Today is the first of June. I don’t believe it finally came. When I signed up for this trip in December I never thought that June 1st would get here. I thought that I had forever to train and get my gear together. Well, I didn’t The trial has begun.
We left Virginia Tech on Sunday afternoon to drive down to our starting point in Yorktown.
My bike is heavy. I think I’ve said that before. It’s made of steel. A lot of other people here have carbon fiber bikes that they can literally pick up with one finger. It’s nuts. So they’re riding on a feather and I have to bust my knees pedaling hunk-a-chunk at 2mph while they fly past me. I do love my bike, but sometimes I wish it were made of carbon.
So anyways, I got to spend two nights in Virginia Beach before our journey. It was nice to see everyone again. Most of my friends that are still in the area came out to C.P. Shuckers on Sunday night to have some beers (with me?)
Here’s me with my good friends Amber, Courtney, and Otis. Otis is a bar regular there and he’s always so happy. That night he was especially excited because it was his birthday. I couldn’t say no to letting him be in the picture on his birthday. It was so nice seeing everyone, as usual. I’m going to miss hanging out in VB this summer. A summer without the beach. What the hell is that?
Today we left from Yorktown beach at about 9am. It was weird yet exciting.
Our team on the beach. I think there’s some people missing actually. There are so many of us.
So we dipped our tires in the water off the eastern coast of America and started riding. It was a strange feeling to ride away from my whole family and “into the unknown.”
Like I said before, a lot of people here are fast. Way faster than me. It’s ok because it’s not a race. I like to go at my own pace and stop and look around and coast every now and then if I feel like stretching out. From what I’ve seen on day one, most other people do not enjoy a leisurely bike ride like myself and instead enjoy riding as fast as I’d think is reasonably sustainable for the entire day. Phew. Oh well. Slow and steady wins the race!
It is great that we are a fully supported tour. Our van and trailer carry all of our gear for us so that we don’t have to lug around all of our clothes, food, sleeping stuff, etc. Also, the van stops every 20 miles at a gas station or something so that whenever we ride by we can refill our water bottles, fix something on our bikes, or eat something. From what I’ve seen in day one, it’s nice to be able to break your trip up into 2o mile sections.
Today was flat, pretty, and hot. That sweltering southeastern Virginia humidity that none of us were prepared for. You sweat so much there doesn’t seem to be the time to drink enough water to replace it. I think that I did an ok job eating for the first day. It’s so very hard to be hungry when it’s so hot, but in the back of your head you know you’re going to work out for six straight hours and you need some energy. It’s frustrating. And it’s frustrating to type about it now.
Well, we rode 65 miles in something like 5 hours. I made it through the first day! The awesome part is that where we are staying now is right smack in the middle of all of these Civil War National Battlefields and their memorials. I love everything Civil War. I’ll get back to you about the name of the battle that took place right here; it was a small one or it must have been if I can’t remember the name. Anyways there’s huge fields with cannons and historical markers and cemeteries everywhere. I’m in heaven!
“Going to Heaven on a Train” Guess he really liked trains? Do trains travel vertically now? Aren’t there faster modes of transport?
And that is the first day. It’s going to be hard to type long blog entries like this everyday as I’m pretty beat. Hopefully I’ll get used to the mileage and I won’t die tomorrow. We are doing 80 miles to Mineral, Virginia.
I forgot to tell you that for dinner I ate ramen mixed with tuna fish. It was superb. Also I am going to bed now, at 9:30pm, almost a full 12 hours before my normal bedtime.