I had an involutary lie in this morning as the bike shop I was heading to didn’t open until 10.00. I left at 09.00 and rode the 8 miles to the shop with time to spare for opening. I managed to buy some inner tubes, and some pepper-spray, as well as have my bike serviced. It was fortunate I had my bike serviced, as the bolt attaching the front fork to the frame had come lose, and apparently the whole thing was about to fall apart! whilst at the shop I talked to one of the guys there who did the trip in 2006, and told me some of what to expect ahead – it was great to talk to someone about what i had done so far, and to hear about some of their experiences.
Due to visiting the shop I had to go off route for the first part of the day, which wasn’t great as I was going through an urbanized area with a lot of traffic. I made good progress to Christiansburg – although the last climb up to the city was a nightmare. Christiansburg was a landmark in terms of the route, as I changed map (from 12 to 11) which felt like progress.
I had planned to stop in Christiansburg for the night, but decided to push on, eventually stopping just outside Wytheville. Western Virginia is really rural, with lots of livestock farms – a bit like a more mountinous version of Yorkshire. The people seem friendly for the most part, although It seems that ever other man out here has no teeth, a grey beard, and smells bad!