on. I pedaled up and over the crest and down the steepest four mile downhill I've ever been on into Vesuvius, VA. The ride from Vesuvius to Lexington was laborious but stunning as you'll see below. When I reached Lex, 35 miles later, I took the first hotel I saw and my legs have been thanking me ever since.
Lexington is home to the Virginia Military College - and the entire town looks like a old military base - even the Sigma Chi House has a cannon in the front yard. Nice town. I've met a few riders along the way - Bill, a retired corrections officer, Bob from Azerbijan, a 30 year old accountant between jobs who wants to see what America is really like, and a woman (forgot her name) about my age that times her rides to get to cities and pick up her social security check. She said she loves to travel and lives off social security, so bike touring is the only way she can stay on the road for so long. I love the fact that there are so many stories out there... just waiting to be heard and appreciated.
Today, I spent the day working in a hotel in Lexington, giving my legs a much needed rest. Tomorrow morning I head out on a two day trek to Charlottesville, and then a few more days of Virginia, and into Kentucky, famous for dogs that chase bikes... which will find pepper spray if they chase me :)