86.47km. 1,435m. 5h04 ride time
We left the beautiful town of Lexington to ride 30km gently uphill to the big climb
Vesuvius was the big climb today. It’s the toughest on the TransAmerica Trail, it starts with 3km at 11-18% then goes 3km more at 8-12%. Really enjoyed it though 🤩
At the top we joined the Blue Ridge Parkway which runs along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Beautiful.
Then down to overnight in the ‘Cookie Lady’s bike house. This is ‘hostel’. The Cookie Lady baked biscuits for cyclists from 1976 (when the TransAmerica Trail was started) until her death in 2012. The house is crammed with memorabilia and we found the cycle jersey of Wout Deboodt from Iedereen Beroemd. He was Stef’s inspiration and the reason we we are here now. Stef wrote to him on FB (but no reply yet)
The house, although an icon and worth a visit has virtually no facilities. No shower, no cooker, no beds and hasn’t been cleaned since around 2012. They ask for a donation of $25 which is unreasonable (Spoke’n in Mitchell was the BEST hostel with everything and also asked $25 which we gladly paid
We also took a short hike to the old railway tunnel which was rather a cool tunnel