Day 26 / Rest Day in Williamsburg VA

We had very comfortable lodgings at the Woodlands Hotel at the central visitor’s center. A shuttle bus to the historic area gave us easy access to the center of colonial Williamsburg. As usual, laundry and bike cleaning were part of the day, with the remainder filled with site seeing and ¬†rest.

A quiet Sunday morning in Williamsburg

A quiet Sunday morning in Williamsburg

Wendy, Gail and Tom Jefferson

Wendy, Gail and Tom Jefferson

It’s unseasonably hot and humid right now, so tomorrow’s ride could be a challenge.

Day 25 / Suffolk, VA to Williamsburg,VA

Boarding ferry to cross the James River

Boarding ferry to cross the James River

Old Jamestown

Old Jamestown

Old Jamestown

Old Jamestown

Yet another good day for biking, at least until the last eight miles. Smooth roads until then with a slight tailwind. We ferried across the James River and stopped at Jamestown. Then we took the bumpiest road yet for eight miles into Williamsburg in 90+ temps. I was able to do the full 55 miles with my new saddle. So far, so good.

We have our rest day here in Williamsburg. Everyone looks ready for a day of rest. I know I’m ready.

Old farmhouse and family plot

Old farmhouse and family plot

Day 24 / Elizabeth City, NC to Suffolk, VA

We pass many abandoned farmhouses in the middle of cultivated fields. If only these walls could talk.

We pass many abandoned farmhouses in the middle of cultivated fields. If only these walls could talk.

Entering Virginia

Entering Virginia

Leaving North Carolina

Leaving North Carolina

Another beautiful day for cycling, temps in the high seventies and low eighties, with little wind. We cycled through some lovely country roads, with lots of wheat fields, horses and cows. On the whole, the roads were smooth and the bicycle gods were kind. We left North Carolina and entered Virginia this afternoon. That means margaritas with dinner. As well, we passed the halfway point as far as mileage (1291 miles). This trip is passing by very quickly.

Today my new saddle arrived. I will try a 55 mile ride on it into Williamsburg tomorrow. For those who don’t ride, new saddles are a bit like new shoes…you don’t want to walk 20 miles in a new pair of shoes, the first time you try them on. Tomorrow I will pack an extra saddle, just in case the new one does not live up to its advertisement…no break in pe

Another family plot in the middle of  a cultivated field.

Another family plot in the middle of a cultivated field.

riod needed.

Many thanks to all my friends who have contributed to the  Outer Cape Health Services Building Fund. The staff provide exceptional health care services which will improve further in a modern facility.

 

Day 23 / Plymouth, NC to Elizabeth City, NC

it was another beautiful day for riding, with perfect temps and sun. I was unusually slow getting up and ready this morning and when it came time for riding, I was just not feeling it. I gave myself a day off and road the van into Elizabeth City and spent the afternoon sleeping. There was a 3.5 mile ride across an inlet, picture below. Emily, our wonderful cook/chef, made home made biscuits, beef stew and salad for dinner. Attached is a picture of the charcoal-fired Dutch ovens she uses to prepare meals. It’s amazing what great food she can produce. I’ll be back on my bike tomorrow, for our last day in NC and our entrance into VA.image image

Day 22 / New Bern, NC to Plymouth, NC

It was a beautiful day for a ride, sunny, warm, but not too hot. We had a ferry ride across the Pamlico River, followed by an afternoon of pleasant country roads. Our route took us through Bath, NC, the oldest town in the state. New Bern, where we landed yesterday, is the second oldest town. Both towns are River towns with lovely waterfronts.

We rode by many small, family cemeteries, located in the middle of farm fields or near farm houses. Most were very well-tended. We stopped and looked at one. Lots of children’s graves.

Dogs were out today. With whistles and shouts, we made it through unscathed.image image image image image image

I’m still riding on a borrowed saddle and my body is feeling the difference. It’s amazing what a difference a few mm adjustment can feel like when doing a repetitive movement like cycling. I hope I can adjust quickly to the new saddle I ordered. In a few days we will be in Virginia, where we will encounter our first hills.

All the named roads and bridges so far have been named for men, with the exception of a stretch of country road we rode today. It’s about time.

Pictures not uploading. Will add tomorrow.

 

Day 21 / Top Sail Island, NC to New Bern, NC

At last the rain has stopped and I am back on the road. We had some good tailwinds today, and at one point I was sailing along at 17-18 MPH, well above my usual pokey speed of 13-15 MPH. We travelled mostly on country roads, more farms , horses and cows. The bike gods must have been jealous; they sent high temps and high humidity. At one point my Garmin registered temps in the low nineties.

Today was the longest ride of the trip, at 97 miles. Some did their first century today. I was not one of them. I have borrowed a saddle from one of the riders. Mine has been causing so many issues, that I’m not going to use it. I have ordered a new one and Emilie will send it to me later this week. For those of you who ride, you know that it takes some time to adjust to a new saddle, so I will probably restrict myself to 35-40 mile days at first.

The time is flying. The ride ends a month from today, on June 12th. We have only a few more days in North Carolina and then on into Virginia. Onward and upward.

Day 19 / Carolina Beach,NC to Top Sail Island, NC

Tropical Storm Ana brought drenching rains and fierce winds today, creating headwinds of 30-35 mph and gusts of 40-50 mph. This was too much for me and I spent the day in the van. Many members of the group did the ride, all 54 miles in this weather. They are fearless and great cyclists.

We had our third rest day on Top Sail Island. We stayed at a hotel by the beach. It would have been a a great place for a rest day, absent a tropical storm.

Powerful surf due to tropical storm

Powerful surf due to tropical storm

Day 18 / Shallotte NC to Carolina Beach, NC

Many chose not to ride due to high winds and rain from TS Ana

Many chose not to ride due to high winds and rain from TS Ana

 

Ready to brave the storm.
Ferry ride to Pleasure Island and CArolina Beach

Ferry ride to Pleasure Island and CArolina Beach

Another hardy soul , ever so fashionable in her tropical storm outfit!

Another hardy soul , ever so fashionable in her tropical storm outfit!

Some hardy riders ready to brave the winds and rain.

Some hardy riders ready to brave the winds and rain.

Day 17 / Conway SC to Shallotte NC

We are following Tropical Storm Ana up the coast, lots of wind and rain, with more to come. The conditions exceed my capacity, so I am riding out the storm in the van.

We crossed into North Carolina today. The roads are much better, with actual room to ride without rumble strips. The lumber trucks are behind us and we are looking forward to riding on the shore, once the storm passes. Margaritas last night at dinner to celebrate the state line crossing. Despite the weather, and time in the van, I’m having a good time. This is a great group of women.

No pictures today.