Day 4: Our route from South Hill to Clarksville Virginia was designed to reveal gems tucked away in rural Virginia. And we were not disappointed!
Departing at 8:30AM, our pack of 4 riders stayed tight as we maneuvered through major highway interchanges and busy traffic in downtown South Hill. All of that changed after 20 minutes, and we found ourselves riding along quiet roadways passing tobacco and soybean farms. The large tobacco leaves beckoned us to stop for a photo op – and a chance to pick up a stray leaf for good measure. Tobacco leaves are not your average ‘leaves’. They can grow up to 2 feet long in length and easily a foot wide.
Continuing south, we ventured through small towns – such as Boydton. Some of the landmarks of Boydton include – a water tower, a historic Main Street, 10 storefronts, few people and various Civil War landmarks. We would have stimulated the economy for a mid morning coffee break – but there were no coffee shops in Boydton. It is easy to see how small towns would benefit economically by embracing ‘active tourism’ — as part of a connected network – such as the East Coast Greenway! Despite the lack of caffeine, we hopped onto our bike saddles, and cycled our way back into farm country.
Here we met with several dog encounters. The most frightening occurred when a pack of 3 dogs gave chase. There seemed to be some disagreement among our group of riders as to the best way to react to pack dogs that are giving chase. For example, one cyclist suggested that you should not yell at the dogs, another suggested that yelling at the dogs was a good idea, and another rider pulled out her pepper spray just in case. We all agreed that we should not waste any time debating the subject, and just ride as fast as you can. After awhile, the chasing dogs got bored, and we then returned back to a more leisurely touring pace.
Today’s ride would be short – a total of 35 miles. Inside of those 35 miles were a few long grinding climbs followed by long rolling downhills – so in case you are concerned – we had plenty of workout. We didn’t mind having a short ride that followed yesterday’s 72 miler – where the last 20 miles simulated riding uphill in quicksand. Multiple cycling groups converged with us at mile 25, and we had a group of 10+ riders roll together into Clarksville – just in time for lunch. A fantastic ride with a great group of East Coast Greenway WAY Tour cyclists as we inch our way closer to North Carolina.
Route: South Hill VA to Clarksville VA (36 miles)