Mineral, VA – Charlottesville, VA 54 miles (193 total)
Time on bike: 4:55:57
Total Ascent: 3,084 ft (57ft/mi)
We left the town of Mineral, VA at 8am. A mile down the road Chancy forgot his gloves and had to turn back. We rode through the beautiful Virginia countryside . We passed several historic sites along the way: Ash Lawn Highland which was the home of James Monroe, the nation’s fifth president, Monticello, home of our 3rd president, Thomas Jefferson, and Michie Tavern, an 18th century tavern, originally located on a well traveled stagecoach route.
The cycling today was tough with us climbing over 3,000 feet in 50 miles. We stopped at a coffee shop that had free Wi-Fi internet. It was there that Chancy told me that his mother had called his cell phone to tell him that his father, who has had a history of health problems, was ill and that he should get home to be with him, so tomorrow Chancy will take the Greyhound back home and I’ll continue alone.
I was a little freaked out by this news at first. I want Chancy to do what’s right for him and his family and if his father is sick then there’s no doubt that he needs to go home, but I don’t know if I’m ready to do this alone. Chancy has been my bike mechanic and I’ve been the navigator thus far with my books, maps and GPS device. He’s been the kind of guy who is willing to go however far and eat wherever and whatever. Though we just met as we boarded the Greyhound in Indy for the first time, we’ve become fast friends on the road these past 3 days. He says that if he finds that his father stabilizes then he might re-join me on the road.
In the midst of all of this we got Chancy’s bike to a bike shop to dis-assemble it to take it on the bus. As chance would have it, a curious onlooker at the bike shop loitered and started asking us a number of questions about our bikes and where we were going. He then told us that he had traveled the TransAmerica Trail a couple of times with a number of side trips besides that. At that point I started asking him questions about his bike and his trekking. He was really, really helpful with information and tips and he also helped us take apart Chancy’s bike and even took us to the hotel where we were staying. His name was Nick and, seriously, without him I think I would really be feeling anxious and nervous about continuing alone but he kept going on about how he LOVED the trip he took across America and how incredible it was to do it alone. If you believe in angels, then Nick was my angel today. No doubt. Providing the right help and encouragement at JUST the right moment. So if you read this Nick… Thank You!