Day 8: Eat, Sleep, Bike
Wednesday, June 8th. Lexington, VA --> Roanoke, VA.
Hi there! This is Sophia again with your daily dose of Spokes adventures. After a breakfast of eggs, bacon, pancakes, stir fried mushrooms and onions, and excellent honey ginseng green tea provided by Dirk and Chrissie, we hit the road at 9am (an hour later than intended per usual). So I normally eat a lot, but I’ve never been eating this much. From our protein-packed breakfasts to our 1 hour lunches that often include a nap (along with the countless dates and clif bars consumed on route) to carbo-loading at dinner, I have never spent so much time eating food and thinking about how much food I need to eat. My life is basically: eat, sleep, bike. Kinda loving it.
To start off our 55mi ride, our warm showers host recommended that we take a gravel path called Chessie Nature Trail to avoid some of the thigh-busting Shenandoah mountain climbs from day 7.
The trail eventually led to bike route 76 which was definitely the most fun part of our path so far because there were basically no cars and lots of roller-coaster up and down hills wheeeee.
29 miles flew by and before we knew it, we had arrived at the Buchanan Swinging Bridge where Franklin and Robert (the drivers for the day) had already started to make shakshuka with eggs and sourdough bread from a local farmers market!! Mariela and Simone courageously swam in the river (I only dipped my feet).
As we began to feast, droplets of rain spattered the ground, the sky darkened and we could hear distant thunder. Remembering how we got caught in a dramatic thunder and lightning storm just a few days ago (read day 2 blog post here!), we agreed to err on the side of caution. Our warm showers hosts were about 35min drive away, so we made two trips by car instead of biking.
While waiting for the car to come back, Mariela, Simone, Robert and I walked over to a nearby park and found a lovely gazebo to chill in. I took a wonderful nap (one of many this past week), and when I woke up, the sun had come out and Franklin had returned with the car. As we drove to our hosts’ place in Roanoke, a sudden wall of rain slammed the windshield for a few minutes. It was probably good that we didn’t bike.
At the home in Roanoke, with a few extra hours on our hands, Maxwell guided us in degreasing and lubricating our bike chains until sparkly clean.
Some of us played in the rain because why not.
Since the family was busy for the night, we went out to a cute place called Fork in the Alley (first time eating out as a group!). After devouring two large pizzas, three appetizers, and one salad, we played hot seat (which included shared an embarrassing college moment and also something we appreciated about someone in the group and the group overall <3). We agreed that was this indeed the best “group project” we had ever done.
Also one of the family's dogs named Cinder unwaveringly stared into my eyes for a very long time.
I happily fell asleep with a very full tummy (a common occurrence on this trip) and one of the family’s cats curled up in my arms. Ready for another day of eating, biking and sleeping :)
all photos taken by maxwell!