After two enjoyable nights with our hosts we decided to move on to Blacksburg, VA on the third day of rain. The forecast for the day showed 50% rain….which I understood as rain on and off throughout the day but it ended up meaning constant rain for the first half of the day and no rain in the second half. That meant we were very, very wet within the first hour of leaving a dry house. Honestly, after working hard to be upbeat on the first wet day of riding, it was hard to muster the energy to keep our chins up in such wet weather again. We looked for drier places to take breaks but at this point not much was dry and roads were starting to flood in low areas as creeks and ditches swelled with two days of heavy rain.
About 10 miles into the ride we came across another cyclist. His name is Mike and he’s from Vienna, VA and is riding the TransAm (short for TransAmerica Trail) route that goes from Yorktown, VA to Astoria, OR, labeled as bicycle route 76.
We made introductions and then parted ways in a heavy drizzle. Later on, after some long miles of steeper and hilly terrain (with plenty of bike pushing instead of riding) we decided to take a lunch break just outside Catawba, VA under a pavilion at a local church. It was dry! We pulled out crackers and cheese and peanut butter and made some hot chocolate and hot cider. It was hard to stay warm once we stopped moving. I really wanted to change out of my wet clothing but it seemed pointless since we’d be back out in the rain in less than half an hour. A few minutes after our arrival, Mike came along and we hailed him from our dry haven. He gladly joined us for a break and mentioned another TransAm cyclist who was just behind him. His name is Bob and he is from Yorkshire England and was just as wet as we were. The four of us shared some snacks and Mike and Bob’s humorous rapport with each other soon had us laughing.
We rode with Mike and Bob for the remainder of our day and they truly helped keep our minds off the chilly wet weather. Not only was it great to meet some fellow cyclists but it was nice to have new folks to interact with who were just as wet as we were. Misery loves company. As the first half of the day passed the 50% chance of rain also passed and the ride through the Catawba Valley was beautiful.
Finally, as we approached Blacksburg, Hannah and I left our new friends to head into town to stay with our Warmshowers host Don of “Bike the US for MS” while Bob and Mike continued on bicycle route 76 into Christiansburg, VA. Hannah’s knee was giving her some trouble again so we pushed our bikes up a very long hill where where Don met us with his truck to offer up a ride back to his home for the night.
By the time we arrived at the farm the sun was out and the sky was clearing. Cassie from Montana, who works for Bike the US for MS, was making a delicious dinner that was accompanied by cold beer and we finished dinner off with some homemade banana bread and hot tea with good conversation about bicycles. By the time we tucked ourselves into our sleeping bags the wet morning was vastly far away in my our minds. Thank you to Mike, Bob, Don and Cassie for laughter and camaraderie on such a wet day.
P.S. – Bonus shot for the day…this sign at the base of someone’s driveway. It’s hard to read so I’ll tell you what it says. There is image of a gun pointed at the viewer and the text reads “I don’t dial 911”.