Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blue Ridge Parkway

Day 55: 66 miles - A few days ago, we realized that there wasn't going to be anywhere in Lexington to camp, so I called the city police yesterday to ask if we could camp in one of the city parks. I got transferred to a supervisor, and he gave us the ok. He said that he would leave a note for the dispatcher and to call if we had any problems. Last night at about 11pm, a police car comes hauling across the gravel parking lot with spotlight and all. An officer got out and asked, "what are you doing?". It seemed pretty obvious to me, but I told him that we were traveling across country by bike and had permission to camp here. He didn't believe me for a minute and told me that the park closes at 11pm and camping is not allowed. He asked who had given permission, but of course I couldn't remember and didn't write it down. Finally, I told him that the dispatcher should have a note saying it was ok. He radioed, just in an effort to prove me wrong, wearing a pretty big smirk on his face until the dispatcher repeated everything I had told him pretty much word for word. After that, he told us to have a good evening and promptly drove away.

This morning we got up and moving with a lot of anticipation for this climb we had been hearing about. Ever since about Kansas, people riding west have been telling us how hard this climb up to the parkway is going to be for us eastbounders. I rarely heard anyone talk about it without a swearing. We hit the base of the 4 mile climb at about 19 miles in. The middle 2 miles was pretty steep, but I was expecting it to get a whole lot tougher near the top. As we got closer to the top, I could hear cars on the parkway and the grade was gradually lessening. Before we knew it, we were up on the parkway, wondering where this climb was that everyone had been talking about. It was definitely one of our harder climbs, but it really wasn't the heinous suffer-fest that everyone had made it out to be. After that, we cruised along the parkway for almost 30 miles and then dropped off the eastern side.

So with that, our time riding through the Appalachians is done and we are 205 miles from Yorktown. We're shooting for a grand finale finish tomorrow, but we'll just have to see how it goes.


  1. I put in a call to Boss Hog....he says you'll never make it in one day if he can help it.

  2. Sounds like a fun night! Look forward to seeing you soon.

  3. Can't wait to see the docudrama of your epic ride when they air it on the Discovery Channel. Congrats to you and Andy!