Bluegrass and Sore Arse…  Mineral VA to Charlottesville VA

Today’s blog is different in at least two significant ways; one is that there is a guest editor (Paul evidently only does Mon to Fri) and another in that it will also be a lot shorter (due to our first rain which meant we didn’t get to see much for about thirty miles)

After the remains of last night’s pizza for breakfast (it’s becoming the norm) and returning the pizza slice to the restaurant (we inadvertantly stole it in the doggie box) we left Mineral with the threat of rain ahead. Last night’s fair was looking less exciting now, having lost its magic in the daylight. We didn’t get much further than the Pets Unlimited and Concrete World stores on the edge of town when the pristine, and unfortunately matching, brightly coloured waterproofs came out.


Life gone by: the landscape is scattered with abandoned buildings. Restoration project anyone?

The nature of the landscape had changed with the weather … no longer a densely wooded logging landscape but now one broken by open pastures and rolling hills … but still with occasional tracts of devastation. Houses were less frequent and less grand than nearer the coast with more deserted and derelict buildings. Nature doesn’t take long to reclaim its own.

At some points on the smaller roads we could have been cycling in the English countryside, (and not just because it was raining), but on a much larger scale (hey, it is America after all). And like England, there’s never a cafe when you need one … even the one marked on our map at the inappropriately named Palmyra had closed … so spotting a sign proclaiming “Music all Day, Come Rain or Shine” a few soggy miles later, we headed off down a gravel track hoping for at least some caffeine but actually finding a delightful little Bluegrass festival playing real Piedmont music.


Food or doily? Either way we washed it down with root beer

We both love live music but Paul was almost beside himself with glee and was soon on several of his ever-present electronic gadgets, snapping, GoPro-ing, texting and emailing stuff. Another first (and probably last) for yours truly … funnel cake … a bit like a very sweet deep fried doily. Its only saving grace was that I was eating it to a version of one of my favourite

It doesn't take much for us to stop cycling!

It doesn’t take much for us to stop cycling!

Patsy Cline songs … “(I can’t help it if) I’m Still in Love with You”. Several bands but no coffee later I convinced Paul that Charlottesville (our destination for the night) may also be worth a look, preferably in daylight.

On tour

Boys on tour – we know how to live!

By now those rolling hills were turning more into a rollercoaster and we were slowing down accordingly, often in our granny gears in the last twenty miles and both secretly concerned that these were just pimples compared to what lay a couple of days ahead (the Blue Ridge mountains of the Appalacians).
We got to Charlottesville just as it shut up shop and then due to a slight inability on my behalf to read English the planned campsite wasn’t just down the road, but was in fact best part of 10 hilly miles away. Not going to happen. Ended up blowing what seemed like a wad on a cheap hotel out in Nowheresville and then having to leg it across a six lane highway to a Subway to get some food! Desperate men take desperate measures.
Just in case you were wondering …. we both have sore bottoms.

Today’s mileage: 61.15
Mileage since First Landing: 269.13



Here’s today’s Garmin report:

Written by Terry Wooller


  1. Great blog posts, guys! I’m thoroughly enjoying my vicarious trip across America – all the fun of the ride without the sore bum or edible doilies!

  2. Hi from overcast Essex. You should be well into your stride now – apply plenty of cream! Good luck with the mountains,what goes up must come down, hopefully in one piece. Thinking of you both. Take care. Love Kate x

  3. Hope your bums man up !

  4. Have you eaten anything ‘green’ yet?

    Root beer is the product of the devil

    Good uck with the Hills!

  5. Dear Guest Editor. Keep it up, great to see how you’re getting on, but missing Terry’s tips, may I offer a Paul’s punt for tomorrow- our map reading skills have improved! Looks like you’re both doing great, enjoy.

  6. Looks like the 1st Mountain Stage today (12/5) with some HC climbs.
    Keep the cameras handy – the Shenandoah is beautiful. Consider ditching the bikes for something with a V8 and take a detour along Skyline Drive?

  7. Harold & Debbie Craig
    Tuesday 13 May 2014, 2:15 am

    Terry and Paul it was great to meet you both. We enjoyed spending a little time with you and sharing our Bluegrass Music. May you have a wonderful trip with the wind at your backs. Welcome to Virginia.

  8. Skyline is fantastic but costs.

    Good luck on the hills guys

    How’s the twitching going Paul seen any good birds yet?

    “keep on cycling”

  9. Hi Paul & Terry, I’ve only just started reading the blog…. sorry bit slow on the uptake. Am already quite concerned about your diet, which seems to consist entirely of pizza. Worried that by halfway, your bikes won’t be able to carry you….

  10. Happy birthday Dad xxx have a lovely one. Maybe stop and drink a celebratory ale xxx love you.

  11. It sounds as though you are having a great time with a few ‘mishaps’ but I cannot image the pain of it all! Keep it up as I am enjoying the ride.

  12. Sorry, should have said happy birthday to Terry

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