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Lynchburg, VA

Late start, 11am. A 77 mile route shortened to 70 with a drop off at the edge of town by our first Couch Surfing hosts, Jamie and Christian.

Old Lynchburg road is nice. Two lanes, rolling, low traffic. Our first turn of the day leads us to our first gravel road of the tour. Not very technical and pretty well packed. Then Highway 29 is reached and the route falls apart mms herunterladen congstar. Medium shoulder become narrow. Narrow becomes no shoulder. The drivers give us space, but it really isn’t a good idea to be on this road. Especially for the 24 miles Google instructs. I let Garmin take over and we head out of the danger zone for the country roads. And I mean country.

5-6 miles in, pavement becomes a scarce commodity herunterladen. And then a distant memory. Thin rocky windy roads cut through the terrain. Maintained by pickup trucks rather than the county. These are the roads for which lift kits were conceived. Some of these were meant for all terrain vehicles. Slippy ascents with the loose rock and dust, followed by sloppy descents. Zig zagging up and down the hillsides moorhuhn mahjongg kostenlos downloaden. Trees and creeks. Startled birds and squires scatter in dismay, humans an unfamiliar sight. Forget about signage. City folk beware.

Light at the end of the tunnel, asphalt. Leading to a gas station to refill water bottles and stomachs. Cheese sandwiches from the pack, and chocolate milk and a coke from the store. Kudzu envelopes pristine temperate with its tropical embrace 4 blocksen. Slowly smothering the forest where it can gain a foothold.

As expected, the asphalt can’t last, and it does not fail to deliver. Back on gravel. Fast and vibrating, picking up enough speed that you end up aiming rather than steering your rig. Letting the bike find its own path within some loose boundaries herunterladen.

The unseen turn is missed. U-turn. Missed again. Is Garmin trying to make this adventure more epic than it already is? A grass path listed as some random creek road. You must be kidding. We didn’t see it the first two times because it isn’t really even maintained. Finding it is like playing a game of Where’s Waldo and everyone is wearing green word uni würzburg. This is insane. But, it might lead somewhere amazing no one has seen, or at least, no one I know has seen. Off off road it is, under the tree and down the non-road. Ankle high grass becomes knee high becomes waist high. We have to stop. The route map shows 8 miles of this forest hike. A quarter of a mile in, we reverse course to find a proper road herunterladen.

It seems it is the grass way or the highway. Back to 29 hoping that the shoulder has reappeared this far south. It has, only for it to disappear again a few miles later. We are 36 direct miles out from Lynchburg. Going back into the wilds would push that close to 60 and could easily die out in some over grown logging roads again kontoauszug herunterladen deutsche bank.

We pull into a gas station to contemplate our next move. We are starting to run out of time, time to make it to our host before it get dark and cold. Matt heads inside to grab a Gatorade, and I begin approaching drivers refueling their pick up trucks and mini-vans to see if they are heading our way and have any free space hd bilder herunterladen. Maybe they could drive us towards Lynchburg if we promise to put on some actual pants. Everyone seems to live locally, we soldier on.

The shoulder becomes the white line. We can’t ride the fringe, even if drivers treating us with respect and passing with plenty of room, with the sun setting ahead of us. Off onto the grassy rocky shoulder, it is time to try some old school thumb in the air hitchhiking mirror open. 50-60 vehicles fly by without success. Standing here isn’t making much progress and maybe the shoulder will reappear over the hill, so we walk. Left arm out, thumb up, just in case. A red pickup pulls by with its right turn signal on and comes to a stop, off the road, 400 feet ahead of us. Our ride.

We throw the bikes in the back of John Wright’s truck. I jump in beside them and Matt rides up front in the cab with John and his dog. He is only going 15 miles or so, but those are miles we don’t have to deal with. Somehow he “accidentally” misses his exit resulting in a 10 mile bonus. We are past the Highway 29 section and now only have 11.5 miles between us and our host, a shower, and dinner. John has turned a really tough situation into one of the highlights of the day. It shows that one person can drastically change another person’s situation on their own. We only needed one person with room in their vehicle and a willingness to share it, to change a really rough ending to the day into an amazing one.

Fantastic rural riding, at least 30 miles of which was unpaved. And we did not end up stuck on the side of the highway or lost in the back woods. This wasn’t supposed to be a planes, trains, and automobiles tour, but that is how it goes sometimes. A bike tour becomes multimodal.