Day's Miles = 10.3
Average Speed = 9.8 mph
Maximum Speed = 37.0 mph
Total Miles = 311.5
I decided to cut today's ride short so that I could take some time to look around Lexington, Virginia. Lexington was named after the famous Revolutionary War battle fought in Lexington, Massachusetts. The city is home to both the Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University. Lexington was also home to General Robert E. Lee and General "Stonewall" Jackson, so I spent the afternoon touring sites dedicated to these men.
As an individual who grew up in Nevada, the Civil War always seemed to be a part of history that although interesting had no direct influence on the world that I lived in. That is most assuredly not true of the South. As I have been riding across Virginia I have been seen repeatedly how the people of this State remember and respect their heroes, and although the South may have lost the War Between the States it is clear they still have a deep pride in the men who fought it.
After visiting the town I found the Virginia Zeta chapter of Phi Delta Theta, and the brothers took me in for the night without question. After overnighting here, I'll be on my way again in the morning.
Enough of the travelogue for now, I'd like to write a little about the riding itself. I realize from some the email I've answered and telephone conversations I've had that I haven't written much about how difficult (or easy) I'm finding things so far. The fact is that I've made a conscious decision to not to focus on anything negative that happens, and there really isn't any reason for me to dwell on difficulties on these web pages. The climbs are starting to get hard, but I do them anyway and I take a lot of breaks. Sometimes I sing to myself to keep a rhythm to my pedaling, and I'm starting to wish I knew more songs. I've got a few aches here and there, but I don't think any of them are too serious and I'll keep an eye on them. I do keep having fantasies about finding a massage therapist who wants to ride for awhile, so perhaps I'll treat myself somewhere after the thousand-mile mark.
All of this is outweighed by the positive things I'm experiencing. Virginia is beautiful and I'm seeing a part of the country I've never been in before. I'm traveling at my own pace and I'm free to stop and look at anything that catches my fancy. With my loaded bike I'm a rolling conversation piece and I'm meeting all sorts of wonderful people. In fact, I've already gotten two offers for places to stay in Oregon and one in Missouri.
At the pace Iím traveling I should cross in to Kentucky in six to eight days. Iím finding that writing these updates and uploading my pictures is far more time consuming than I had hoped, and I keep thinking about how much weight I could save if I were to ship all these electronics home. On the other hand, I like the idea of keeping this journal and I am enjoying the encouraging messages I have been receiving, so Iím going to persevere in this part of my endeavor and just hope I get more efficient at managing my time and stronger at carrying my load.