Yesterday, as we were squinting into the east, I made a note to self. “Do not head east in the last week of Daylight Savings Time before 9 a.m. So this morning, we didn’t. In fairness, it wasn’t planned: the Lodge serves a very nice buffet breakfast, but there are servers, and bills to deal with. It’s not the usual help yourself to whatever you want whenever you feel like it at the usual places we stay.
The doorman took our picture. We wanted to remember that on November 1, we were able to start riding in shorts and fingerless gloves. It clouded up a little as we headed southwest to Jamestown on Jamestown Road. Like every place that is vibrant and growing, the ‘Burg has really become both more dense and more spread out than we remember. So many more bike lanes and trails. Rolfe Road, where Ludwell Dorms were (are?), used to seem way off campus. Now it’s not.
At 10 a.m., we turned onto the Capital trail toward Richmond. We had a new plan. Roy had googled rental cars at the Richmond International Airport. The airport is only 52 miles from Williamsburg mostly via the Capital Trail. We decided to head for the airport and drive home today.
The trail was just as lovely today, and we had the advantage of knowing what to expect.
Hmm. Not sure about the color combo, but bare arms in November, nice.
The Bicycling in Virginia map has elevation profiles for various trails. The profile for the Washington and Old Dominion trails waves up and down–not a lot, but it waves. The elevation profile for the Virginia Capital Trail is a straight level line. Yesterday we were surprised when we used every gear we had. Maybe it would seem flatter without a load. Like the W&OD, it seems to be used largely by locals who want a safe, fun, pretty place to ride. We saw one tourist today, but we saw several locals going out and coming back and several repeaters from yesterday.
A couple on a tandem who were wearing RATS jerseys (Richmond Area Tandem Society) recommended that we eat at Cul’s Courthouse Grille in Charles City Courthouse. So we did. It was another fun and funky place full of cyclists, who apparently ride out there to eat or park there, ride their ride, and then return to eat. When asked for recommendations, the owner asked where we were in our ride. Certain dishes he deemed too heavy for mid-ride digestion. Very thoughtful.
The tandem couple arrived after we did and gave us the lowdown on the Grille. The owners bought it in 2009 before the trail was completed. They had to hang on for quite awhile, but now the place is busy. The owners recently bought a nearby house and intend to turn it into a bed and breakfast for cyclists. It’s about 20 miles from Jamestown (26 from Williamsburg) and about 32 from Richmond.
The ladies room was a surprise.
A skeleton was drinking a can of this beer. We don’t know if it is a special label for a fundraiser or a real thing.
The historic Charles City County Courthouse is being restored.
After lunch, the SSW winds had picked up. We had to put our jackets back on. The wind made the hills seem steeper and longer. We had 26 miles to go, about 21 on the trail and 5 on roads. The roads were surprisingly manageable. We got to the airport by about 3:30, and were on the road, dressed in street clothes, with bikes in back, a little after 4.
We had to stop for ice cream on the way back.
This turned out to be dinner, unless you count the excellent peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that Roy assembled once we arrived home.
The rental car is returned, clothes are being washed, and we are looking forward to a bonus day at home tomorrow.
Thanks for following our mini-adventure.
If you are a cyclist, go ride the Virginia Capital Trail. It’s great.