Thursday, July 30, 2009

Virginia is for lovers

On the Road

We had quite the day today! Before hitting the road we roamed around Lexington checking out Washington and Lee University, VMI, and Stonewall Jackson's house. Once we started riding we pounded out a quick 18 miles to Vesuvius and took a quick stretch there. From Vesuvius there was a STEEP four mile, 2,000 foot climb. People say the Rockies are tough, but they don't know anything about mountains. Check back soon for my "Ode to the Appalachians".

At the top we turned onto the Blue Ridge Parkway, a highway that runs along several ridges of the Appalachians. It was a beautiful ride with beautiful scenery ("Dude it's not the Rockies, in the Rockies the views are EPIC") and the descent was smooth and easy.

At the base of the mountain we came into a little town called Afton. Afton is famous among cross-country cyclists because it is home to June Carter, the Cookie Lady! June has served cross country cyclists for over 30 years with drinks, cookies, and a place to stay in her house. She converted an entire floor into a have for cyclists. The walls are covered in memorabilia from the last three decades. I left my torn jersey, from my crash in Colorado, on the wall and signed it. It was my contribution to a little piece of history. June is quite possibly the nicest lady I have ever met and her story is incredible. She is one of those people who really reaffirms your faith in the goodness of people and the perseverance of the human spirit.

We stayed for hours talking. When 6 o'clock rolled around we had to part ways and finished the last 25 miles into Charlottesville. Currently we are staying with some friends of a friend. I went to school with Andy Madigan, a current UVA student, and he offered us his room in a house to crash in. In the morning we are going to walk around campus, check out Monticello which is a couple miles down the road, and bike all the way to Richmond. Looking forward to a good night's sleep tonight, my legs are fried! Good night all!

Fact of the Day

For every 2 people starting HIV treatment, 5 are newly infected. The rate at which the virus is spreading is alarming. Face AIDS seeks to spread education about the disease so that people can develop safe habits to protect themselves from infection. Prevention is one of our greatest allies.

Trivia Contest

Answer to yesterday's question: Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson are buried in Lexington. Lee is entombed in the church on the W&L campus while Jackson lies in a cemetery nearby. Both are clearly marked with some really cool statues. 10 points to my Dad, 0 points to KTO, but an A for effort!

Today's Trivia Question: Washington and Lee University gets its name from George Washington and Robert E. Lee. What is the family connection between these two men that serves as the basis for the college name? (10 points)

BONUS Question: Who designed the original part of the UVA campus? (5 points)


  1. UVA campus: Thomas Jefferson

  2. Robert E. Lee's wife was the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, and named his son George Washington Lee after his hero and role model.