Thursday, May 8, 2008

Day One

My first day on the Transamerica was ideal: beautiful weather, interesting scenery, fairly mild terrain, and no major mishaps. I started the day with the ceremonial rituals of cross-country bikers. I dipped my front tire in the York River and then took a picture in front of the official starting point, the Yorktown Monument. The first leg of my ride I retraced the same route that I biked into Yorktown. I tooled around Williamsburg, dodging large groups of school kids and senior citizens and then headed on to Jamestown. I decided to make a detour and visit the ruins of Jamestown. (J. Searcy, you should be proud.) A five-mile one lane loop on Jamestown Island made for a great traffic-less ride under a canopy of green. From Jamestown I had about another forty miles to my destination -- Willis United Methodist Church, another congregation that offers cyclists a free place to stay. Much of the way was lined with plantations and estates. Only a few miles from the waterfront, I was now in lush farmland. The last ten miles of my ride took me through Richmond national battlefields.

After 72 miles I arrived at the church. As I stood in the parking lot wondering who to contact to make arrangements for my stay, Juanita, a woman who lives next door came out to greet me and open up the church. I had a kitchen, bathroom, and garden-hose shower at my disposal. After unpacking and making a quick trip into town to go to the store, I was joined at the church by Mark and Dillon, two bikers from Knoxville. A soon-to-be-grad and a recent grad, Mark and Dillon had also left Yorktown on Wednesday. They are planning to complete the ride in two months and they are packed for it. They both only have rear panniers and they've kept them light. I need to take a page out of their book. We talked gear and backgrounds and made dinner in the church kitchen.

This morning we woke up to gray skies and by the time we started riding at 7:30am, it was raining lightly. I decided to try out my rain gear. Not a drop of rain water touched my clothes, but I was still soaked because the gear doesn't provide much ventilation. I rode with Mark and Dillon for about 22 miles into Mechanicsville before parting ways so I could stop off at the library. If I'm ambitious, I may catch up with them again this evening as we'd all like to stay at the same volunteer fire station.


abrandt said...

Congrats on Day 1!!!

Greg said...

Good luck B-Dizzle!

Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of you for going to Jamestown. Williamsburg...not so proud. I hope you at least had a giant roasted turkey leg. has a few unusual attractions near Charlottesville. Turns out there is a giant Adirondack chair less than 15 miles away! (8553 Seminole Trail, Ruckersville, VA [Show Map]
Directions: Outside Oak Barn Furniture, on US 29 just south of US 33. Phone: 434-990-9903

Have fun with that.