Day 4 Wednesday May 25, 2005, 51 miles (82 km) – Total so far: 204 miles (328 km)
51.1 Miles and Pedal time: 4 hours 40 minutes
I woke up at 7am cooked some oatmeal and cleaned up the cottage. The lady at the campsite gave me a free cup of coffee. I left the campsite around 8:30. It wasn’t raining but it was cold and cloudy. I rode through the town of Ashland; it’s a really cute place. I found the library but they weren’t open yet and I didn’t feel like waiting 20 minutes.
I saw a lot of horses and cows today. There were some very steep hills this morning. Luckily they weren’t that long. Some of the down hills were steep and windy felt like a rollercoaster ride. I love climbing hills on my bicycle. I think that riding the track bike has made me a stronger hill climber.
Several dogs charged at me today, I just stopped in my tracks and let them bark at me. Luckily I didn’t have to use the pepper spray.
I stopped at this creepy burnt down abandoned house. A lot of the stuff inside the house was intact and I could see the clothes hanging up inside the closet. I took a couple of pictures.
Around 11am, I stopped to use the urination station and I put my headphones on my handlebars and when I got back on my bike I wasn’t paying attention and I swung my handlebars straight and I snapped my headphones in half. I tried to fix them but they are unfixable. Hopefully in the next couple of days I can find a place to purchase a pair of headphones. Probably in Charlottesville that is the next big place that I’m going to pass through.
I rode past Patrick Henry’s house but didn’t stop because I was trying to beat the rain and I was upset about my headphones. I felt like that guy from that twilight zone episode who loved to read books and after he survived the big earthquake that destroyed everyone and everything, he was so excited to get some reading done and have no one bother him he accidentally dropped his glasses, broke them and couldn’t see.
At 12:30 I stopped at a country store in the middle of nowhere. The lady working at the country store was so happy to see me. She made me a sandwich, showed me where the bathroom was and let me fill up my water bottles from the sink. She handed me a notebook that she was having all the traveling cyclist sign as they stopped out her store. I learned there are several people riding 2 or 3 days ahead of me on the trail.
I started talking to the lady at the store and it turns out she is from the same exact town in Long Island that I’m currently living in. She told me exactly where her house is and I was like ‘Oh I ride my bike past there every day on my way to school!’ and her husband actually took some classes at my college. She had just taken over that country store in April and had no idea it was on the Trans Am. Eventually she is going to setup showers in the back and let cyclists’ camp on the property behind the store.
I felt good after talking to that nice lady from the store. I rode pretty hard for the rest of the day. The hills picked up but I loved it. I skipped out on Lake Anna. I wanted to ride further so I rode into a small town called Mineral. On the maps it said the Fire Department allows free camping. When I found the fire department they were having their annual carnival behind the building. It started to rain as soon as I rode up. The fire captain showed me where the showers were and where I could stay inside the fire station.
I washed up and went for some BBQ across the street. It was pretty good. While I was eating BBQ, I learned that Tabasco sauce takes 3 years to make. I went back to the fire house and took a nap then grabbed an ice cream across the street from the BBQ place. I don’t think the carnival was going on tonight because of the rain. That sucks because their all setup and ready to party.
I’ve been looking at my maps and I think tomorrow I can make it to Charlottesville. If I don’t have time to visit Monticello tomorrow I’ll visit it on Friday morning. I’m hoping on Friday I can end my day at June Curry’s house. (A.k.a the cookie lady) June Curry let cyclist camp all over her property in 1976 the first time the Trans Am was ridden. Since then she has given cyclist a place to stay every summer. I read a lot about her when researching the Trans Am and everyone speaks very highly of her.
I’m tired. I haven’t had an afternoon cup of coffee in a few days. Hopefully I can find a library tomorrow.