Mineral, VA to Charlottesville, VA: approx 56 miles
We left Mineral knowing we had a long, hilly day ahead of us. We left an hour later than the day before and biked 10 more miles than the previous day.
We went through a town called “Kents Store.” It had a post office. Yippy. Then, around lunchtime we arrived in the town of Palmyra which had a grocery store and restaurant in the town. The restaurant is shut down but the grocery store was open and has a deli that serves made-to-order and ready to eat food.
About 12 miles outside of Charlottesville, we found a great country store called “Woodbridge Market.” It is a very nice and well stocked store with plenty of food options including a deli.
We saw this guy sitting in a hole in a tree along the road.
One of the EMT’s in Mineral had warned us that the route we were taking leading us into Charlottesville was a very windy and busy road and that we should be careful. We did use caution riding the route and at times walked our bikes with the bikes closest to the road and ourselves further from the road in case we had to ditch and run. Walking with the bikes to our left also allowed us to see the oncoming traffic better and make eye contact!
We were relieved of the bust road when we came upon the Saunders-Monticello trail. This was a super fun trail to ride on! It is boardwalk style and runs along the side of the mountain and was downhill for us the whole way! After the trail ended we got on a busy arterial for about a half mile but it had a wide shoulder so we were fine.
Another half mile on a small road and we arrived at the Alexander House which provides both private rooms and shared space in their hostile on the property. We checked into our private room, did some laundry, and then went to find something to eat.
We took our bikes and found a nice tapas restaurant just down the road with seating outside. The place was packed. Our world seems so small sometimes! As we were waiting for a table (at this very packed restaurant), we struck up a conversation with a couple that were sitting at a table next to the sidewalk and fence where we leaned our bikes. The couple, Pat and Jane happened to be friends with the woman who checked us in at the Alexander house. Pat and Jane mentioned that they are well traveled and that of all of the places that they have been, they liked Charlottesville so much that they decided to settle here.
Pat and Jane advised us to bike a few more blocks to Charlottesville’s historic downtown pedestrian mall where we could get some really good food faster and cheaper and listen to a live band. The event is called “Friday’s After Five” and it was PACKED.
As we were walking through the mall looking for a place to eat we met a couple college students Katie and Heather. This summer Katie and Heather will bicycle across America to raise funds for and awareness of affordable housing efforts. Along the way they will stop in communities where they will meet with local residents, give presentations about housing issues, and build affordable homes with local housing groups. (go to http://www.bikeandbuild.org if you would like to help support their efforts and/or get more information) Go Katie and Heather!!! Phil and Linda support affordable housing efforts!
After our conversation with the two women we found a nice place to eat. After a very long day, we were ridiculously tired. We biked back to the Inn and turned in for the night.