BVA Day Five

We decided to sleep in a bit this AM so we got a late start on our day. But our plan was to go “off book,” take off from the BVA designated route, and pedal into Williamsburg after going across the James on the ferry and then back again to get on the Williamsburg side of the river.

Due to our late beginnings, however, it was already quite hot, and also because we were late, the rest stop at Chipoaks Plantation State Park (16 miles into the ride) was pretty much done for. The nice state park personnel and the Friends of the park representatives were apologetic, because they had been told by BVA organizers that they would be done by 10:30 AM. We were there about 11:15-ish, and we knew of about 40 people behind us who would be expecting Gatorade. I filled both my water bottles, but because we felt this would be an easy dawdle day, I neglected to bring along my backpack of water.

So we re-traced our steps and rode the ferry back, with a huge number of the folks who had done the long ride, out to Smithfield. Man, it was hotter than the hinges. There weren’t enough railings for all the bikes, so we had to just stand in the sun on the burning coals of a metal deck and roast.

Then the route we elected to take into Billsburg was under construction, so the wait, again on the very hot Tarmac they were laying down, was interminable. We tried to stay ahead of the enormous line of cars behind the lead car, but he drove too fast and we fell back.

Next came some unpleasant urban riding, although we had a nice bike lane on the road for a change. Finally made it to the campus of William and Mary around 2 or so, and we were all starving and running out of water. We had many options for eating, of course, and it’s no surprise that we opted for a good place near campus.

Had a nice few sandwiches at the Green Leafe Cafe, right across from the football stadium, and the dorm complex that I lived in for a year or two while there. Got lots of water and the waiter was kind enough to also let us have ice for our bottles.

Over our lunch we discussed options and rather than retrace our steps back to the BVA route and the Capital Bike Way through the construction, we elected for the longer and rougher pavement, but safer Colonial Parkway. We wound our way to the Parkway via the campus and had a quick tour — I regretted that we didn’t get into Colonial Williamsburg, but that will have to wait for next time.

Nice, uneventful ride along the Parkway and back to camp. I realized along the way that it had been before noon the last time I’d had to pee, so I figured I was on the brink of dehydration. Never felt bad, never “hit the wall,” but I definitely had not consumed enough water. So along the 12-ish miles back to camp, I drank in fits and starts, never too much, but not forgetting to drink, either.

After a shower and another meal, I felt fine. Our total for the day was about 45 miles and it was a leisurely 10-mile pace. It was great to get back to the old ‘Burg and see the old haunts as well as a lot of new construction and campus changes.

Now it’s getting dark, so I’ll upload this and maybe a pic or two but I’ll have to make the major upload of all the photos I took today when I post tomorrow.