We woke up at Shaw and Sarah’s house, took a nice ride down to Boone Bike and Touring with Shaw to meet Bill’s friend Robert, who live in the area. After getting out bikes ready we headed out of Boone for the Parkway. Our plan was to ride to Jeep’s house near Table Rock. Jeep is an old friend from Outward Bound that Bill and I have had many a great adventure with.
Along the way we dropped down into Blowing Rock for some great pizza at the Mellow Mushroom. The ride back out was more than slow with a few pounds of pizza in our guts be we were able to keep moving.
We arrived at Jeep’s in the late afternoon after saying our goodbyes to Robert and hung out for a mellow evening. It was great to catch up and even watch a stage of the Vuelta de España on the TV.
For a map of our ride on this day check here: http://www.mapmyride.com/workout/1161833181
The day started great in the Big Meadows campground. Not only is it a nice campground with showers and laundry it also has the Big Meadows lodge which has a great breakfast.
The ride for the day was pretty easy since the day before we did all the climbing and this day we mostly went down hill. A link to maps and more information about the climbs etc.. is here: http://www.mapmyride.com/workout/1161649707
At the end of the day we stayed in an ok hotel called the Colonial House just off the parkway on the way into Waynesboro. At the hotel we met 2 women from the Northeast who were finishing up there ride across the US. They had started in Northwest been all across the US in more states than I can count and were few days from finishing up. They made our little ride look like nothing. Super impressive!! I wish I had taken their picture.
Day 1 was an all day climb from Front Royal to Big Meadows on Skyline Drive. We did not know it at the time but this would be our hardest day with over 50 miles of riding and 8000 feet of climbing. The day was hard but Bill was strong and had to push me along a few times. We were not managing our food in take very well and I kept bonking. At one point we were pretty much out of food and had no energy left but lucky for us at the bottom of the food box was a tube of agave and maple syrup. We downed it like some sort of power gel and it worked wonders to get us to our destination.
The weather was great minus a little rain that stopped right after we got our rain gear out. The heat and humidity had already soaked us, so the rain was nice.
We carried a lot of water but for the most part there were several good places to get it all along the way. The facilities on Skyline are great. The Blue Ridge Parkway also has nice facilities but they are much more spread out.
Our campsite at Big Meadows was wonderful. It had showers, laundry, bear boxes etc…. There is also a very nice lodge there. We saw a family of bears as we entered the area which was exciting. Also along the way we saw very tame deer on the side of the road and we had a small snake climb on to Bill’s wheel trying to escape the heat of the road.
All and all a good day but hard. Attached is a link to MapMyRide where you can see the details of ride on a map. The time it took and the exact mileage may be a little off. http://www.mapmyride.com/workout/1161642599