Overall, this was a fairly uneventful day, other than our crossing of Massanutten Mountain, which is an Appalachian ridge–higher than anything we’ve crossed so far, comparable to getting to the Skyline Drive visitor’s center perhaps, but a summit much easier than the peaks on the other side of the valley.
For the most part, we pushed our bikes up the ridge. We got passed by a lot of cars and trucks, and also by racing cyclists on their light little bicycles. Since they were moving so slowly and also in their granny gears, we did not feel so bad about not being able to pedal all our heavy gear up the same slope.
Once we reached the top, coasting down the other side was a breeze, and we hit up an ice cream stand that happened to be open on the other side. We’ve decided that we weren’t eating enough calories in general, and especially not frequently enough during the ride, and I think the ice cream totally helped!
We also got job offers from a local contractor who was impressed at our crossing!
The next portion of our ride was on 11S, which was a great improvement over the road from the previous day. Even though it was heavily trafficked, the road had shoulders or a third lane in almost every spot where it was needed.
I was having derailleur problems and took a tumble when I lost all resistance, since the usual bum ankle buckled when I tried to stop. A local even stopped to check on me when I was sprawled in the ditch. No serious injury, fortunately.
We got to Harrisonburg much earlier than expected. We were very impressed with the bicycle lanes in Harrisonburg, the first we’d seen in awhile.
We were looking for a coffee shop recommended to us, but didn’t see it, so we stopped at a McDonald’s to use the internet. Elizabeth also bought and ate two cheeseburgers, and I hung out with a group of old men who are twice a day regulars at the franchise. One, who is in his 90s, still regularly rides a motorcycle.
Then we headed back to check out the old downtown, including a new branch of Walkabout Outfitters (a gorgeous retail space where we found the MSR fuel canisters we’d been seeking).
We also stopped at a new bike shop, Rocktown Bicycles, where they gave my rear derailleur a much-needed tune up. I am so grateful!
Then, we joined our hosts for the evening, Cameron and Courtney (and their corgi, Batman). They were incredibly generous hosts and made a delicious curry.