Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Day 5: Stafford to Chesterfield

Route: Stafford, VA to Chesterfield, VA
Mileage: 90 miles

We tried to get an early start to the day, but it didn't happen.  Luckily our next host for the evening, Lydia, had given us a pass for getting in early.  She also has juvenile arthritis and understood how exhausted we must be.  So we took our time getting up and out the door.  We went downstairs to where Raquel had a whole spread of breakfast options for us.  Keegan snagged a muffin whereas I went for fruit, granola and hard boiled eggs!  Raquel helped us figure out our next route, since we will now be double checking with guests to confirm Google has not lost its mind and is trying to send us on ridiculous routes.  We wanted to stick to main roads.  Google said 301 instead of Rte 1.  She called a colleague to confirm this sounded like a good option.  When she said it would be shadier, we were already sold.  So we loaded up and headed out!

We went through Fredericksburg as we were getting out of town and on our way to the 301.

Once we got on 301, we were so happy when Google told us to just go straight for every and ever.  It was a great route, it was only one lane in each direction, but not busy, no stop lights, so we just cruised.

There were rolling hills, but we were getting good at accelerating so much during the down hill that we could get a portion up the next hill without much effort. It didn't always work out that way, but it was tolerable.  Our top speed was 37mph!  We mostly just went through farmland.  We saw lots of cows and corn and even alpaca!

It was super hot, so we just stopped every hour to reapply sunscreen and fill up water bottles as needed.  I am still having a huge problem with this sun rash.  It's only on my thighs and wore my shorts that are slightly longer, but it just extended past there.  I started to think I had an allergy to lycra or something, but I've worn lycra my whole life--it's the sun.  I'm just surprised it's nowhere but my thighs.

We wanted to stop for food a little over half way, so we would feel good about our final stretch.  There wasn't much on 301, so it was either Bowling Green or the next town which was 20 miles past that, so we picked the later and ate at Houndstooth Cafe.  We locked up the bike and headed in for a big southern meal.  We were the only ones there and ate an impressive amount.  Just as we were leaving, another touring cyclist came in.  His name is Derek, and he is in the middle of a 5,000 mile tour.  He had just rode 120 miles the day before and was putting us to shame.  He's also doing it right by stopping in major areas and spending a few days.  We are riding with a mission and speed is key for us!

Just across the street from where we stopped was an antique shop with an unusual name--and too good to pass up!  It was called Two Frogs On A Bike and actually had two frogs on a tandem as their sign.  We NEEDED that picture.  We were going to bust out the selfie stick, but Derek came running across the street to help us capture such happenstance properly.  So photo cred: Derek!

We then road through Richmond as we got closer to our final destination.  We did have to turn off of our beautiful country road, but Richmond had bike lanes marked (how much cars liked us there is unclear).  We passed by a lot of Confederate monuments (that's Stonewall Jackson) and rode through a pretty park.

We then got to a bridge we weren't sure if we could cross as we have grown suspicious of bike laws, but Google told us to so we went on what seems to be a sidewalk/bike path.  The view from it was gorgeous so we stopped for pictures!

We then made it to Chesterfield to my friend Lydia's, a fellow JA-er I know from the JA Conference many years ago (she gave a terrific talk for the Young Adult Program on body image).  She had said not to rush, so we didn't, but she was going to her son's swim meet.  She was still there with her daughter, Julia, when we arrived.  They were headed to the meet, but she had prepped us a delicious taco dinner.  Although we would have loved her company as well, we were happy to just get there, shower, eat and zone out.  We were just contemplating bed (seriously, I was) at 8:30 when they got back home.  We got to meet the whole family, her son John and husband Bryan, and watch both Julia and John show us how real bike riding is done.  John can bike down all the way to the white line at the end of their driveway!  Impressive.  

I was then totally beat and worn out from the sun.  I popped my methotrexate and was ready to sleep in.  Keegan and I debated whether we should take a day off or break our ride into smaller portions and keep going.  We decided to take the day off because we both had a ton of work to catch up on and resetting so we could get an earlier start than we have been on the next day sounded like a good plan.  So I crashed.  My brother-in-law just noted that the app's calorie count has got to be inaccurate, which of course it is.  The app is programmed for 160 pounds, but does not take into account how much weight we are hauling.  Between the two of us, our bike and all our stuff, we are at least 400 pounds.  So we are burning a lot and pretty tired! 

Thanks everyone for being patient with the blog today!  I'll bust out another tonight, I promise (it will be short!). If you haven't had a chance to check out our donation page, please do.  Any amount helps!  our last blog post was read 301 times.  If everyone that read gave just $10, we would have $3,010 more!  We are at 6k of our 14k goal!  Please share and donate here:


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