Monday, June 22

Some Brief Interactions

The following are a few funny interactions I had with different groups of people (and a few related and unrelated pictures).  Again, on the theme of not long enough events to create a full blog for each, but each meriting a mention.
A few mornings ago I was riding on US 11, actually taking a shortcut of sorts, when a police car, lights fully lit, pulled around me.  Slowing down in front of me I began thinking to the story I read in another cyclist's journal (the one questioned for a double homicide).  Obviously, I began to worry a bit, "Oh no, what'd I do?" but finally noticing that the car was not slowing down, I realized it was not lit on my occasion.  I looked behind me to find a whole host of cyclists nearing my trailer.  One by one they flew past, nearly 50 of them, racing their hearts out (which of course caused me to want to ride faster).  I think what made this hilarious, for me at least, was that I was listening to Rome's rendition of T.I.'s Whatever You Like.  Now most paid no attention at all but I think there were others who recognized the tune and of course the looks which followed ranged from flabbergasted to sheer pleasure.  If only I had the camera for that one.
At a gas station on US 11 I ran into a biker gang.  4 strong, each covered in leather, tattoos, beards, and an assortment of bandanas.  Stepping off my steed, they looked at me a bit confused; I mean, in my tights and all I do look a bit goofy.  I feared what would follow.  But to my chagrin the four were quite interested in the ride I was making and question followed question.  
"How far you going?" one asked.
"I'm at 888 miles right now, looking to get over 900 by the end of the day," I nervously replied.
"888?  Shoot, he's almost got us Gus!" one shot back at the inquisitor.
"And when you expecting to make it to the Pacific?" another added.
Turning to him, "Sometime in August, maybe.  I've got more school in September, so I guess I have until then if I need it."
Laughing, one chimed in, "Come August, while you're just getting to the coast, we'll be in a bar somewhere with a few beers."
"Pour one out for me," I responded.
The Q&A section continued session continued for some time, proving to be a bit bothersome for me.  That is... well, you see, my reason for stopping was bathroom related.

Taking my afternoon rest at a local volunteer firehouse.
Further down US 11 I came to Chilhowie, VA where I rode past a school with several young folks at the road's edge holding car wash signs.  Riding by, the kids clearly knew I wasn't a car but still adamantly waved their signs in my directions to get a laugh.  I shrugged my shoulders and smiled, pressing onward.  As I got further down the road, I realized I had already put in a couple of hours, hitting the morning session pretty hard, and thought to myself why not? (a theme of my trip).
I circled round back to the entrance of the school parking lot and rode up to a bunch of hoses, buckets, students, and parents.  "How much for a rinse?"
"Well, we're taking donations... It's for the school band - we're raising money for band trip this summer."
A bit confused as to why I pulled in, I explained I was pretty hot from the sun and could use a rinse.  It took a bit of encouragement and a small donation, but not before long the students were spraying me down and having a bunch of fun with it, maybe a little too much fun even - hose in the face is not always pleasant to have happen to you, but always funny to see.

My attempt at an Into the Wild shot and the night's sky in Wytheville, VA.
A barn.  The sky was muggy so I had to make it black and white to look 'good'.

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