I attempt to sleep in whilst sleeping inside. It doesn’t work. I’m up, packing and sneaking in an extra shower. I get moving fairly early and have the lightest traffic of the trip yet as quiet Saturday farm roads come up on my visual display. It’s feels almost natural to pedal pedal pedal now. I’m hitting “I can do this forever” point. Robotic. Like I’m Robocop, except I’m not a cop. I won’t event talk to the cops unless you pay me. And sometimes you do, so sometimes I do. Anyhoo. Robobike. My climate advisory sensors also indicate a happening on the radar maps. Fellow cycling tourist and hospitality guru Perry in Louisiana would call it ketchup and mustard. Storms. I don’t like riding in lightning. I’ve got at least a few hours before they come in.
The signs tell me that Virginia is for lovers. They’ve come a long way from them slim ass cigarettes… this ain’t gon’ stop so we just goin’ to continue.
Virginia for lovers. Lovers of Hay Soos for sure — so many churches, crosses wrapped in white clothes. I’ve come a long way and I’m a lover of winding country roads — I’m on one right now. I also love cemeteries — little pop up plots everywhere. Isle of Wight just sounds creepy and weird and a little scary on a map and when I read it a sign. Now, there’s nothing even here and it’s even stranger. I mean nothing. Like not even the post office the map indicates. I manage to figure out a rest stop that doesn’t have a no trespassing sign, allows for rest myself and the sojourn.
I’ve come a long way for hills, baby. Like the 9% variety. Outside of bridges and causeways and the like, I don’t think I’ve seen above a .5% grade the entire time. US Highway 17 was flat as fuck. I’d like once again to thank the Spoke gods old and new for watching me survive that road. Praise be.
Bacons Castle Plantation Farm. I forget to get a picture of the sign and there was one. Finally a castle dedicated to pork fat! I come up to the intersection that is the anything. There’s a store I wanna at least fill up water bottle at. It’s the only thing for miles. There’s a cop car with its lights on sitting on the side of the intersection. He gets out and walk a little toward me, looking like the nosy inquisitive bastards he probably is. He asks if I need to get across, I reply “yes, I’m going into the store”. He walks out and stops a car for me! Ok now. Police crossing guard. There’s a bike race. Or a bike event. Slow Roll at least took the word race out of everything having to do with bikes. It’s ok to go slow. Or even be slow. Ask the tortoise. And it’s a Saturday, that’s right. Bike events. Bike rides. Thanks copper. Roller skating jam.
I chomp some nondescript convenience store sausage, and after more than a few chats with folks coming in and out, I peel off. MAMILs speed off on the turn while I pack, apparently my route is there route. I meander and about to pull over to the man sitting in his car, putting the bacon into Bacons Castle, maybe thank him or ask what the bikes are all about, then I realize — I’m not at work. They are not paying me. Don’t talk to the cops.
Ferry Four. Into Jamestown. Named after a native. The boat. Not the settlement. I barely make it on time, rolling downhill up past stopped cars who’ll have to wait another 45 minutes for the boat. I make the cutoff, literally getting on board behind the last car. Whew. That’s timing for ya. There’s four other day cyclists on here We chat briefly. Everyone wants to know where i started and where I’m going. It’s a short ride over the James River. Good bike trail coming up. And Jamestown historic stuff. Rain looking ominous as they put on raincoats. I’m good for now.
The Virginia capital trail is the truth. Three miles out of it from Williamsburg and I’m all up into it. The rain looks imminent. There’s lightning nearby. I’ve got experience being out on a bike trail in crazy weather. There’s typically no cover. Nowhere to run to baby. Or ride to. Tornadoes in 2010 Minnesota come to mind. Ive got a bad feeling about this Chewy. And whadya know, a dope provision shop right on the trail. “Spoke & Art”. I get a coffee. And a sandwich. I charge my devices whilst under a covered porch. There’s a couple live acoustic performers under a separate covered porch. Perfect. Not getting struck by lightning today.
An hour or two rolls by, I roll nowhere, the rains pounding down. The kid working there is about 19 or 20 tops. Let’s call him Brennon. Brennon can tell I’m a long ride and offers up: “our owner is huge cyclist, we keep the covered patio open 24/7, plus there’s a water fountain and air conditioned bathroom around back — you can camp here is you like.” Wow. Now This Must Be The Place, David Byrne.
The rains subside. Looks like there’s another round. So ketchup. A little mustard. I could stay, I could get 5 more miles and and camp at nearby Chickahominy Riverfront Park. I’ve got the Jimmy Legs and I’d rather not hang beee until they close just to set up. Fully charged and fueled, I pack up and hit the trail. Campground is closed and no one picks up when I call the number in the sign. The website shows it’s full. There’s plenty of primitive sites open and it’s getting close to sunset. Fuck it. I pop up the tent. Five minutes later a monsoon the size of West Virginia. It pours down. Typhoon level rains.My stuff stays dry. I get soaked to and from — get this — the showers. I’m taking a nice hot shower while I hear it come down cats and dogs right outside. I turn the water off and the sound doesn’t change. I get wet again back to camp. Climb in and pass out.