Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 8: Blacksburg, VA to Wytheville, VA (64.5 Miles)

I'm on the road again and man, does it feel good! I turned off my wrist watch alarm clock so that I could sleep in until checkout, but my eternal alarm clock kicked me out of bed by 6:00am. I spent the morning writing postcards and watching bad infomercials. After another long shower, I packed everything up and rode my wobbly bike down to East Coasters. I left my stuff there and walked over to a cafe for a morning bagel and coffee. At around noon, the new rim came in and Ian started working on attaching it to the hub they had in stock. After some stress testing, the wheel was good to go. I gave my thanks Hudson, Ian, and the rest of the friendly people at the shop and finally got back on the road at 12:30pm.

It felt great to be back on a properly functioning bike. Even though I was a day and a half behind schedule.. I felt good. The majority of the day was filled with gradual climbs up to 4,000 feet through narrow valleys. The more I ride, the more I become familiar with the road. I can tell you how different types of cement/pavement affects the ride; and I can tell you what type of road kill lies 20 yards ahead, whether it be domestic or wild, fresh or decaying, etc. - Sure it's worthless knowledge to most people, but I've put it to good use.

I stopped at a Sonic Drive-Inn for lunch. It was my first time there and I was a bit disappointed when my waitress did not arrive on roller skates. It was then when I discovered the best alternative to soda for cycling... sweet tea. It's got all the sugar you need and it doesn't dehydrate you and gives you a little caffeine boost. So, I slurped up some iced tea and gobbled down some more unhealthy food and got back on the road in no time. Riding through the afternoon heat is not desirable. Luckily, I picked a relatively cooler day to do so. After about 6 hours of riding, I pulled into a small mountain town called Wytheville. It was already getting dark, so I went over to the local police department and asked if I could set up a tent in their town park. They not only said "Yes, you can." But they also gave me a key to the bathroom, which I found to be quite disgusting... I can stomach most things, but the condition of this restroom was much akin to the jail cells during the Irish hunger strike. Ick.

Anyways, I pitched up the tent in a little spot near a creek and tried to get some shut-eye. After realizing I had set up the tent over a small tree root that enjoyed wedging itself into my back, I decided it was not worth the effort of moving the tent. Now I'm hoping the babbling brook will lull me into a deep sleep, so that I may rise early for my ride into Damascus. G'night.


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