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1984 Bike Tour: Day 12 – We meet the Rev at Elk Garden

ELK GARDEN, VA. — “Bikers. Take a Break. Good Cool Water. Welcome.”

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After climbing in and out Appalachian hollers all day and seeing a sign like that, we didn't need to be told twice to stop for a while. That's where we met the Rev, another unforgettable person on our TransAmerica Tour. …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/05/24/1984-bike-tour-day-12-we-meet-the-rev-at-elk-garden/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 11 – Fellow travelers, different paths

GRINDSTONE CAMPGROUND, VA. — We hit it all today — headwinds, rain, steep hills, illness and an opposite direction bicycle tourist (he had a nice tailwind) who told us how great things were. That last was the hardest to take.

We broke camp at the Elizabeth Brown Memorial Park, packed our damp gear, and headed to the laundromat in town. I tried to fix my front derailleur while my shoes dried, broke the nut, cursed and threw things, then walked around town until I found an auto parts store where a guy replaced it for free.

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Back on rolling Route 11 again, we came across a guy who was wrapping up his cross-country trip from San Francisco…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/05/23/1984-bike-tour-day-11-fellow-travelers-different-paths/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 10 – Dickie Boyles, where are you?

Today, our stupidity almost got the best of us.

After a late start, I had problems with my front derailleur and tried to fix it as a gas station. It was 10 a.m. before we got underway. We stopped for a bite at Newbern, where several log cabins appeared to be under restoration

We continued on along a road that had a beautiful sweeping vistas of wide green valleys backed by blue tinted mountain ridges (bottom photo).

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This led us to the Draper Country Store, “18 and 90” it said above the door. Inside, a guy cut some longhorn cheese from a huge block he kept under glass. The old store had a pool table, a cast iron stove, some well-worn chairs, and lots of unusual items for sale…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/05/22/1984-bike-tour-day-10-dickie-boyles-where-are-you/

Bicyclists in cougar attack identified; mountain lion was “emaciated”

The man killed in Saturday’s mountain lion attack in the Cascade foothills east of North Bend has been identified as S.J. Brooks, 32, a Seattle bicycle enthusiast and advocate. His injured friend, also of Seattle, was identified as Isaac Sederbaum, 31. The two were identified by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, according to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/05/21/bicyclists-in-cougar-attack-identified-mountain-lion-was-emaciated/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 9 – Tired, tarred and dogged

Hills, dogs, tar and lots of miles. What an exhausting day.

We left the campground on our bicycles at 7 a.m. and followed Route 11 — known locally as the Valley Pike — right through to the TransAmerica Route in Buchanan and beyond. The roadway is like a trip out of the '50s — the highway is cement and weathered roadside barns painted with faint ads dot the landscape.

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We turned off 11 and followed some low-country roads along the Norfolk-Western RR. Many dogs here. At one house, two dogs raced out of the yard chasing Bruce's bike. One mean-looking mongrel actually bit into the rear of his pannier and tried to drag him to a stop. …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/05/21/1984-bike-tour-day-9-tired-tarred-and-dogged/

Cougar attacks 2 bikers in western Washington leaving 1 dead and 1 injured

Mountain bikers in the Pacific Northwest have a new concern about riding in the remote Cascade foothills after news spread that a cougar attack in the forests east of Snoqualmie and North Bend left one biker dead and another injured. The Seattle Times reports it was only the second fatal mountain lion attack in the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/05/20/mountain-lion-attacks-2-mountain-bikers-in-western-washington-leaving-1-dead-and-1-injured/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 8 – Natural Bridge seems so unnatural

We bolted from the campground without breakfast, and coasted all the way down to the town of Vesuvius. This is one of the hardest climbs on the TransAmerica Route for eastbound riders; but going westbound, we weren't even warmed up.

The guidebook says 200 people live here, but we didn't see a soul. Vesuvius is bisected by the Norfolk Western RR, and it looks like both halves were the “wrong side” of town — everything was boarded up. We ended up at a truck stop on I-81 for breakfast, our bicycles dwarfed by the giant 18-wheelers.

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We headed south down the scenic Shenandoah Valley, stopping for lunch at Lexington, home of Washington and Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute. (The congestion at W&L led us to believe it was graduation weekend.) …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/05/20/1984-bike-tour-day-8-natural-bridge-seems-so-unnatural/

1984 Tour: Day 7 – Climb a mountain, meet the Cookie Lady

This is by far the most difficult day of the trip. We rode through rolling farmland, struggled up switchbacks to the Cookie Lady's Bike House, then discovered the Blue Ridge Parkway is not level.

This is the part of the trip we should have been training for all spring, but I don't think even that would have prepared us for this.

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We enjoyed meeting the Cookie Lady, who shared some time with us. [We had no way of knowing that her helpfulness to bicycling passersby would later result in the Adventure Cycling Association's Trail Angel Award being named in her honor.] Later, however, we became distressed to learn that we had more climbing and farther to ride to reach our campground…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/05/19/1984-tour-day-7-climb-a-mountain-meet-the-cookie-lady/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 6 – Rest day and mailing gear back home; 1984’s Top 40

Six days into our TransAmerica bike tour, and we're already taking our first day off. The first five days have been a shakedown cruise — the last days of training and the first of our trip. I feel that our journey begins in earnest tomorrow.

After lolling around our hostess' apartment for a while, we boxed up some clothes to send back home. I sent back an extra sweater and other clothes that only filled space and added weight to my panniers.

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Why did I pack so much crap? Maybe I can cheat gravity a little a we head into the Appalachians…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/05/18/1984-bike-tour-day-6-rest-day-mailing-gear-back-homethat-years-top-40/

Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail is new name for John Wayne Pioneer Trail

One of the longest rail-trails in the US just underwent a name change. The Washington Parks and Recreation Commission voted on Thursday to change the name of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail to the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail. The new name reflects the trail’s geographical stretch across Washington state from the rolling Palouse …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/05/17/palouse-to-cascades-state-park-trail-is-new-name-for-john-wayne-pioneer-trail/