Day 29 - rain again
Today started with a nice tailwind. Unfortunately, the route turned and
it became a headwind. I'll get used to it.
I passed through Edenton, a very nice small town. It's Sunday morning,
so most convenience stores open late. I found an open one, but no Moon
After fighting the headwind for several hours, I got tired of riding slowly
and I tried pushing up the speed. I must be getting in better shape, because
I was able to push from 12 to 16 mph without wearing myself out. If I tried
that 4 weeks ago, I'd be out of breath in no time.
My main memories of the day are overcast skies, headwinds, and light rain.
And I remembered that I'm allergic to corn, while I was stopped between two
In the mid-afternoon I ran across a group of bicycle tourists, out for a ride
from Suffolk and down the outer banks. They had an RV as a sag wagon, so they
were riding unloaded bikes. They gave me a banana and a glass of water, and
we talked about touring. I guess every bicycle tourist dreams of doing a
trip like mine. They offered me a place to stay near Washington, DC, if I
get there after they finish their trip next weekend.
Just after my new friends left, a line of dark clouds passed over, so I
decided to wait it out on the porch of building next door. As the rain
passed through, the temperature dropped 5 degrees in about 10 minutes.
Cold and rain are a deadly combination, so I put on rain pants in addition
to the windbreaker I was already wearing. I was pretty easy to see with
a flourescent yellow jacket and flourescent orange rain covers on my
After the rain stopped, I headed into Suffolk via highway 32. The map
would have me take county roads, but I was tired and in no mood for the
long way around. I made it to the campground, but I thought $18 was a
lot for a site with no facilities. I called around and found a motel
for $25, which sounded pretty good after a hard day. The motel was
about 5 miles away, through the heart of town, so I was back on the bike.
As I headed for the motel, I stopped to double check the directions. It's
funny how people will debate directions. The two women selling flowers
took about 5 minutes to tell me that the motel was just down the road.
Still, they were very nice and helpful.
I'm at the Green Pines Motel, which I just discovered is near a railroad
track. Right now I think I could sleep through anything.
Today's mileage: 67. Trip total: 1380.
Despite overcast skies, I managed to get a sunburn on my head. There is
a white stripe where my headband was.
Day 30 - rain
When I woke up it was raining. I debated staying in the motel another
night to wait out the rain, but I eventually decided to ride in the rain
and cold. I figured I couldn't wait out every rainy day, so I should get
used to it. I started late - around 10:30.
The first thing I did was visit a convenience store and score some Moon
Pies. I'm back in civilization.
After I got out of Suffolk, the route wound through an area of small lakes.
This meant lots of small hills, but not too steep. This is a very pretty
area, but there's not much around except Suffolk on one side and farm land
on the other.
Today's ride was how I imagined the trip would be like, with small back
roads winding through farm country, and with little traffic. I enjoyed
the ride despite the rain and temperatures in the low 60's. Since the
first few minutes after you get on the bike are the coldest, I didn't
take many breaks; I just ate and drank while riding.
I reached the Jamestown ferry in good time. I was feeling pretty warm
after riding about 50 miles, so I only had on a long sleeve T-shirt,
bike shorts, and a windbreaker. On the ferry temperatures dropped into
the 50's, so I put on rain pants. I'm glad I didn't mail home my cold
When I called the 800 number for Williamsburg, they told me to go to
the Woodlands, but after I checked in I found that the Governor's Inn
would be cheaper. It was easy to transfer, so I did. The room is $59
per night. It's not cheap, but after riding a couple days in the rain,
I feel like pampering myself.
Today's distance: 58. Trip total: 1438.
On rainy days the song "I Can See Clearly Now" always runs through my
mind. Sometimes it's "Raindrops Are Falling On My Head."
The hills are getting easier. I must be getting stronger.
This was a very rainy Memorial Day, so I guess everyone stayed home,
because traffic was very light.
Virginia has kudzu.
Day 31 - Colonial Williamsburg
I didn't even touch the bike today. I started by connecting to Netcom
and picking up my e-mail. I've been having problems connecting, and I
don't know if the problem is in the hotel phone system or at Netcm.
Williamsburg was the capital of the colony of Virginia before and during
the revolutionary war. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has
reconstructed the city very nearly as it appeared in 1770. You can
wander the city aand visit historic homes and shops to learn what
life was like in colonial times.
My favorite thing to do here is to visit people who are acting out life
in the 18th century. I like to imagine how it would feel to live back
then and think about the things we take for granted.
Sewing display. Every woman had to know how to sew, since most clothes
were homemade and cloth was too expensive to throw away if torn. The
standard was 20 stitches per inch! It could take all day to hem a dress.
People who wore wigs shaved their heads. The wig fit snug and tight to
the bare scalp. They wouldn't want to flip their wig.
There were groups of school children all around, and the man at the
carpenters' and joiners' shop was especially good at keeping their
attention. "What's a window? It's a hole in a wall. This is not a
window; this is a sash." I guess you had to be there.
I bought a tin whistle to learn how to play. It's small enough to
carry and looks to be easy to learn. I hope it is.
Day 32 - Colonial Williamsburg
Another day at Williamsburg, so of course it was a good one. The sky
is still overcast, but the only rain was a slight drizzle in the late
The billiards table in the Raleigh Tavern is 6'x12'. It's Huge!
Changes last made on: Fri Aug 2 09:48:38 1996