This is the last part of our adventurous week. We were visiting with our niece, Dina, in Myrtle Beach on Thursday and Friday when I received a text from our friend and fellow biker, Stacy Mark. I first met Stacy on my cross-country ride in 2013. I was doing the Northern Route and at one point it came close to where Stacy lived. We got a call from her at that time and after some discussion she asked if it would be alright for she and her husband to join me in riding part of the Route. Naturally, I said “of course”. We met up at a specific point on the trail and Stacy and her husband, Rocky, rode with us for a couple of days. So it had been almost seven years since I had seen her. She was following my current blog and thought I’d be interested in meeting up with her as she was doing a challenging ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
We agreed to meet somewhere on the Parkway when Georgie and I returned home from Myrtle Beach. On November 1st Stacy texted me that most of the Parkway was closed due to the weather. She was looking at biking about 450 miles on the Parkway starting near Cherokee, NC, and finishing in Charlottesville, Virginia. She planned on camping out at night and grabbing food when she could. A very brave girl indeed since she was riding without support, the weather was not good, and the Blue Ridge Parkway has a lot of hills! She was also a little concerned about sleeping out in the woods because of bears. We later took her to buy an air horn that would scare a herd of bears away.
When Georgie and I got home on Monday, Stacy had already been riding for a day or two. We drove to Asheville and caught the Parkway and headed north. Stacy texted us that she had just passed Mile 389 north of Pisgah. We were 20 miles or so south of there so we sped up hoping to meet her as soon as possible. The weather was good at this point but getting windy–not a good thing for a biker. We were at Mile 375 when we came around a curve and lo and behold there was a biker in front of us struggling to get up the next hill to the Overlook Turnout at Mile 370. It was Stacy! We parked at the Overlook and waited for her to climb the remaining short distance.
She was finding the ride difficult due to the windy weather and the constant hill climbs. We knew from the weather report that it was going to be very cold that night on the Parkway. We tried to find a good shelter spot for her but could not find one in the next several miles ahead. So we asked Stacy if she would like to spend a quiet night at our house and enjoy some good food at a local restaurant. She agreed that would be the high point of her day!
The next morning we drove her back to Mile 370 where she took her bike and all her gear out of the back of our car. Here is the scene at the Overlook.
Stacy, her bike and 40 lbs of gear. Ready to go at Mile 370. Off she goes to Charlottesville.
She did 63 miles that day. The next day she did 80 miles and stopped at Mile 230. On Thursday Stacy reported to me that she did 85 mile and was in the rain for 3 hours. On Friday night I received a text that she had finished the ride and was staying with friends. I wrote her back a text of congratulations and acknowledged that she had just accomplish an amazing feat. I also told her that this accomplishment was going to make it very hard to out-brag her.
I have known a lot of bikers who have accomplish some amazing things. I would have to put Stacy at the top with those who have done the MOST AMAZING THINGS!
Note: Stacy was going north on the Parkway so the Mile # decline the farther she rode. Thus you will see the mile markers go from 370 to 230 etc.