Capital 2 Capital Trail Day 2

Okay. I believe I have recovered enough from yesterday to actually offer a summary here.

On this map, the place we started is the white block text area next to the blue-colored stretch of the trail (Chickahominy Riverfront Park Trailhead) at the lower right of the photo. The first thing upon leaving the park and heading west is to cross the Chickahominy River. At the far end of the map (upper left) is Richmond and we made it to MP 51.2, by the canal. We did not go into the heart of the city.
We arose at 6A to be completely ready to ride by 9, when we were to meet Mary and Tom (from Canada) at the upper driveway of the campground, where it intersects the Cap2Cap Trail. There were several things we had to see to beyond biking gear: adjusting everything that helps keep Roomba cool during the sunny day, remembering to get some snacks (we were unsure exactly where/when we’d be fueling this ride along the way), putting on sunscreen and spraying bug dope, filling our water bottles, taking anything that might melt out of the car for the day, assuring the cooler would stay in the shade during the day, final pit stops (amongst a veritable run on the facilities, i.e, 3 toilets and 3 showers, from all the many, many peeps who’d come into the park to camp the night before), etc.
And we had to eat breakfast. Not the greatest time of my day to consume food, but I did anyway, despite it being too early for me to be hungry. 

Yowl is ready to ride!

When we finally headed up to our meeting spot we realized that hundreds and hundreds of other people were gathered, parked in the day use areas, to bicycle along the trail. There were club groups, triathlon trainers, Boy Scouts, and various random riders unloading their bikes, taking exercise runs, getting instructions from ride managers and I-don’t-know-what-all. Hundreds.

When Mary and Tom arrived (they had ridden from Jamestown’s “Mile 0” having been dropped off there by Alan), Mary wanted to immerse herself into all that spandex and sprockets to use the facilities. Tom wanted to see our trailer, so we rode him back to show it off.

By the time we returned to the trail, many of the groups had already left, including the Boy Scouts. So we began around 9:15, and the first thing one does headed from here west toward Richmond is climb over the bridge spanning the Chickahominy River. Happily, there is a dedicated bike path for that, too — but it is quite narrow, and another group or two of “rabbits” (fast riders who often race—these appeared to be in training for an event of some sort) came along behind us.

As the day progressed, we experienced fits and starts of rabbits passing in pace lines, or the odd racing bike coming or going, but for the most part, the rest of the individuals and groups we saw along the trail were families and leisure riders like us. The morning was splendid: sunny and cool. The four of us rode a decent but not fast pace through cornfields, oat fields, past homes large and small, and many instances of tunneling through the shady forests along Rt. 5. 

Our first mission for the morning was to link up with Michael and Kathryn, who were meeting us along the way, riding (with their bikes in tow) in the van with Alan. Our first break stop was the Charles City Courthouse, where we thought we might link up with them, but when Mary called, Alan was surprised that we had gotten that far so quickly, and suggested we head on along the trail and he’d meet us a bit later.

At the courthouse, there are pretty old buildings, a visitor center, some interpretive signage, and a convenience station. We rested a bit, took advantage of the facilities, and moved on.

Catching a shady rest at the Charles City Courthouse complex.
Yowl poses in front of one of the pretty buildings.

Because our second mission for the morning was to assure that Tom would meet Alan and the van in time for Tom to get to the Richmond airport by noon-ish, so he could catch his flight back to Calgary, we increased our pace a little. It was still a cool, easy ride at this point (about 20 or so miles for Mary and Tom, about 13 for Jack and me).

We linked up with Alan, Michael, and Kathryn slightly farther along, at a gravel road. Alan saw us pedaling along, honked, and pulled across the trail (maybe around MP 28 – since the mileposts started where Mary and Tom started, they indicate their total mileage. Subtract 7 miles to get mine and Jack’s totals, where I reference MPs) and onto this road so we could gather up Michael and Kathryn on our journey. This might have been a bit before 10A.

Alan assured Tom we could make it to a nice park about 10-15 miles ahead by or around 11:30, which would be plenty of time for him to get to the airport by noon. So we carried on.

Seen along the way. Any other time, I might have stopped to add to the sculpture. I love rock balancing.

Around MP 32, we ran into another Bike Virginia crowd, headed east, opposite from our direction. We halted to hug necks and have a visit. Rosemary warned us that ahead on our path was a lot of chaff from the storm a couple nights ago, and since it was mostly shady, that some of the footing was hazardous.

As Mary and Jack chatted with Rosemary, Nancy and Lisa (?), Kathryn realized we were still 8 miles from our destination, 4-mile Creek Park. The clock was ticking, so she took off, Tom followed, and I was not too far behind. We kept a pretty steady pace, and shortly, Jack overtook us. Later Kathryn said that Jack “saved her,” because she was wearing out, leading Tom to the park at that pace (she’s had some health issues, otherwise she’d have been easily able to go the distance).

We got there (MP 40) and I recognized the coolers Alan had had in the back of the van (noticed when we stopped to get Michael and Kathryn) arranged on a picnic table. Leave it to me to find food on a bike ride.

Alan rode through with the van, hopped out, and asked us to help ourselves to lunch while he took Tom to the airport. Before they left, there might have been a small amount of Canadian spirits in the glasses they toasted to their friendship.

After a delicious lunch Alan had gathered from The Carrot Tree (including enormous carrot cake muffins), we set off again toward Richmond. It was in the 12:30 range when we began the last 11 miles into the city.

Somewhere around MP 48 or 49, the trail paralleled a very busy road. There was some climbing to be done, and trail use increased along this stretch, so close to the city. We topped a hill and got a nice vista of the Richmond—the city of my ancestors (and living relatives), the Capitol of Virginia.

From there, it was just a few miles to the final point, although I understand that there is some urban trail-riding designated to get visitors by bike into the heart of the city. We arrived at the part of the trail running along the canal, which is bordered by some very upscale (reclaimed) housing and warehouse areas. Folks living in the “River Lofts” building had individual garden plots along the trail and it was quite lovely.

But we stopped not at the final trail head, which was busy with cars and visitors and bikes and every manner of user and equipment (Great Shiplock Park). We went on, to the actual Trail Terminus, which is a bit farther along the canal, and you ride under the elevated train tracks for a while, past the Holocost Museum, among other destinations.

Warehouse smokestack and roof sculpture seen from under the elevated rail tracks headed to the Terminus.

The terminus itself is under both rail and interstate overpasses, and offers sculptures, a map, seating, the area where canal boats are staged for tours, and a nice place for ducks and geese (there were a lot of droppings all over everything).

We made it!

Here are some of the scenes down by the canal:

Beautiful Queen Anne’s Lace growing next to the canal.
Canal boat ride, and you can see the elevated rail tracks parallel to the canal.
Interstate overpass.
Doors to the city.
Canal boat dock.
Interstates, sculptures, walls, lighting and Jack & Michael at the terminus.
Canal lock into the city.

At this point, we decided we felt good enough to ride back to Chickahominy Riverfront Park. Mary and Michael decided to explore further into the city.

Both of us needed water, so Jack and I rode no more than about 2 miles climbing up out of town to a 7-11 store where we shared a Gatorade on site and bought a couple big bottles of water, one to refresh our bike bottles, and one to carry. Heck, it was only another 9 miles to our earlier lunch stop at Four Mile Creek Picnic area, our next goal, and headed on.

By this hour—maybe 2-2:30PM—it was terrifically hot. We were drinking frequently, and there is not a tremendous amount of cover/shade between the city and 4-Mile Creek. When we arrived at the picnic area, there was a Eagle Scout structure with benches and a roof (shade) available and we took it with great thanks to the Scout who built it. Our computers said we were on about mile 60 for the day. We rested a long time at the park, and took advantage of the single port-a-pot within a 20-mile radius. Only about 33 to go, to get to Roomba.

Blissful shade at mile 60, and we split a Cliff nut-and-(melted) chocolate bar.

Still, we were feeling pretty fit. Our big leg muscles were only beginning to notice how difficult it was to start up again after stopping. 

Maybe it was the heat. Maybe we were delirious. But we calculated our position (60 miles for the day) and added the estimated miles back to camp (33-ish) and realized we’d be at 93 miles on the day! Surely we could not stop a mere 7 miles short of 100 on the day, could we?

Jack and I have never ridden “A Century” before. Where Jack has come close on several occasions, I have never tried, nor have I had any ghost of a desire to ride 100 miles in a day. 

But heck. Once you’re miserable, sore, tired, and (I have to admit) delirious, there’s a point beyond which you’re not going to get any more miserable, sore, tired or delirious. So we pressed on, imagining we wouldn’t feel too awful as we pedaled past our campsite for another 3.5 miles toward Jamestown, to turn around and go back for the 7 miles that would total 100.

Okay, we were wrong on that imagining. But I digress.

By the time we arrived at our next goal—breaking up a long ride into manageable pieces helps a rider not get overwhelmed—a place where we knew we could fill our water bottles (Charles City Courthouse—about mile 80 on the day) and empty our bladders (a good sign that we were drinking enough water), it was in the 4-5 o’clock range. You might note that we were pedaling much more slowly by this point in our trek, having taken about 2 hours to go ~20 miles (10 miles/hr).

The trail’s shade improved quite a lot between 4-Mile Creek park and the Courthouse. There were some climbs, but another plus was that it was quite level for the majority of the ride along there. And when you enter Charles City County, while there are some significant climbs near the county line, again, there is a lot of shade and a lot of level trail.

The sun was still high and hot, and we all sought shade.

We spent quite a long time sitting in the shade there. We both ate a granola bar, and drank a full bicycle bottle of water each while we sat, topping them up again before we left. About 13 miles to the Chicka. Riverfront; about 20 miles required for the 100.

Nothing to do but put one rotation of the pedals after another.

It was terribly hard to cycle past “home.” It was 6:30 by this time, and both of us were rather wobbly on the tires—not so much that we were reckless or in danger. I simply found that I lost concentration pretty easily. We were both talking less and noticing our surroundings less, concentrating on the only things we could still concentrate on: one pedal; another; repeat.

One thing we did notice, however, was a small red vehicle sitting on the grassy verge between the road and the Trail. His direction was opposite the lane closest to the trail, and we could not figure how he got in that position. As we passed, the silly driver appeared to want to get himself out of there, but he had to cross into a deep ditch that the mowers avoided—and with this small car with next to zero clearance!

He got his right front tire into the ditch when a police car that was driving past noticed his odd position and flipped on his lights and pulled over to the opposite side of the road. By then we were out of sight of the situation. We saw another police car headed toward the first as we pedaled on toward Jamestown.

I mention this only to give you the idea of my mental state. Once we got to our turn-around point (we went all the way to MP 3 so we didn’t have to guesstimate half-miles), wanting to see what the outcome of all this fuss and bother along the Trail was one of the primary things that kept me going with only 4 miles to go.

As we were headed back to camp, I was disappointed to note that everything seemed to be resolved when I made it to the spot where I THOUGHT the vehicle had been. But ahead, I saw the flashing red-and-blue lights, and I knew I had misjudged the spot. Yay! Voyeur that I am, I felt it was all worth it to see what had been going on there. As we neared the red car, I could not for the life of me understand how the vehicle got there. If it had run off the road, it had done so very gently, as there were no skid or slide marks anywhere. 

I suspect the idiot turned onto the trail instead of the road for whatever reason, and got far enough from one of the “No Motorized Vehicles” signs where side roads and driveways intersect the Trail, that he decided he couldn’t back up all the way to his entry point (without risk of running over a cyclist) and was trying to cross the verge to the road. 

By the time we arrived back at that point, the guy and two policemen were on the Trail, and as we slowed to cycle past, I heard one of the officers say, “Okay I’m going to give the instruction again: I want you to take nine steps forward and then . . . ”

At that point, we moved out of earshot, but it was obvious they were giving an inebriation test to the driver. That might explain a lot. Awful glad no one was hurt.

We got back to Roomba around 7:30PM. Lordy what a long day. 

It was all we could do to get a shower and eat something before falling into bed. Jack came back from the showers at about 9PM and asked if I had gotten thousands of sunset photos as the sun turned the sky all sorts of shades of red and purple. But no. I had noticed, but just couldn’t possibly be bothered to take even one photo. I know now why folks call it A Century: because it will only happen in my time on this spinning globe once in 100 years.

Cycle Stats June 18, 2016

  • Ride time: 7:25:43
  • Stopped time: 3:26:48
  • Distance 100.94 miles (Jack got 101 and change)
  • Average speed: 13.59 mph
  • Fastest speed: 27.14 (Jack got ~29 — inertial is a terrible thing)
  • Ascent: 793
  • Descent: 756

Yowl took a nap for the last 20 miles.

Today, Sunday, we slept in, continued drinking a lot of water, ate a late brunch, and lounged around in the screened in porch with fans blowing on us all day. It’s hotter today than yesterday, reaching 88 degrees today. The campground is emptying out of RVs and loud people.

Still feel drained and tired. But hey—we did A Century. One more thing off the bucket list! Right? Am I right?

BVA (Final) Day Six

We arranged for an early start for the long chug back to the cars on this final day of Bike Virginia. The route map had it at 58 miles, and for the outset we were re-tracing our steps back the way we had come down to Chickahominy River Park.

The forecast was for the rain to begin in the Williamsburg area around 10AM, and move away from the water, inland, so our idea was to ride before the storm. The 5:30 AM tent breakdown and packing began in low overcast, humid but cool weather. Breakfast was ho-hum, but we knew we’d need the fuel, so we ate and drank plentifully. We were away by 7:15AM.

Before actually embarking on the trek, however, I had noticed there was a boat slip or dock or something under the vehicle bridge spanning the Chickahominy River, so I pedaled over to see what could be seen.

Scene from below the Chickahominy River Bridge.
Scene from below the Chickahominy River Bridge.
Riders crossing the bridge.
Riders crossing the bridge.
Riding up the Bike Path on the bridge.
Riding up the Bike Path on the bridge.

I watched a couple of riders crossing the bridge and I knew I would stop at one of the pull-outs to take another pic, so I’ve got “under/over” perspectives of the bridge with its dedicated pedestrian and bike trail over top. As I turned to leave, I found a dollar bill on the ground! I hoped it would be a good luck token for the ride.

View from atop the Chickahominy River Bridge.
View from atop the Chickahominy River Bridge.

As it happened, I stopped on the bridge twice because I heard an unusually loud cheeping sound coming from below. Two little osprey nestlings, one far younger than the other (or perhaps far less developed because its larger sibling was stealing all the food), were looking for Ma and Pa to bring breakfast.

Osprey nest.
Osprey nest.
Two osprey chicks in their nest beneath the Chickahominy River Bridge.
Two osprey chicks in their nest beneath the Chickahominy River Bridge.

We followed the Capital Bike Trail back up Route 5 until we ran out of trail. I understand that a couple of the skinny-tire fellows might have had their bikes go out from under them due to the construction debris that was on the parts of the trail newly completed (or still under development).

Re-tracing our ride east, in reverse, under a loury sky.
Re-tracing our ride east, in reverse, under a loury sky.

Happily, the road itself was not nearly as busy as when we had ridden down. So the times we had to be on the road instead of the Bikeway were not horrid. The path picked up again just west of Charles City County Courthouse, and lasted about 10 miles or less, to just after Berkeley Plantation.

Freshly-harvested oats along the Capital Bike Trail. Next, I expect the farmer will cut the oat straw. The aroma recalls my horse days.
Freshly-harvested oats along the Capital Bike Trail. Next, I expect the farmer will cut the oat straw. The aroma recalls my horse days.

But we had to go back over the Hopewell bridge, which I was not particularly looking forward to. As we turned onto the bridge road, I passed an older gentleman riding what must have been one of those folding travel bikes. But his appeared to be held together with baling twine and old inner tubes.

He was not going very fast, and possibly for the first time during this entire ride, I passed someone instead of constantly being passed. His bike was very small, with specially-sized tires, so I supposed he had to carry with him all he’d need to change a tire, including a replacement tire or two. Most of us merely have to carry the proper inner tube for the tires that are on our bikes, because if the actual tire needs replacing, the sizes are more-or-less standard. But not his. So his ride was festooned with tires, twine, inner tubes and other paraphernalia that I was too embarrassed to stare at as I chugged past. From then forward, I thought of him as “shoestring boy” and it was a point of pride that he not pass me during the day.

Uh-oh. "Be prepared to stop." But for how long?
Uh-oh. “Be prepared to stop.” But for how long?

But there were construction signs and my heart dropped, anticipating a delay like the prior day when we were trying to reach Williamsburg (and the means by which shoestring boy would catch me). But the Sheriff’s Deputy who was minding the road waved my pack of about 50 riders forward of the cars, and he told us to precede the lead car, which would go slowly enough to keep the cars well off the slowest of us.

The entire bridge was ours alone! The construction, which was on one lane only, at the far side of the bridge, had closed the entire right lane, and with the cars following the pilot car and the pilot car following us, we had zero traffic (except one another) to contend with. It was brilliant.

Hopewell Bridge for Bikers! Bikers for Hopewell Bridge!
Hopewell Bridge for Bikers! Bikers for Hopewell Bridge!

Hopewell awaited, however, and it was industrial and urban once again, and the temperatures were rising as the sun began to come out spottily and the humidity only thickened. The second rest stop was in Hopewell, this time at the Appomattox Manor, City Point. Many folks might know Hopewell for its paper mill, or for the Superfund Environmental Cleanup site there in the James, but few realize that the location played an important role in the Civil War. Its location right on the river was critical to the South’s cause.

The really lovely neighborhood we rode through to arrive at the rest stop was full of refurbished old houses and beautiful yards. The rest stop itself offered some ice cream bars that were great sugar fuel. And the boom box sound system was playing some excellent oldies (for all us old gits).

Jet fuel.
Jet fuel.

As I left the rest stop and was about to pull out the camera to show a particularly nice home, a rider behind me said, “It looks like your rear tire is a little flat. Do you have a pump?”

Sure enough, it was bulging badly at the walls, and I thanked him and reported that I did, indeed, have a hand pump.

Unfortunately, when I pulled over and applied said pump ALL of the remaing air left the inner tube. And it was the back tire, on the wheel carrying all the gearing. So I moved to the shade and contemplated my seat wedge pack, which carries a spare tube, and a couple of tools to change a tire. But it had been a couple of years since I’d late changed a bicycle tire, and boy, was I intimidated! Jack was well ahead of me – probably about a half-hour along.

One of the BVA personnel stopped when I gave her the thumbs down sign, and she called for reinforcements (she, also was intimidated by the task, and unsure if, when begun, the effort might not take more time than it would take me to ride to Pocahontas State Park). And I always have the option to be carried, lock, stock, and barrel, back to the car.

Another SAG person stopped and said that if I had a tube, she could walk me through the tire change. So we did.

After I alerted Jack that I would be delayed, we upended the bike and got down to business. While this was going on, Jim rode past, coming from the rest stop, and waited so we could ride together, and so he might be able to help if the tire went flat again.

So we finally got out of Hopewell, and the heat was bristling with not an ounce of breeze. We had 28 miles to go, no more rest stops to look forward to, and it was noon. Nothing for it but to push one pedal down after the other, repeat.

We need a few of these signs around the Blue Ridge Parkway.
We need a few of these signs around the Blue Ridge Parkway.

At some point, I began to recognize some of the neighborhoods we were traversing, including Virginia State University campus. I started to imagine we were closer than we were to our destination. Big mistake. A guy passed me and asked what time it was. When I said, “One o’clock,” he said, “Bummer. I was hoping to be done by one.” When I said, “You’re close, and only a couple more miles to go,” he said, “A couple? I got 51 on my computer and we don’t finish until 58.”

Ugh. Seven more miles. I was dying.

Cadence. Spin. Concentrate on the cadence and feel the spin. Seven miles is nothing.

Beach Road, the one we had been riding along since the beginning – the only road leading into and out of our camp area at Pocahontas – has been re-named Bit** road because of how completely horrible its traffic is. I was so glad to be off that hateful road when I saw Jack standing beside the car with his bike atop, and I pulled into the parking pasture, I cannot express my joy.

Job done.
Job done.

Jim was not far behind, and we all decided to forego the event lunch and find some real food. The shower trucks were all the way back at the camping area, about a quarter mile walk away, and we also decided that it was simply too hot to bother. We wanted good food and air conditioning, so we packed up the cars and found a Chili’s for water, burgers, and fries.

We finished the meal around 3:30 or 4, and went our respective ways home: Jim to the 64 interchange and we along the 360 corridor. We hit a significant thunderstorm around Danville, but at last got home in the 8:30 range. Exhausted and ready to be done, we left bikes, gear, tents, and sweaty clothes bags with the car, chatted with our wonderful house sitters, Lou and Pat, until around 10, and hit the hay.

Another BVA behind us, another 300 miles on the annual odometer, and some fond memories of places and challenges and stories and standing in lines. Plus some ideas on how to do our own cycling tour next time, if we elect not to ride BVA 2015.

G'Night, all. Thanks for listening.
G’Night, all. Thanks for listening.

BVA Day Two

Rained hard last night, but no water issues in or around the tent. A few of the gum balls that nearly carpet the ground around here lie under our tent, but the ground pads were enough to keep us from being disturbed by them.

Arose at about 6:30, ate a marginal breakfast at Pocahontas State Park (part of what we’ve paid for, catered for this event by local caterers), and managed to get rolling down the road by 8. Last night’s rain had cooled things off and it stayed overcast for most of the day.

The first rest stop was held at a lovely horse farm called Blackwater — about 11 miles into the ride.



They also had chickens, ducks, and an absolutely killer tree house.



At about 9AM we left there with the forecast overheard during one of the many many conversations you’re privvy to, whether you want to be or not, that it would be raining by 10. They were right, but it was only dribbling a bit, and it ended by only making the humidity skyrocket.

Rest stop number two was totally killer. A combination of the fire department and the Boy Scouts really did a great job. One of the most amazing things was that we were able to get ICE! So we left with ice in our bottles of Gatorade and in my backpack full of water: cooling me twice; once through the backpack itself and once when I drank the water.

The second delight of the stop was make-it-ourselves tomato sandwiches, on which we could add a variety of accoutrements including a home made garlic and herb sauce that was really good. We made that stop our lunch and might have slightly overstayed our welcome.

That was at mile 29. No problem for me because I’d been able to ride that far in most of my training rides. Still, the goal for the day was twice that. But I was feeling good.

The next rest stop had a Hawaiian theme and so they were dressed in luau outfits and there were lighted, animated flamingo sculptures that were a hoot. I neglected to take photos because first, my cell phone was chewing up power running the cycling program we use to track our bicycle progress; and this was mile 43: farther than I’d ridden to date — since at least last September. I was beginning to feel the burn.

Ostensibly, there was supposed to be a rest stop that would be water only in another 11 miles, but that didn’t materialize. Not that we would have stopped anyway, but the next goal was 22 miles in our future, back at home base. Naturally, this is when it got really hot.

But anyone can ride 22 miles, right?

I was pretty okay until about 10 miles out. That was when 6 hours in the saddle began to hurt. The pressure points of my hands/wrists and the two point bones in my butt were letting me know they’d had plenty enough.

By 3:00 I was rolling into camp. Where some of the thin-tired, small-gear folks had bee reduced to walking up some of those steep hills we encountered in the final 20, I chugged them all. And I finished, but boy, am I tired! I don’t think there will be any trouble finding sleep tonight. Nor for anyone else in camp, I’d guess. Today was the century ride for some poor gees who chose the 100 mile route. So I don’t think we’ll have to wait for “quiet hours” for it to become quiet around Tent City.

Despite feeling like I rather caved over the final miles, it was a really great ride. Neat stuff along the way, lovely winding back roads, not too much traffic, and my first over-30 day of 2014.


While I was rolling down a beautiful, wood-lined, shady lane, I thought to myself, “This is what it’s all about. This is why we do this.” Only wish I could have captured a photo of it to share. But I was keeping my hands firmly on the handlebars, and such a pic would never be able to capture nor convey that feeling.

That’s what vacation is all about, no?




One final thought. I spent much of my time this afternoon charging devices, along with every other camper present it seems. This snarl of wires and chargers (below) is actually a good thing – I’ve never attended a BVA where a charging bar or service was provided.

This station is right beside one of the two shower trucks, and runs off the same generator they use to run the exhaust fans, lights and (presumably) heat the shower water. Another line to wait in, but you don’t really have to sit with your device to protect it. Everyone leaves yours alone, as they are far more interested in their own devices than in yours. Truly a sign of the times.


BVA Day One

We are cheek to jowl in tent city so I hope no one nearby snores much. We didn’t get our ride started until 2PM because it took a while to set our tents and Jim had to change his tires on his bike.
Somehow we managed to miss lunch, so began the ride hungry, hoping we would get to a shopping center or fast food corridor en route. Naturally, we didn’t see anything but pretty subdivisions and long rural roads. The day was partly cloudy and some stretches of the ride were lovely and cool. 18 miles in, however, where the rest stop was, it was sunny, moist and quite hot. Had some snacks to fuel the final ten miles back to camp, and the most challenging part of the ride was the final 5-ish miles, during rush hour along a rather narrow road. Note to self: don’t get between a soccer mom in a van and her Friday night wine glass.
Tomorrow’s forecast is to be wet, so I might not take many pix. But we might get lucky again.
Day One = Success.








Bike Virginia Starts Tomorrow


We left the house and critters in the capable hands of Pat and Louise, and headed east, listening to Carl Hiaasen’s demented characters alternately trying to save and destroy the Florida environment.

Hit one serious rainstorm en route, and got the munchies around 2:30, so stopped for a break somewhere along 360/460 (circa Keysville). Turned toward a bruised sky to get to the hotel, and the thunder began as we stopped in the hotel parking lot.

Raced to get the bikes unlocked, unsecured, and off the roof of the car, and used the bikes to wheel the bags into the crowded lobby. Had to wait for an empty elevator since my huge camp bag and the two bikes (not to mention ourselves) filled the compartment.

Lightening and thunder with horizontal, pelting rain broke out as we got up to our room. The trees fretted and the deep black cloud sat on our heads; almost as suddenly, it moved along, bored with us. The trees stilled, the sky lightened and the rain fell vertically.

Good to be dry. Might be the last time this week we make it through a day without getting wet. But then again, we might get lucky.

Late breaking news: the local news guy says there are 14,000 Richmond-area residents are without power right now, since the storm passed through.