Day 9, 46 miles, Wednesday June 3, 2009 Roanoke - "Do your own thing day"
(my odometer: 47.2 miles, 11.7 avg. mph, 3hr 59 min 48 sec)
Max speed: 37.5 mph

Up at 5:50; 6:15 continental breakfast here at hotel: scrambled eggs, sausage patty, 2 muffins, 1 waffle, assorted cold cereal (raisin bran), and orange juice. Today's forecast was for mostly sunny skies in the morning, thickening clouds in the afternoon and scattered thunderstorms late in the day. It is 4:10 PM right now and the skies to the west of us are very threatening so I tuned into the weather channel and discovered that there is a severe thunder storm watch for Roanoke until 5PM. The forecast for tomorrow and Friday is for rain, but Saturday is forecast to be mostly sunny. Saturday is the last riding day of this tour. We will be cycling from Waynesboro back to Charlottesville.

Today's ride was quite different from what we are used to. Mike gave us directions that took us through Roanoke to one of the access roads that go up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The climb was a series of switchbacks that were mostly 8% to 10% grade. It definitely was a tough climb, but it was worth it. The climb actually went to "Mill Mountain Star" a huge neon illuminated star that can be seen for miles. (see pics) After spending some time there taking pics, we continued on and entered the Parkway. We had two options; go north five miles to a Visitor Center and then 15 additional miles (most of which was a long 7 - 8% grade) to the top of a peak called "the Spine" or go south 10 miles to an "overlook". We decided to go south to the overlook and then turn around and go to the Visitor Center. We then retraced our route and returned to the Hotel. Our ride turned out to be 47 miles. It appears that we will do something similar on Friday and Saturday.

Tomorrow we ride 42 miles to Natural Bridge.

Hillside garden of an elegant home on the hillside

Scenic view

Scenic view from the "Star"

Scenic view of Roanoke

Paul at the "Star"

Me at the "Star"

Karen and Jenny

Me at the "Star"



Paul and I went right 10 miles

Nice Fence

Scenic view on Parkway

Cute bear

Vivian likes the views


Cycling - Blue Ridge Parkway

Cycling - Blue Ridge Parkway





Dinner at Smoky Bones Restaurant

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