Day 8 - Monday, 7/7/97, 5:11pm
47.48 Miles; about 9 hours
On-bike time: 4 hours, 32 minutes
Avg speed: 10.48 mph
Max speed: 41.9 mph
This morning Ben and I got an early start pedaling away from the Best
Western in Lexington at 5:13 a.m.. It had rained lightly before dawn and
the morning air was fresh and cool.
The morning portion of our ride was fairly unremarkable, although we
did ride down near beautiful Broad Creek.
As we rode, we passed some fairly high mountains on our right.
We rode until 8:00 a.m. before our first rest stop. We parked in front
of a beautiful Bed and Breakfast called the Red Mill Inn. Across the street
the "Red Mill" overlooked Cedar Creek. It was very tranquil and
I would love to come back to stay for a night or two!
The route seemed to go gradually uphill most of the morning. This can
be very tiring, especially towing a heavy trailer. Along F054 we encountered
some huge roller coaster hills. We managed to pedal madly downhill and
shift just right uphill making it over all four of the seemingly impossible
Just after the fourth and final hill we saw a man on a recumbent bike
heading toward us! Mr. Albert "Albee" Mitchel had traveled by
himself all the way from his home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He was riding
an Easy Racer Gold Rush recumbent with a Zzipper fairing just like ours.
It was so exciting for us to meet another recumbent rider on the trail,
and by the happy smile on Albee’s face, it was clear he was excited too.
In fact, Albee told us we were the first ‘bent he’d seen since Wyoming!
Albee told us he is a construction and demolition worker and lives half
the year in Wyoming and half the year in New York. We shared advice from
the eastern part of the trail and he gave us tips for the Western portion.
We were lucky to have met Albee since he left the TransAmerica trail when
he entered Virginia. He felt that the narrow, winding roads were dangerous
and he prefers to stay on State roads. When it came time to say goodbye,
I think we were all a bit sad.
Around 10:00 a.m. we reached Buchanan and stopped at the post office
to mail some more things we found in the trailer that we really didn’t
The rest of the trip to Troutville seemed to take forever! I am fairly
positive that we rode uphill the entire way. The hardest part about this
portion of the ride was that the incline was so subtle we didn’t want to
get off and push, but it just kept going up! Around every bend I craned
my neck to see whether or not the road continued up, and it always did.
We really tested our endurance today. We did take a few breaks along the
way and spent some time sitting by Mill Creek, but we didn’t need to push
the bike at all from Buchanan to Troutville.
Tonight we are staying in the Troutville Park. It is a very clean,
well landscaped park with toilet facilities, covered eating area, and plenty
of green grass to pitch our tent on. We definitely need to get a good night’s
sleep since tomorrow’s route looks awfully challenging!