Christiansburg

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What a difference a day makes. I had a good ride today, mostly because I reminded myself of the unique adventure I’m living.

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I’m riding through the US ! I need to remember that, and it’s what I did that morning. I need to concentrate more on what I see each minute, and stop more often to enjoy it. That’s actually going against my education : keep only the negative and worry about it. A heritage from my mother.

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So, I didn’t keep in mind the fatigue, the remaining distance, the interrogations about the bike and wheels, and simply looked around the road and enjoyed the feeling of moving forward. I also got a few waves and nods again from people. I don’t remember getting any over the past week. Maybe it’s just me ?

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I went as slow as I did yesterday, but I wasn’t looking at kilometers (not too much). I stopped looking at my speed some time ago. It doesn’t really matter as long as I keep going. I make short rides these days (a bit less than 50mis/80kms), and in four hours and something I’m done.

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Still, I continue to have the little voice at the beginning of each day, saying I can’t do it. After exactly three months on the road, in a civilized state, with relatively easy days, it’s strange that this is still happening. It’s really a part of me that is unwelcome.

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So, today I continued hugging interstate 81, on smallish roads mostly. It was a bit more countryside than yesterday, but there are still small towns here and there. I’m not in Kansas anymore ๐Ÿ™‚

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I arrived in Christiansburg, marking the end of the TransAm map that I mostly skipped. I’ll take a day of rest tomorrow. I haven’t done enough of that in the last month. The last one was seven days ago, then nine through Illinois and Kentucky, then six through Missouri, then eleven through Kansas. I planned to take one every four or five days initially.

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I went to see Lucy, despite Joe’s warning ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s the only French movie in the US and I had to help it. And I loved it ! As a fan of Akira, Flowers for Algernon or the Matrix, it played right into my fandom ๐Ÿ™‚ I found it very enjoyable and well done from beginning to end. But I have to stop eating buttered pop corn.

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And I walked around the commercial area, as during other days, it was made clear pedestrians don’t belong here. No sidewalk, no crossing, no timer on traffic lights. In Moscow there would be people killed daily – they don’t stop for walkers (and I don’t exaggerate).

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Adventure Cycling Maps !

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I received this morning the 14 route maps I ordered from the Adventure Cycling Association ๐Ÿ™‚ They were warning about a 60-days overseas delivery delay, but they made the trip in less than two weeks.

These maps plot very well the trip I will do through the US :

  1. San Francisco – Santa Barbara, CA
  2. Los Angeles, CA
  3. Here I’m missing the bit between LA – Las Vegas, NV – Flagstaff, AZ
  4. Flagstaff, AZ – Cedar City, UT
  5. Dolores, CO (maybe a detour to Denver ?)
  6. Pueblo, CO
  7. Alexander, KS
  8. Girard, KS
  9. Murphysboro, IL
  10. Berea, KY
  11. Christiansburg, VA
  12. Richmond, VA (then of course Washington, Baltimore)
  13. Conshohocken, VA (then Philadelphia, New York)
  14. Windsor Locks, CT
  15. Boston, MA ๐Ÿ™‚

That makes a total of 12 states, perhaps a bit more with the small states on the east coast (small but beautiful ! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

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The maps are really nice and detailed with all sorts of useful informations for cyclists, including elevation, weather reports, directories, etc. They are supposed to be untearable and waterproof. I’ll see that on the field ๐Ÿ™‚

Only default I see, apart from the price (12$ each, member price), is that there is a one page addendum for each map :p This print is less than two years old though. Well, things change fast I suppose.

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I wanted to do a pic with all maps open on the ground, but I don’t think I have enough space around ๐Ÿ™‚