Day 2: Beans, bbq, bruises
Sara here, coming to you from the unbelievably luxurious feeling actual BED at a Candlewood Suites north of Richmond, VA. Big thank-yous to Beau's dad for gifting us an indoor place to lay our heads for the second night of our trek. We're showered, air conditioned... We even did laundry. What is this strange magic?
SO. DAY 2. The stats: 70 miles. Surrey to Glen Allen, VA. 1 ferry! 1 more rainstorm.
Today's riding—especially early on—was stellar. After a less-than-super-fun morning (RAIN! WET CAMPSITE! WET PACKING! YAY!), we made it to the Jamestown Ferry.
On board the ferry waiting for cast-off, we watched an amazing group of ospreys (who'd made nests on the big wooden pylons in the water) screaming and wheeling and carrying on. One flew right overhead screeching and carrying a full-sized fish.
She was very proud of herself.
The ferry pretty much dumps you right onto the actual TransAmerica, which, from Jamestown all the way to Richmond runs along the INCREDIBLE Capital Trail. This is riding. 52 miles of paved, maintained, mostly flat, totally gorgeous trail paralleling the James all the way into downtown Richmond — and along the way, plenty more massive, beautiful stretches of farmland. Beautiful roads today, and lots of lovely humans too. We breakfasted in the morning at an excellent bike-themed trail-side cafe/shop called Spoke + Art, and later we met John and Robin, two awesome trail ambassadors who had a tent with water, free snacks, and general camaraderie for riders set up right as we came into Charles City.
It was lovely to talk to them and find out more about the trail — and! They recommended Ronnie's BBQ another 10 or so miles down the road. We stopped there for a late lunch, chatted with the most excellent Ronnie himself, and were PSYCHED with the food. (10/10, would recommend!)
Coming into Richmond on the trail was fantastic—the riverfront area and canals are rad—and we grabbed a quick nap in the grass before pushing on through the city to the north and our hotel (still overwhelmed by how luxurious it feels to be clean and dry right now... and we've only been at this for two days! Haaaaa).
Definitely some fatigue and physical adjustment today. (We're glad we brought butt butter—I mean, er, chamois butter—with us. And Advil. Duh. Beau whacked his thumb pretty good yesterday and it's all kinds of purple.) It doesn't take long for the immensity of this endeavor to make itself viscerally (and not just intellectually) known — and that's both humbling and exciting. One thing I kept thinking today... I've been worrying for the last several months that the necessary isolation of COVID has exacerbated some of my more misanthropic tendencies. But being on the road for a couple of days has already been quite an antidote to that — people (so many of them) have the capacity to be curious, encouraging, kind. We've had lots of (respectful/distanced/masked) interactions with folks who are excited for our adventure and who've shared anecdotes, advice, support. The world is still the world, and small kindnesses don't mean the end of big pains and problems, but they're not nothing. They are, in fact, pretty rad.
Okay. This bed is calling our names. More soon. Time for some deliciously clean sleep.