Today I went on a 35 mile loop from my house to the New River and back. It didn’t stop thunderstorming and raining until about 3pm, so I only had 4 hours to kill before I had to come into work. I chose to ride this route because I know that I can do it in under 3 hours and it’s pretty fun. Getting there is mostly downhill and awesome; unfortunately the way back is a lot of uphill. It usually isn’t too grueling but I felt really off my game today. I was dying out there for awhile. You know, when you’re struggling to get up a hill and you say “ok, fine, I’m going to punch it into granny gear” only to try to shift and realize you’re already in the lowest possible gear. I hate that. I hope my occasional struggling isn’t a bad sign. I was trying to force myself to eat but it was so hot and humid I wasn’t hungry at all so I probably just needed more energy. My ride tomorrow should be mostly flat which will be a welcome break. I accomplished my 35 mile loop in record time for me, so that’s exciting. At least I’m getting a little bit faster. I have hard days like today and I realize how daunting this cross country ride really is. I’m so nervous. I hope that I can physically handle this trip.
Here is me and my beautiful boy outside of my apartment. I wish he could come with me this summer. I’m going to miss him more than anything. Sorry everyone else.
Here’s a pretty landscape right off of Glade Road. You don’t have to go very far from downtown Blacksburg to see some serious views.
My bike next to a mountain stream. Yeah, I’ve turned into one of those people that poses their bike.
Here is a shot of the New River. It’s really big and full right now. Not many people out there today because of the earlier thunderstorms.
Another pretty picture of the bank of the river.
No matter where you ride around here, you always have beautiful views of valleys, mountains, pastures… just lots of green wherever you look. I hope training in this terrain proves to be advantageous.
Ah, the Huckleberry Trail. This is a walking/bike path that goes from Blacksburg to Christiansburg, approx. 5 miles. It’s a rails-to-trails project, where they take old railroad tracks that are no longer in use and turn them into these neat paths. I love this trail. It is the reason I started cycling again a couple of summers ago. If it weren’t for the Huckleberry, I guarantee you that I wouldn’t be going on this cross country trip this summer. Having a bike path free of cars and on mostly even ground encourages cyclists and runners to simply get out there and GO. It’s also a beautiful ride and I enjoy ending all of my training rides by coming home on the Huckleberry. The trail is currently being extended farther into Christiansburg and one day (not soon enough) you will be able to ride all the way up the mountain and connect to the trail system in Jefferson National Forest. As an urban planner and a cyclist, I can really appreciate how much something as small as a paved path can help the community. I love seeing people of all ages and sizes running, walking, biking, and generally trying to be healthier people. Most individuals love to be outdoors, but safe and near civilization at the same time. Paths like this provide that sort of opportunity. I would love it if my future career was somehow related to making the outdoors more accessible to the average person.
Right now I’m back at work and writing this blog in between making mixed drinks and pouring beers. I am not sore at all from my ride earlier (!). In other news, we have spent the past week painting and generally renovating the bar I work at, Hokie House. Here’s some pics!
It’s still a college beer and bourbon bar, but at least now it looks nicer and cleaner. There’s actually customers here now. That’s good, I need money for (shakes magic 8 ball)…. a new bathing suit for my trip. Come out and order drinks everyone!