Bicycle Route 76

30Oct09

We left Lexington, Virginia escorted by John Friedrichs.  He is the first person to ride with us and we enjoyed some lovely roads on Bicycle Route 76 with him for 16 miles!  It was nice to have another person with us, especially someone so knowledgeable in the area.  John is a stone mason as well and pointed out railroad abutments and more.  We posed for a group photo before John left us.

Bryan, Debi and John

We bike about 35 miles Wednesday into Lithia, Virginia. We camped outside some abandoned homes and put our tent next to some ancient refrigerators in the woods.  Ghetto camping at it’s finest.  We left Lithia Thursday morning and continued on Bicycle Route 76, it’s also known as the TransAmerica Bike Route.  It’s a relaxing route to ride as it’s labeled well, so we don’t have to think too much about each and every turn.  The route rolled up and down through the countryside. Eventually we started to get frustrated with the amount of truck traffic but then we realized that we were approaching a giant cement plant that apparently owns over 200,000 acres of land!

Thanks for the sign Roanoke Cement, although I question your hierarchy of things to watch out for.  Tractor, deer, then cyclists?!  That is one fast looking deer.

Bicycle Route 76 stayed rather chill most of the day. It was mostly farm, after farm, after farm.

Leaves are still on the trees

Everything was going peachy until about 3pm when we noticed a steady pick up in traffic.  Now, this isn’t unusual with schools schedules and people going home from work, but this traffic was especially rushed and inconsiderate.  We then started to notice how all the vehicles were covered in Virginia Tech paraphernalia.  We came to the conclusion that we were on a backroad to Virginia Tech and everyone was trying to get there to tailgate for a sporting event.  We pulled off the road and watched the traffic and flags on people’s cars increase and we decided to call it for the day.  We had just passed an interesting homestead with a giant solar array so we decided to go back and ask the owners if we could camp on their property.  That’s when we met DJ and Sharon.  They were more than happy for us to stay and offered us a beautiful spot.

Our campsite in Catawba, VA

They were so nice and we shared a great meal with them.  Thanks for everything ladies!  The burgers and the company were awesome!  If anyone is passing through Catawba I highly recommend checking out their spot. They’re about to open a shop with lots of gear-army surplus, carhartt, all great stuff!

During the night d'Artagnan visited with us and kept the critters away!

Today, Friday we are blogging from Christiansburg, Virginia and we are headed to Pulaski.  We hope to be on the New River Trail tomorrow and for the next couple days.  Supposedly we will cross 33 railroad trestles.  Should be fun!  We are making our way to Asheville, NC and hope to be there as soon as we can. The weather is a little rainy and will be for the next couple days.  The sun should come out again after the weekend.

We came across the first respectable shoulder we’ve seen in Virginia today.  It lasted a blissful 5 miles or so.  Hopefully this is the beginning of better road improvements for Virginia, it’s been rare to find any shoulder at all here.

I can't believe my eyes....a shoulder for cyclists!!

Well, that’s all for now.  I’m sure we’ll have more to post in a few days.  Hope this finds everyone well and content.

Happy Halloween!

Debi and Bryan

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