Day 36 – Blacksburg VA to Radford VA

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.

dog and bags out to dry

me petting dog

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.

bike ms car

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:

huckleberry trail

sunbeams huckleberry

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.

leaves near Claytor Lake

at Claytor Lake

Claytor Lake

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!

deck at Mick and Lee's

They were super great hosts, and we very much enjoyed staying with them.


7 thoughts on “Day 36 – Blacksburg VA to Radford VA

  1. I am really amazed at the wonderful people you are meeting as hosts. I never knew there was such a thing as the warm showers program. sorry for the headache and the tricky knee still bothering you, Hannah, but though you were lagging a bit due to rain and aches, you are really moving now!

  2. Liz and Hannah (hannah, i hope to meet you someday!), i really enjoy reading your posts. the dog photos are hilarious! two things: i deal with severe sinus headaches frequently, Liz, you may want to keep a small Aleve bottle with your first aid gear. i know how badly a monster headache can knock you out! and secondly, i’m gonna look into being a Warm Showers host! me, my husband & our 2 dogs are moving into a new house in Philly ‘burbs July 2nd. once we get settled, i’d love to start hosting–not sure how many cyclists we’d get, but it sounds great!

  3. Hey Liz and Hannah, Thanks so much for your wonderful posts and photos. I’ve certainly enjoyed following your progress. Despite the rain and trucks, the headaches and throbbing knees, you seem to be having a bona fide adventure and are meeting some fantastic people. 1,000 miles!! Woo-hoo!!

  4. Your mom asked me to give you a heads up about the weather in/around Nashville. Since you were in Kingsport Tuesday, you might have already passed through, but it looks like we are supposed to have scattered thunderstorms w/lightning Friday (17th), Sat & Sun. High today 75, chance of rain 60%. Wind SSE 5-10 mph. Hope you are someplace dry today. šŸ™‚

    • Hi Christi! We are staying with friends in Jefferson City, TN to avoid the weather. Thank you for the alert!
      Do you live in the Nashville area? We will be heading that way over the next few days. Any advice about places to stay or roads to avoid would be appreciated.

  5. My daughter’s husband, a doctor in MA, participates in a 150 mi ride over two days for MS. Great cause.

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