BOBBY AND THANE TACKLE THE TRANSAM Day 6 Troutville to Christianburg: Lots of rain

Day six: Thane’s Blog

Monday May 6, 2013

On the 6th day God made the mountains and the hills and the climbs and the incredible beauty that is the state of Virginia. Then he sat back and smiled and said “Let there be rain. And let it rain for the entire day. Covering my beautiful mountains with incredible fog that danced with the trees and flowers. And let the rain come down in sheets at times so the ducks that live in Virginia all smile.” Then god laughed and said. “Look at those two idiot cyclist riding in this downpour. Where did I go wrong with those two?”As Bobby and I finished the fierce climb that took us into the town of Christiansburg the rain was pelting us so hard that it felt like I was under a shower head at home. With the water temperature set to somewhere just above freezing!Our destination for tonight was the closest freaking motel which just happened to be the EconoLodge. It’s a rather bizarre place with a leaking sink, a tub that won’t drain and very little heat emanating from its wall heater. But for us it will be home for tonight and tomorrow. Boo and Chester have informed us that tomorrow will be a rest day. They both need adjustments on their rear ends. Their junk in the trunk. You know, they are not shifting correctly and it makes for a few “plug the children’s ears” kind of comments when cycling vertical. Actually, both Bobby and I had agreed before the start of our ride today that tomorrow would be a rest day. Apparently Boo and Chester must have over heard us chatting.

The more of these climbs I attempt the more I have my method. I am sure every cyclist has their own method. Mine is mine so don’t even try to take it. Everyone knows what a bad ass I am. I write poetry and cry in my tent at the end of a mountainous climbing day that wrecked me beautifully. Yea, a true American badass!

It’s a spot on the road. An ever changing piece of concrete. Ten feet beyond my front wheel. Today the raindrops all died there. Each one disintegrating into an incredible cascade of rivers all flowing down the climbs as my bicycle slid gracefully over them all.

Most days the spot of concrete, this ever changing speck of road just in front of me, holds my soul. The thoughts of the ones I truly love. The ones that love me. The friends that are living life and those that have gone to visit God and are watching over us now. If I lift my eyes from that spot and try to gaze up. Up into the sky to figure out where the suffering of this climb may cease, that tiny spot of concrete, that most holy of all spots of concrete simply becomes just that. A tiny spot of freaking concrete. But it is not that. It will never be just that so I choose not to look up.

Today I once again saw untold beauty. Mountain ranges that go on forever. Beautiful farms with cattle and horses grazing on the sides of huge hills. Homes made of brick and stone. I could tell they loved the land around them as they all shared the mountains and the valleys we traversed. The map set that we are following is broken into 12 separate maps. Today, we had to switch from map 12 to map 11. This was done under an overpass during a pelting rain just before the last climb of the day. To be quite honest with you it was slightly sad. The roads and stops and people I have met with this map in my hand have moved me. And on the 6th day God made rain. And on the night of the 6th day I gave him a hug.

Day six: Bobby’s Blog; Yankees in the Mist

Monday May 6, 2013

Today I was humbled. I always thought I knew what humility was until God said,”Bobby I am going to teach you humility in the rain soaked mountains of Virginia. And that He did. Thank you God and my wife Cheryl for allowing me this experience.

Day 6 started out with a continental breakfast at the Quality Inn in Troutville where we spent the night for a much needed shower and to soak the quads in some hot water.

While at breakfast we met a couple or we thought were a couple turns out they had met on the road while touring on their motorcycles. They both had these narley lookin BMW motorcycles that looked like a cross between a dirt bike and a touring bike. They said they never travel on the I-state highways. I told them we didn’t either.

There is always an opportunity to meet and chat on this tour and the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia are so friendly.

We started out in just a light shower that grew steadily worse as the day wore on. The clouds pressing down on top of the mountains were just beautiful even through the rain speckled lenses of my glasses. The valley we were riding through was dotted with farms both old and new. Sheep,lamas,horses,and some fine looking Black Angus cattle were present through out.

We are tucked in now,clothes are washed and belly is full and finding time to update the journals. Tomorrow is a rest day and Chester and Boo are going to the walk-in clinic in Blacksburg (there are a lot of burgs here ) for a check-up and some tlc.

Just outside our room

Just outside our room

One of the gnarly BMW's

One of the gnarly BMW’s

Here is a shout out to the boys on Maint. B Team at Lafarge. As I was riding by in the rain I had to fight a powerful urge to slip on a dust mask and go waller in the mud for an hour.

Here is a shout out to the boys on Maint. B Team at Lafarge. As I was riding by in the rain I had to fight a powerful urge to slip on a dust mask and go waller in the mud for an hour.

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Come on man we gotta keep goin!

Come on man we gotta keep goin!

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What's he doin?

What’s he doin?

 

Catawba Quick Stop (Old General Store) has reopened on 311. Deli hot and cold foods are available. We sucked down 2 hot dogs and a chocolate milk real quick. The ole boy in the chair is an avid AT hiker.

Catawba Quick Stop (Old General Store) has reopened on 311. Deli hot and cold foods are available. We sucked down 2 hot dogs and a chocolate milk real quick. The ole boy in the chair is an avid AT hiker.

There is so much of this kind of stuff.

There is so much of this kind of stuff.

When all else fails. Check the map.

When all else fails. Check the map.