Day 3: Charlottesville to Lake Anna - Throwback Tour 1997: Our First "Old Men's Bicycling Tour" When We Thought 40 Was Old - CycleBlaze

June 11, 1997

Day 3: Charlottesville to Lake Anna

Busted at Monticello

The routemeister lead us through beautiful downtown Charlottesville and then forced us up the hill to Monticello, where Jefferson's famous house stands. We cycled around Monticello and were just about to do a photo opportunity when we were busted - even to cycle around the perimeter road you are supposed to pay $15.

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Rick TresslerHey boys... y'all got a teekit?
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4 months ago

We sheepishly rolled downhill and got back on Bike Route 76 for an invigorating stretch of gradual rolling hills. Somewhere along here a wild turkey ran across our path. The cycling was fine until we reached Palmyra and the dreaded Riverside Diner.

John was in the lead and some sixth sense caused him to head for a grocery store across the street from the diner but Chris and Mike forced him back to the Riverside Diner, which looked more like the Riverside Abandoned Storefront. John, Rick and Mike allegedly had spaghetti and meatballs (which tasted more like rubber bands, ketchup and golf balls) while Chris had a steak that appeared to have spent most of its adult life as the bottom of a shoe.

If you ever see this sign, keep going.
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We met some interesting characters there, however. Another cyclist was eating there, on his way to Oregon along the Bike Centennial route from Yorktown. He was riding a mountain bike and pulling a Bob trailer with a Kermit the Frog doll attached. Two local good old boys also whistled appreciatively at Rick's appearance in his spandex shorts and confused Rick's stretching outside after lunch as an attempt to push over the Riverside Diner - not a bad idea, actually.

Back on the road, with another 45 miles to go to complete the 74 mile ride to Lake Anna. We slogged along, with periodic bursts of speed to avoid charging dogs.

Example of typical "friendly" dogs along the way.
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Rick TresslerBad dog! Go home!
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4 months ago

Most of the route was through rolling hills with an occasional steep spot. We came across two more cross-country cyclists on the BikeCentennial route to Oregon, an older man and a woman with fully loaded hybrid bikes. After that we hit a nice stretch of straight rolling road and tried to form a paceline. Nope, not a chance - we quickly went back to straggling along individually.

An extended rest stop at a gas station at the 62 mile mark gave us the energy for the final push through Mineral VA and down to Lake Anna. I tried one of the Powerbar Gel packs my wife had given me and it was the most vile, disgusting thing I've ever tasted. I must have blinked and missed the town of Mineral, although we did stop at a rustic rail station for a photo opportunity.

"Wrecks and the City": Mike, Chris and Rick.
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Since the weather had been lousy all week, Lake Anna was pretty much deserted and we had the roads to ourselves as we enjoyed the views of the lake. We also had the motel to ourselves and found that the restaurant had closed early because there were no customers. We had to bike 1.5 miles over to a convenience store for dinner that night, where we doubled the place's daily revenue. A beautiful sunset over the lake ended the day, as we all went to sleep with visions of Powerbars dancing in our heads.

What Lake Anna looks like if drones existed and we had one back then.
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Today's ride: 74 miles (119 km)
Total: 168 miles (270 km)

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