After a long and cold training period from January to March, my buddy Chris and I ran the Virginia Creeper Marathon today in Abingdon, VA. The race was on the lower end of the Virginia Creeper Trail. The course was great – all trail except for a couple of miles at the beginning. The weather – not so much. It rained the whole time and temps started out at 38 and climed all the way up to 43. Everything got wet, shoes, shirt, and hat. I ran the race in a rain jacket because it was cold enough. Thinkgs went well until I stopped to change my socks and shirt at mile 18. It was hard to get back in the groove after that and I had to slow down and walk some. All in all, I’m glad I did it (especially now – aftewards). Miles 19-26 were pretty tough. I had to just find a pace I could maintain and just keep going.
A few weeks ago I finally got around to replacing the water pump on my 2004 Chevy Silverado. It had been slowly loosing coolant from behind the water pump and I assumed it needed a new one. When I got it off, I discovered one of the gaskets had been installed incorrectly from the factory.
For Spring break, Carol and I decided to ride the Virginia Creeper Trail. Its a 33 mile long trail from Whitetop to Arbington in Virginia. It drops in elevation over 1500 feet from the high point at Whitetop. We decided to ride the whole thing.
Instead of camping at the top, we decided to stay in a motel in Arbington. Not just any motel, but a retro 1950′s style place called the Alpine Motel. It had good reviews: quite, large clean rooms, and a great view outside. Check out its name in large letters that are visible from the Interstate.
Staying in Abington had several advantages: It was a shorter drive from home since its right by the interstate and not way up the mountain. We could catch a shuttle to the top in the morning and not have to hurry to meet a scheduled pickup at the end of our ride.
Here we are ready to leave on the shuttle to the top:
After what seemed like a rather long ride (over 30 minutes) we arrived at Whitetop. Here we are ready to start down the hill:
Riding the trail there are numerous tresles (over a 100), restored train stations, and a few places to eat. Here are pictures of the trail:
The half-way point!
Here’s where we stopped to have lunch. Its called “In The Country” and its in Damascus.
Here’s Alvarado station. Its named after Alvarado, TX
Here we are at the finish – the trailhead in Abington
In conclusion, it was a great ride, but i would like to try a “comfort bike” instead of a mountain bike next time. The top half was very easy since its almost all downhill and the bottom wasn’t bad, it was mostly level. Our total time for the ride including lunch was a few minutes oveer six hours. We were stopped for nearly an hour to eat and rest.
Starting this blog over. It got hacked and I had to blast it all including the database. Hopefully I can think of something new and exciting to write.