Day 4: Determination and Developing Muscles: Mineral, VA to Afton, Va

81 miles (130 km) – Total so far: 259 miles (417 km)

Knowing today was going to be a long day with a moderate amount of vertical climbs into the foothills I got an early start. 10.5 hours later, I want to smack that snotty little twerp that used the words “moderate” and “foothills” to describe what I was about to experience.

The day started rolling and pleasant. Nice and cool. I was rolling about 20 minutes before the sun popped up. As the glowing ball of fusion started to crest over some trees behind me I took a quick shot. A little later on, I was enjoying the gently rolling hills, and their attendant cows, dogs, horses, alpacas and sheep. During this little jaunt I realized that the previously challenging uphills were starting to get easier. Part of it is weight, but my legs are definitely adapting. I even got to see Monticello via a cool little bike path they have there.

Dawn outside Mineral, VA
Dawn outside Mineral, VA
Path at Monticello
Path at Monticello
Rolling Hills of VA.
Rolling Hills of VA.

In Charlottesville, I was tempted to stop, but found that I didn’t really want to be around so many people (You know, the big city and all). I made the best of it and grabbed some great food. Speaking of which, here’s what I ate today:

2 apples
1 bottled frappuchino
1 ice coffee
8 liters of water
3 cliff bars
1 hammer bar
1 roast beef sandwich
1 bag of chips
1 whole box of kraft mac & cheese dinner
1 power bar
1 package of bright orange cheese crackers.
1 piece of banana bread
2 bananas
1 tomato

That’s something like 5,000 calories. I’m still hungry. That’s because the next 30 miles turned into a grueling test of willpower as I climbed hill after hill. “Hill” is probably an understatement, but given what tomorrow looks like, I’m reluctant to say mountain.

Appalachian Mountains in the distance
Appalachian Mountains in the distance
Just climbed my 1st of what turned out to be 9 or 10 hills approaching the blue ridge parkway
Just climbed my 1st of what turned out to be 9 or 10 hills approaching the blue ridge parkway

At one point I came across this mountain stream. Clearly I dunked my head in.

Stream in the foothills of VA approaching the blue ridge parkway
Stream in the foothills of VA approaching the blue ridge parkway

I’m now in Afton and going to crash early because tomorrow is about 4,000 ft of vertical to get over the pass. Yikes.

Published by Mike Evans

Founder of Fixer.com. Founded GrubHub in 2004. Rode my bike across the US. Wrote a sci-fi novel.

5 thoughts on “Day 4: Determination and Developing Muscles: Mineral, VA to Afton, Va

  1. I don’t ride bikes, but I’m super jealous of what you’re doing. Looks like a lot of fun disguised as a lot of work. My only issue with your trip is that you’ve left Wisconsin out. Next time, next time. Carry on. Thanks

  2. Really pretty area. My grandparents had a farm outside Fincastle which you’ll go near on Day 5.

    Bon route.

  3. That’s not 5,000 calories, that’s breakfast! You’re probably burning north of 500 an hour, so eat up and don’t bonk.

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