We started the day with the best of intentions. However, the rain and ride had really worn us out, so we slept in. Then, we did some much needed bike maintenance, including intensive cleaning and lubing of the chains after the rain (Don had a nice porch/bike workroom).
We also spread everything out to dry in the sun. It was sunny! And there was a dog to pet.
Elizabeth also had a headache and spent quite a bit of time laying in the grass being miserable while everything dried out. Before we knew it, it was noon.
Don offered to drive us to downtown Blacksburg, and Cassie joined Elizabeth and I at Gillie’s, a great little restaurant with many vegetarian dishes on the menu.
In the previous post Elizabeth mentioned Bike the US for MS, the organization that Don and Cassie run. They plan and organize cross-country bicycling trips–like what Elizabeth and I are doing, but in groups and organized, and they’ll even carry your stuff in a van–in order to raise money for research and treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. MS is an autoimmune disease where your body attacks the covering of your nerves, affecting both the brain and nervous system.
Don’s mom has MS, and the organization is an outgrowth of a trip he took in 2007 to raise money for MS. We also have a good friend who has MS (and also likes bikes) and were very interested in learning more about the organization. They joined as WarmShowers hosts because Don will actually be home this summer instead of riding or leading a route, but they were busy planning, since the first of their groups are scheduled to depart on May 28. If you’d like to donate money for MS through their organization, there’s an easy way to contribute on the left menu of their website, and I’m sure they’d welcome additional sponsorships if you’ve got something else to contribute.
So, after eating delicious food downtown with Cassie, we stopped at the bike shop, where we bought new brake pads and got advice for removing the metal splinters that had become embedded in ours during the rain.
Then, we went to the library, where Elizabeth sprawled in the grass once more, hoping her headache would abate. Sometime very late in the afternoon, she decided she felt good enough to ride, so we called our next host to let him know we were on our way but would be late. To our surprise, Mick offered to pick us up by the mall in Christiansburg, shortening our planned ride for the day to only about 8 miles along the Huckleberry Trail, which connects the two towns.
Since it really was a beautiful day (after all the rain), I was glad for the chance to ride. Still, my knee and Elizabeth’s headache meant we were both sort of relieved that we weren’t going to be plodding along until dark. Here are two photos of me on the Huckleberry Trail:
Our hosts for the evening, Mick and Lee, lived on Claytor Lake. We got there just before dusk, and had time to go down to the lake and check it out.
Mick and Lee were both professors (now retired, I believe) with specialties in recreation/leisure/parks/tourism, and so we had a lot to talk about with our mutual interest in travel, biking, and the outdoors. Mick has done several bike tours and distance rides. They also had a beautiful and beautifully decorated house!
They were super great hosts, and we very much enjoyed staying with them.