Bicycling the TransAmerica Trail

Cycling Across the US, Coast to Coast

Bicycling Adventure #3

54 days, 3,783 miles, Jul-Aug 2010

Ray Jardine

2010-09-03Virginia page 50 of 54

Day 50, Virginia

From Roanoke to highway 29

With two full days off, on the morning of Sep 3rd I was ready to roll. So we loaded both bikes into Jenny's rental car and drove back to the problem area to start anew. Once there we looked everywhere for the missing odometer, but without finding it.

The problem area. The oncoming truck looks a bit like it's hugging the left edge of the road, slightly. And it's similar to the one that hit us.

Happiness is when a semi knocks you off your bike and you don't hit the guardrail.

After the accident, the authorities warned us about this curve. lots of accidents, they said.

So we got back in the car and road another mile to a pull out, and I started pedaling from here.

A fresh start.

The seven miles to Thaxton, and beyond to Bedford were tough, all because of the traffic. I had to ditch it four times. Enough was enough, so I turned onto the 714, and that made all the difference.

Jenny writes: It felt a bit awkward to be driving sag, but my hand still ached and I knew I could not have squeezed the bike's brake lever, so I decided to simply enjoy the day and the scenery from the comfort of the car.

Ray looked a bit stiff when he first got on his bike, but once he started pedaling I was amazed that he took off as though nothing was wrong with his backside.

We got separated for 30 minutes or so when he decided to take the 714 and I had to backtrack to find him, but soon after I pulled up behind him, he stopped to pick a handful of wild honeysuckle flowers for me.

State route 714 was a much quieter, very pretty, two lane road with lots of hills and gentle bends, and lined in some areas with magnificent old oak trees. For much of this road I was able to drive slowly behind Ray, while pulling off the road now and then to let a vehicle pass.

When we reached route 24, the traffic increased somewhat, so I began to leapfrog Ray. I would drive ahead and then find a safe pullout to park the car, where we could easily spot each other from a distance. This gave me a chance to get out of the car and explore the area for a short while.

Ray writes: At 1:30 we reached highway 29 and called it a day. I was bushed. So we loaded my bike into the rental and Jenny drove us north to find accommodations.


Jenny's hand

Miles pedaled today: 52

Note: Thanks to the many readers who sent us condolences. But, really, we're fine. It was just one of those things that happens, and we consider ourselves super lucky not to have been riding an inch further out, where we would have been run over rather than just side swiped. And not to have been thrown into that guardrail.

The story has 54 pages. This is page 50.
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