By Abigail DeLashmutt
Motorists, beware: On October 3, my crack team of amateur cyclists and I will embark on a four day cycling tour of the Virginia portion of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area. We’ll travel about 150 miles from Lucketts to Charlottesville, stopping along the way at historic homes, museums, vineyards, and B&B’s. Assuming your heroine does not perish in the attempt, the story of our epic journey will appear in the pages of The Piedmont Virginian.
Pictured above: The author, who will soon dearly miss this stranger’s Vespa. Photo Credit: India DeLashmutt.
A few weeks ago, I took my intense dislike of bicycling, my utter lack of aptitude for organization, and my horror of unflattering spandex outfits, and I bottled them up deep inside. With that accomplished, from my seat in New York I set about planning a trip that would take me and four friends to some of my favorite places, and a few I’ve never visited; our route includes stops at Waterford, Dodona Manor, the Red Fox Inn, The Plains, Graffiti House, Remington, the Rappahannock River, Culpeper, Montpelier, Barboursville Vineyards, and Monticello. Along the way we’ll be hitting not one but six festivals, where we hope to participate in barrel tastings, parades, and sheep dog trials (actually, we’ll probably just observe the sheep dog trials, unless the barrel tasting really did get out of hand). I don’t know how far funnel cake can power a cyclist, but I intend find out.
The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area is home to some of America’s most beautiful landscapes, and was the scene of some of our most historically significant struggles- and it’s about to see one more. The team has already overcome quite a few obstacles, among them a bloody-minded resistance to padded bike shorts by Oliver; a nouveau-secessionist attempt by team hippie Harvey, who wanted to camp out all three nights; and Brette’s near collision with Leonardo DiCaprio, who apparently fancies a Sunday bike ride when visiting Manhattan. The author’s own exceedingly poor sense of balance on a bike nearly cost her her life on Snickersville Turnpike. These challenges, and many more like them, have only hardened our resolve (not, unfortunately, our backsides: everyone eventually succumbed to the padded bike shorts movement). You can check back with the Piedmont Virginian’s blog for updates on our progress, and if you’d like to ride part of the route yourself, you can contact The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org for expert advice.