23 May The BEAR – Blue Ridge Parkway more Day 2 Ride – More Day 2
Blue Ridge Parkway Bike Ride – More Day 2
Leeds Manor Road skirting Naked Mountain on the ride to Front Royal easily had the steepest climbs of the day. The slopes on Skyline drive were easily
conquered. I rode through two downpours on Skyline Drive; one soon after the start and one toward the end. Two more deer on Skyline bringing the day’s total to 18. The best wildlife sighting happened near SD mile marker 25. I was silently cruising down a mountain when a black bear ran into the road about a 150 ft in front of me. Since I was going fast, I was quickly closing the gap between myself and the bear. The bear stopped just as he crossed into the opposite lane. Just enough time to wonder whether I should brake or just keep going. The bear finally noticed me and ran off the other side of the road just before I zipped by. I rode nearly 68 miles and climbed over 18,600 feet today. It didn’t seem like that much climbing. Maybe my GPS lied. I heard a loud springy sounding pop in my wheel. A spoke had broken. I called the nearest bike shop which was about 100 miles away. He was out of town on Tuesday so I would have to get there tomorrow. With the extra miles today, I will need to do a 75-80 mile day tomorrow. This means I have to finish Skyline Drive tomorrow. At Elk Bottoms there is a grill. I had A grilled Portobello sandwich and sweet potatoe fries.
Near the end of the day a screw popped out of my pannier rack causing it to move freely and rub against the wheel. This appeared to be a show stopper (hitchhike time), but I took off one of my water bottle holders and was able to use that screw to make the repair. By then it was getting late. Again i was having trouble finding a suitable place to camp. I wasted energy pushing my bike up a steep trail in search of a campsite. I rode on and eventually found a spot that works okay. A little slope and some undergrowth, but my tarp squeezes in. No signal to call home. Too bad. I had a signal most of the day and didn’t call.