August 4, 2016 – Overcast, 80 degrees
Miles Today: 55
Miles to Date: 13,901
States to Date: 38
My hosts, Kathy and Robert, served a breakfast of eggs and scrapple, muffins and fresh fruit with yogurt that rivaled the garden fresh vegetables and chicken we enjoyed the night before. I rolled away from their farm well nourished for a ride through more of Virginia’s bike friendly byways. Motorists here are very nice; slowing down in tight spots and pulling up beside me to chat through open windows. Eventually I merged with US 29 South, which was picturesque for a few hours. Ten miles or so outside of Charlottesville, the traffic increased and the shoulder decreased, until construction made it disappear altogether. I was disappointed to find that a huge road project to accommodate the increasing number of cars to the big box chains littering the highway included absolutely no provisions for cyclists: no bike paths, no bike lanes, not even a clear shoulder.
I love the quirky signs I pass in rural areas. It’s comforting to know that God is going to help us in disaster, Jesus has rooms available, and that chili and cheese are yours at 7-11 for the push of a button.
I had a premonition that my warmshowers host for the evening was an iffy thing: a Chinese student arranged for me to stay with her parents. I figured if it panned out, we might have a fascinating cross-cultural exchange. No such luck. Her parents spoke no English. Her younger brother guided me to a solitary place for the night. All fine and safe: just not very interesting.