Asheville to Riedsville, NC

Old 421 in the rain

I didn't wake up till about 8:45 AM even though I went to bed at 8:30 PM. my body needs a lot of time in bed to recover during the first week or two of a tour! I rushed and got on the road by 9:30 AM since I knew I had a long days ride ahead of me and I expected to run into bad weather.

421 Expressway in sunlight with storm clouds ahead

It was only a hundred yards or so from my motel to the 421 expressway that I was riding east towards Winston-Salem. Traffic was light and the shoulder was mostly rideable despite a nasty rumble strip that sometimes wandered back and forth across it. The sun was shining when I left, but the edge of the road was wet and I could see storm clouds ahead. Those clouds seemed to move back as a I rode and, for a while, I hoped that I wouldn't catch up with them. That hope faded as I neared I-77.

The storm clouds where 421 crosses I-77, about 25 miles east of Wilksboro

It was looking bad ahead of me when I crossed the inter-state, and it was time for lunch, so I stopped at a Subway in a big service place on the east side. There are no services between Wilksboro and I-77. I ordered a 12" sub and took half of it with me to eat later. That turned out to be a good idea since it was a long, wet, and windy 30 miles before I found another place to buy food.

I got of the expressway at Yadkinville. I was tired of the expressway and Old 421 parallels it from Yadkinville into Winston-Salem. I had been riding in light rain for five miles or so at that point and I briefly considered stopping for the day in Yadkinville, but Old 421 looked like nice riding - it was - and the rain came and went in such a way that I never needed to put on all my rain gear. I was riding in Icerider tights, a long sleeved jersey and a wind vest. I had my SealSkinz socks on over my wool socks and silk liner gloves under my riding gloves. The temperature was in the 40s and the wind was out of the north at about 10 mph. I took my camera off the handlebars and only took it out to take one picture on Old 421 during a break in the rain.

Yadkinville Road

Old 421 becomes Yadkinville road after about 10 miles and then, after another 10 miles. The rain had stopped and these roads were dry, so I stopped on this section to eat the second half of my sub. I turned north on Tonsou Rd when I reached Pfafftown. Tonsou Rd becomes Bethania Rd when it crosses NC 67 and, in Bethania - a pretty little town - I turned right on the road to Rural Hall. That road becomes NC 65 in Rural Hall just after crossing the US 52 expressway. I stopped at a Hardees for a second lunch and then rode on towards Stokesdale on 65.

NC 65 - pretty and hilly

A small part of Belews Lake on NC 65
Note the wind rippling the water

When I finally reached Stokesdale, I stopped for coffee and a honeybun. I was cold and tired at this point and it was getting late. I'd come about 80 miles and I had about 25 miles to go and it was 5:15 PM. Sundown was around 6:30.

The intersection of NC 65 and US 158 - I stopped at the service station there

US 158 is a main commuter route and, at 5:30, it had a fair amount of traffic on it. It also has no shoulder and fairly narrow lanes. Fortunately there were very few big trucks on the road and all the drivers were considerate of me as a I cranked along it at 15 mph or so. It could have been an unpleasant an even dangerous ride, but wasn't, thanks to the drivers. I was able to focus on getting down that road and not worry about the other vehicles. It was much more like riding in Europe than in most parts of the US.

I reached Riedsville at 7 PM. I'd turned my helmet flasher and rear flasher on at 6:30 so I was easily seen and I didn't, quite, need to use my headlight to see the road. It was raining lightly, so I stopped at the first service station / convenience store and asked where the motels were. They sent me north, perhaps half a mile, on US 29 where I found an inexpensive place to stay.

104 miles with 3300 feet of climbing in 7 hours and 45 minutes on the bicycle. Rain on and off for about two hours total, cool temps around 45 to 50 F, and a moderate wind out of the north.