Day 33 - Colonial Williamsburg
Another day at Williamsburg, but it was sunny and cool. A nice day.
I took a tour of Bassett Hall, which was the home of John and Abby
Rockefeller when they were in Williamsburg viewing the progress of
the reconstruction. It's not an historical building, but it's well
worth a visit. It's not a mansion, but you get a feeling for how
the other half lives on vacation - very comfortably.
As I was waiting for the 5:30 drum and fife concert, I noticed a
couple riding on bikes with front and rear racks. It turns Rob and
Jocelyn are just about to finish a cross-country bike tour. They
started 10 weeks ago in southern California and have been staying in
motels and eating in restaurants. It's interesting to note the
contrast between their trip and mine. They are limited in time, but
not so limited in expenses; I'm unlimited in time, but I have a fixed
budget. I could splurge and stay in a hotel every night, but the trip
would be much shorter.
Day 34 - to Richmond and more bicycle tourists
This was a perfect day for touring: cool, sunny, and with light breezes.
And highway 5 from Williamsburg to Richmond goes through some beautiful
I started late, after an interesting conversation with the desk clerk.
She was interested in my bike and my trip, and she was amazed at the load
I was carrying. I don't think she's a bike tourist, but she knows a bit
about bikes. And the guy from the gift shop (who I spoke with on the day
I arrived) came to say goodbye.
I was able to have bagels for breakfast for the first time on the trip.
At home bagels are one of my staple foods; I eat them for breakfast and
for snacks. Unfortunately, there were very few places between Florida
and Virginia that sold good bagels. Rob and Jocelyn said they found
lots of good bakeries in Virginia, and I hope I find them, too.
Highway 5 winds along near the James River, near 5 plantations that are
open for tourists. This would be a nice trip in a car, hopping from
plantation to plantation, but I didn't stop at any.
This was a big day for meeting other bicycle tourists. First I met a
couple riding from western Virginia to Williamsburg and back. I didn't
get their names, but she was riding a regular touring bike and he was
riding a recumbent. They had just come through 3 days of rain and he
had a throat cold and laryngitis.
Just a few miles up the road I ran into Tom and Mike, who were out from
Richmond and heading toward Williamsburg, also. They suggested I get
lower gearing for the hills ahead, but I'm not sure I will need lower
gears. I'll know soon enough.
The ride to Richmond was otherwise uneventful. Once I was in Richmond,
I remembered I wanted to find a triple-A office. I had to ride a bit
before I found a pay phone, but I contacted the local AAA office and
found it was 55 blocks away - and I had only 35 minutes to get there
before they closed.
I was riding in rush hour traffic, getting stopped at every 3rd traffic
light and sprinting off the line to keep up with the cars. It wasn't
long before my sprinting legs wore out and I just rode normally. I made
it to the AAA office with time to spare, and they were very helpful.
I now have a campground directory for the northeast and a very nice
map of Richmond.
The Red Carpet Inn was right next door, so I opted for the easy way out.
The price is not great, at $49, but at the AAA office we checked out some
other options and they were all more expensive. There are no campgrounds
I rode 63 miles today! This was supposed to be an easy day. Trip total
is 1501. I lubed the chain the next morning (3451).
Bikes are very popular among the students at William and Mary. The bike
racks outside the classroom buildings were mostly full.
Day 35 - 17-year cicadas and hills
Today was another beautiful cycling day. As I rode out of Richmond, it
reminded me of Saint Louis, with all the small brick houses.
Today I reached the point of not worrying about the map. I no longer
check it over at every stop, and I only check it every other turn or so.
I know where I'm headed, generally, and I know I can't get too far off
the route. That's one less thing to interfere with enjoying the trip.
As I rode into a heavily forested area, I noticed a whirring sound coming
from all around. It was like the sound an alien space ship makes in a
sci-fi movie, and it was very loud. I thought it might be some large
machinery, and then I thought it might be tree frogs. Finally I realized
it was cicadas. I'm talking millions of cicadas. Whenever I rode into
an open area, it stopped; but as soon as I rode back into the trees, it
started back up.
I stopped to talk to a couple out for a day ride, and 2 cicadas landed on
my bike. Then one landed on my ear. John and Lea were riding touring
bikes, and they are considering a cross-country tour next year. I gave
them my e-mail address and my web address, so they could check out my
Today was my first really hilly ride. None of the hills were very large
(thank goodness), but the road was going up and down almost all the time.
I know my legs have gotten stronger, because I only had to use my granny
gear a couple of times, and I never had to walk.
The KOA I'm staying at advertises itself as the closest to DC in Virginia,
but it's still at least 60 miles away. It was about $20 for at tent site
with no hookups, but I know it's cheaper than a hotel.
Today's mileage: 60. Trip total: 1561.
I passed an AIDS ride going the other way, and I was surprised the group
was so small. Perhaps they were only checking the route.
The KOA just had a hayride for the kids.
I'm learning to play the tin whistle I bought at Williamsburg, so every
time I take a rest stop, I run through the scales.
Changes last made on: Fri Aug 2 09:53:29 1996