Blacksburg, VA – Hurricane Camp (near Akins, VA)
Miles Ridden – 140
Total Miles – 140
Total Travel Time – 8.5 hrs
Crashes – 2
Animal Totem – Butterfly
What I learned today – Just let it fall! aka How to get out of the way when the bike is going down.
Before embarking on the TAT I taught yoga at a weeklong silent meditation retreat, and much like any silent retreat I’ve been on, about 4 miles into the TAT I thought to myself, ‘What the HELL am I doing?!’ Well at that point I still had no idea. By the end of Day 1 I have a little bit more of an idea, which is how I know that I had NO idea what I was getting myself into.
Interestingly enough at the end of the first day I am happy. Excited even. Expectations are clearer. And as a wise woman once told me- Better the Devil you know than the one you don’t.
We had a glorious send off complete with documentation and tears from those left behind. Took the back way by the New River and stopped about 23 miles in at Tangent Outfitters for a fuel and lunch stop, where I found a potato chip about the size of my face.
Tangent was also the scene of the first crash – I completely forgot to put the kickstand down when we pulled up for gas! Luckily that’s the kind of mistake you don’t make twice (knock on wood).
From there we continued on, and I must say the mountains of VA are absolutely beautiful. We saw countless butterflies (and many other animals!), beautiful vistas, mountains and farmland. It was back in the woods where I took my second spill of the day- heading uphill on soft dirt. The bike got a little wonky and instead of powering through and letting it self-correct I backed off and tried to right the bike. Bad idea! Luckily again I got out of the way.
Like anything in life, I’ve been learning a lot with each mishap. Stefan’s friend Squid (who tagged along for the first day) was behind me, saw what happened and gave me some great pointers- give it more gas, put your weight on the foot pegs, and don’t try to control the bike too much. I guess it’s the life coach in me, but I couldn’t help but think this advice sounded a lot like what I would tell a friend or client who was going through some tough shit- just keep going, stay grounded, and let go. You’ll be fine. After all, aren’t we usually OK in the end? 🙂 Interestingly enough I actually felt more comfortable riding after the crash – I fell, and I was OK. The thing I was afraid would happen did happen, and I was able to get up, learn from it, and move on.
The rest of the day was fairly uneventful by comparison. We rolled into Atkins, VA for our final fuel stop of the day around 7:30 where we had just missed the rain and were greeted by a faint but beautiful rainbow.