• Maxwell Yun

Day 10: Longest Ride So Far!

Friday June 10, 2022

Maxwell here today to share a bit about our longest ride yet, at 78 miles!

Our day started with a delicious breakfast from our lovely hosts Curtis and Jennifer, then some very bucolic riding along country roads. Curtis and Jennifer gave us sage route advice, having hosted nearly one hundred guests since 2019. In fact, they hosted Spokes 2019, sharing fun stories about their stay. We finally bid farewell to their dog, Tusi, their three horses, and their lovely vineyard.

Our route snaked through some bucolic country roads, following the Trans America Trail. A bit about the Trans America Trail: it's a cross-country bike route starting in VA and ending in OR. The trail was inaugurated in 1973, then became popular with a large US bicentennial group ride in 1976. We've been loosely following the Trans Am Trail, helpfully guided by "US Bike Route 76" signs along the route.

Our ride today diverged from the Trans America Trail, instead following local roads adjacent to the interstate. We passed through some beautiful scenery, punctuated by the occasional truck stop and abandoned building.

We had a lunch stop in a cemetery (!) This stretch of road was flanked on either side by at least five cemeteries. Something about this meal hit differently -- we took a nice nap after the meal in a shady tree

As the photographer of the group, I'm quite easily distracted by beautiful landscapes and architecture. I'll position myself in the front of the peloton (group of cyclists), then sprint ahead of the group for a short duration to "buy some time" to take photos. I've used this technique to take cycling photos, landscape photos, and the like. I carry my trusty camera, a Nikon Z6 with the tiny 24-50 lens, in a handlebar bag, and I've perfected the maneuver of getting it out of the bag quickly without spilling the rest of the contents.

Arriving in Abingdon, we were welcomed by a cute downtown chock full of cute shops, pedestrians. We grabbed a wonderful barbecue dinner with very loud live music, then returned to our Warm Showers host Julia's place for the night. Julia made custom Spokes cookies just for us too!

Longest ride of the trip so far! It was quite a ride.

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