May 23, 2001 - Mike and Marilyn's 2001 TranAmerican Bike Tour

Mike and Marilyn's
2001 TransAm Bike Trip
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May 23, 2001

TRANSAM 2001 > Virginia

Ashland to Lake Anna, Virginia. (52 mi.) Mile 175

Lost on TransAm Map #12, Section 146

Maybe it was getting only an hour of sleep next to the freeway last night, but today we got lost twice. The first time we tried following a "shortcut" back to the route. This cost us less than 10 miles, but the second time, we ended up way off course, probably due to inattention. Other lost TransAmers had preceded us though, according to those we asked for directions.

Our route passed many old or abandoned buildings

Here's what we learned about navigation:

If you and your partner come into a convenience store looking exhausted, wearing bike helmets, bike jerseys, bike gloves, bike shorts, and bike shoes, and the person behind the counter says, "Are y'all the folks wanting gas on pump #4?", this is not the person to ask for directions.

If you are happily cruising along with a tailwind thinking you are going west, and the sun is on your right, think again.

If you have been appreciating those Bike Route 76 signs and begin to notice its been a long time since you've seen one, heads up!

If the person you ask for directions says, "Listen Honey! I don't care what the map says, I've lived here all my life, 95 years, and if you want to get to Ashland you have to cross 95", those directions are OK.

Many TransAm journals have the Cyclist Rescuing Turtle Picture.
Bicyclists probably identify with the turtles.

The weather was perfect for biking as we started leaving the coastal humidity behind and climbing into the hills. The scenery only improved after we became lost toward Lake Anna where it seemed to be Ride-On Lawnmower day. Riding past miles of large manicured lawns and pastural scenes, we were seldom out of earshot of a lawnmower or weed-eater.
To make a long, exhausting tory short, we ended up at Duke's Creek Marina on Lake Anna to try to camp, but it was closed. As we set up to outlaw camp, someone reported our presence, and the owner roared up in his Porsche to collect money. At least we had the whole place to ourselves and the only noise at night was the hooting of a Great Gray Owl in the woods.

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