Saturday, 4 June 2011

Day 1: Every journey starts with a single pedal

Day 1 03/06/11
30 odd miles Yorktown to Chickahominy River

So the big day was here, got up early (my body clock was still a little off Eastern Time) and did some final packing. Had breakfast and then went for a quick swim. Then at about 9.30 I checked out the hotel and got driven the 10miles to the start point by Jeff the hotel engineer.
Arrived at the Victory monument (the official start point) at around 10am ish.

And so after the photos, it was time to start.
First thing was to do the wheel dipping ceremony, after cycling the short distance to the beach, I dragged my very heavily loaded bike across the sand (not easy), and got someone to take the photo as the Atlantic waves lapped at my back wheel. And then I was off!

Until I missed pretty much the first turn I was supposed to take! Eventually got on the Colonial parkway to Williamsburg. And very soon got a great sight when around 200 cyclists were coming in the other direction. Lots of “heys” and “well dones” were exchanged. Turns out they were cycling to raise money for injured soldiers, by taking part in the Race 2 Recovery bike ride.
Got to Williamsburg and had a pizza. Whilst eating a school group came in the the teacher was asking about my bike and kit. When he found out I was planning to cycle to Oregon, he asked if he could tell all the kids!

I was feeling that my tyres were a bit flat earlier, so set out to find a bike shop to pump them up. Followed directions to one, but it wasnt there anymore. Thankfully, I soon saw a couple unloading a couple of road bikes off their car, so took a chance and ended up using their pump.

As I was only planning a shortish first day, I took some time looking round Williamsburg. Its a very historical place, with lots of Ye Olde style buildings with old skills such as blacksmiths and wheel makers. Even managed to get a picture of Wenlock with a woman in period dress.

Left Williamsburg and back on the Colonial parkway (not a great road surface), and then the Capital trail which was a nice smooth bike path shadowing the main road.

Arrived at the Chickahominy park campsite mid afternoon. Pretty tired, but managed to pitch my tent for the first time.

Later I tried to cook some cous-cous but it didnt turn out that well! Ended up buying something from the site store.

Went for a walk round the site, then turned in earlyish to read a bit.

All in all, a pretty good first day. Can really feel all the weight on the bike. Might send a few bits home soon – feel like I have too much of some of my clothes.

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