Last we spoke I lost my laptop charger at the Philadelphia International Airport and was having a new one sent ahead so I could get back on and keep you all updated on my progress. Well, I have my charger now so I am going to try to recap my trip so far by memory.
We flew into Newport News, VA and were picked up from our first Warmshowers.org host Frank. Frank is a professor of American Studies at a university here in VA, which was great because the area is full of history and we got to be shown around by someone who is well versed in the subject.
The next day we picked up our bikes. One ended up at the bike shop we had shipped them to and mine ended up at the UPS distribution center. Frank came to the rescue and drove me around to track down and pick up both bikes. Kristen’s was in good shape, but mine had seen better days. (It’ wasn’t crushed or wrapped in plastic when I shipped it)
Luckily, the damage to the bike was minimal and I was able to get it running again. When we finally got everything assembled and organized Frank took us to a motel in Yorktown, so we could start the ride in the morning.
Now it’s time to roll! We’re in Yorktown. The starting point of the tour across the entire country. We were at the Monument to the Alliance and Victory.
We were ready to go. For the most part. Kristen was getting some pretty awful speed wobbles. Her frame couldn’t handle the weight of all of her gear. We sat and tried to figure out our options. We rearranged gear, hoping distribution would help. It did not. We decided that a trailer would be the best option for her, so we started scouring Craigslist and OfferUp. Nothing but trailers designed to pull children. Not ideal. While sitting at the monument pondering our next move, a man named Bob stopped and started talking to Kristen. He was on a road ride with some local cyclists and offered to head home, grab his truck, and take us to a bike shop in the next town over. When we got to the shop, the manager Chris started calling friends of his looking for someone with a trailer for sale. After many calls and no luck, he called his wife. After a brief conversation with her, he told us he’d be right back. He returned with a cargo trailer and wouldn’t accept any money for it. He was happy to keep us rolling.
After that, we arranged her gear and were ready to roll again. Bob gave us a ride to Yorktown again and we were ready to dip our tires.
And we’re off! We made it about a quarter mile when we saw a party going on near the beach. Tons of beer tents, people, and some live music. After the stresses we encountered, we decided we could stop for a bit. We stayed for a few hours at the Yorktown Blues and Brews Festival and met a woman from Williamsburg that offered us a place to stay that night.
The next day was amazing. We rode the Colonial Parkway, which was rolling hills and green everywhere.
After the Colonial Parkway we rode on the Capitol Trail. It was a lovely bike path that rolls along the James River. No traffic. It was like a dream.
After that we rolled through old country highways weaving between historic battlefields until we reached the Willis United Methodist Church. We were greeted by a volunteer named David. He showed us around the church, found be a socket to make a quick repair to my bike, and even gave us a ride to the little convenience store down the road to grab some food.