Day 13: Holliday Lake State Park (Appomattox, VA) to Danville, VA – 95 miles

Hey Southern Virginia, a sidebar please. In 1,000 miles this activity did not occur a single time. I rode past hundreds of homes on quiet country roads and not a single time did I experience what I experienced today SEVEN different times. The experience you ask? Angry barking dogs chasing me as if I’m their dinner. On a country road my composure remains steady. I’m on a bike with wheels and gears and they are on four legs. No wheels. No gears. I also have room to move sideways in most cases. It’s the saliva-crazed dogs on the busy roads that worry me most. Either me, the dog or the drivers on these roads are at real risk. Less room to move and a lot more consequence to any error in movement. I’m not sure what changed as of this morning but you just might want to ask your neighbors anywhere north of say, Appomattox, VA just what they are doing to keep their beloved hounds under control. That is all. 

7:39am rollout from Holliday Lake and I have big thoughts of making Reidsville 120 miles away. What I’m realizing is how hard it is to ride over the 100 mile mark in a day. An early start is a must. Rest breaks must be efficient. Navigation tight. And of course your body has to be there. I had most of that today except the early start and a slight four mile re-route for a sketch trail that seemed like I’d be pushing the boundary on the “no trespassing” signage I spoke of in yesterday’s post. I rolled into Danville at 6:15pm after a solid push for the final 20 miles. A second wind of sorts after a hot and sunny (and hilly) day in the saddle. 

Decision time. Do I put in another 24-26 miles to get to Reidsville or stay put. An after dark arrival on fairly busy roads didn’t seem worth the extra miles so I called it a day. Right decision. Even more right as I was straddling my bike in decision mode right in front of a brand new Sleep Inn with a discount promotion. Welcome to my 2nd hotel stay of the trip. Ahhhh. And they had cookies upon check-in. 

The rolling acreage of today was fairly consistent. Hilltop farms with 200-400 acres for most of them offered really nice vistas all day. Also much more tolerable traffic levels today on the busier roads made for more peaceful riding. I’d love to know what 100 acres of land is worth up here. Very scenic views. Easy on the eyes. 

Tomorrow is tricky. Need to ride enough miles to make Sunday an easier day into home but also want to stay at a legitimate camping location.  The choices are slim. I’ve got a little more recon ahead of me. 

Also, thinking ahead to Sunday, if anyone is looking for an afternoon bike ride, I’d love the company. My intention would be only to have company for as far as you want to ride or can stand to ride with me. The pace is pretty slow (11-14 MPH) and I would not want this to be ceremonial by any means. Let me know if you want to meet. My path has me coming in from NoDa to Uptown and then out of town via the rail trail. I can flex my route to meet anywhere near the South Blvd corridor and you’d be welcome to ride with me all the way to Fort Mill if you’d like. The timing is likely in the noon-2pm when I’ll ride by Sycamore Brewery on the rail trail – I’ll plan a short break there. I can firm the exact time up on Sunday as I ride in. Also, I haven’t looked at the weather and don’t know if there’s a Panther’s home game or not. Anyways, just  let me know. 

What I loved today: Hilltop acreage. 

Oddity:  Mac and cheese mixed with mashed potatoes at lunch in a Brookneal gas station/local restaurant. 

Zen Moment: Meeting an ice delivery guy who has two friends who started a San Diego to St. Augustine trip the same day I left from Maine. 

Not-So-Zen Moment: Salivating dogs mistaking my calves for turkey legs. 

Who did I meet today? See my Zen moment above. 

Food I Ate: Nutella, banana, almond butter and tortilla (again), bar on the bike, Mac/cheese mixed with mashed potatoes, cheese wrapped in tortillas and a repeat of breakfast with pistachios at lunch number two under a Baptist Church’s pavilion, Gatorade and a SierraMist 20 miles before Danville. Dinner was more stuff put I a wrap, two cookies, pistachios and a Snickers bar. 

Pictures: 1) hillside acreage with cows. I did a lame job with pictures today. 


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