The whole transamerica ACA route is 12 maps. If you are going East, it starts at 1. West, it starts at 12.
Upon entering Christiansburg, we have transitioned from map 12 to map 11 as the maps literally end/start in the middle of the city.
Day 7- June 7th
We left Lexington and had a decent ride…Until Dad had another flat tire. Needless to say, he was not happy. We checked the tire multiple times and patched up the tube. He proceeded to put it on backwards and in the process of checking out his brakes (as we thought that was the cause of the flats).
We had to take everything off again and he put in a new tube. It worked.
During this episode we had two biker encounters. The first was a local going to work. We were unintentionally following each other for some miles. He chatted with us a few times as we passed saying good day. Then when he saw us taking photos he would comment on our bikes, etc.
However, the interesting funny part was that he would pass us then turn around and bike back to keep talking to us. And he did this several times. After saying he had to go to work. He would also ask for directions when he said he lived there.
While we were fixing the tire, he passed us 3 times. Eventually, he would just start the conversation where he left off. He was a character.
The second man is also doing the trail except he had no packs- just one backpack! Now that’s traveling light!
He told us that he was planning on going to Christiansburg that night, which means he is traveling twice as fast as we are.
Finally, after an hour, we were on our way. We passed through Buchanan and went to a Family Dollar store and bought a pint of Oreo ice cream and a quart of chocolate milk. For some reason, chocolate milk taste really good after biking! We finished it all.
Our New Zealand friends, Norm and Linda, texted us saying there were showers available at Troutville, where we were planning on staying, and that got us excited!
Camping in Troutville is free in the city park, in the back right corner. The Appalachian Trail (AT) also crosses this town so hikers can stay there too.
There are tables in shelters and electric outlets. A water spicket is close and the public restrooms are clean and supplied with soap, toilet paper, and paper towels. The showers are located in the fire station across the street. You just walk into the garage and go up some stairs (or ask for directions from a fire fighter like we did). They also offer free laundry- washer and dryer. There is also free WiFi (no password).
There is a small grocery store next to the park as well. The employees ask that you sign a book if you are a biker or hiker. It was a great area!
Along with our friends, there were two individual hikers. One, stayed in his tent most of the time and the other was a man named Moss Man. In the AT, apparently, you get nicknames and that was his. He never told us his real name. Dad got it in his head that it was Moss Head, but the guy never corrected him and he seemed nonchalant about it.
We did about 42.42 miles from Lexington to Troutville, VA.
Day 8- June 8th
About five miles away from Troutville, Dad has another flat. Unlike the second time, Dad was quite resigned to the fact.
We discovered that the holes are on the inside of the tube on top of the areas where the spokes are. The rim tape was not doing its job. Dad placed duct tape over the spokes to keep it from poking through until we got to Christiansburg for a better fix. Until we reached this conclusion, we patched the tube twice, but it wasn’t holding up. He put a new tube in after putting the duct tape.
While I was waiting, I noticed a group of 12 cows on the other side of the fence. Eight were looking at us. After 40 minutes, all of them went back to eating. After 20 more minutes they were laying down. Even THEY got bored with us.
It was a pretty easy ride into Christiansburg. There was a strong wind, but Dad says it will be a lot worse later on. People are starting to tell us that going East is easier due to the wind, we will see.
We got to see a mother deer and her baby on the trail.
It was so small that it could barely run.
The last four miles into Christiansburg was all hill. We did 48.36 miles to Christiansburg from Troutville, VA.
Day 9- June 9th
We took a rest day (June 9th) in Christiansburg, to rest, but also to do some errands like go to a bike shop and grab some meals you can make by adding water. We start riding again June 10th.
There are no bike shops in Christiansburg. Either wait till you get to Radford or go to Blacksburg, which we did. There are three. Two are a block apart- East Coasters and Hokie Spokes. Both were very helpful though we just bought stuff at East Coasters.