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Day 1 – If only it was all like this

(49.5 miles)

Day 0 catch-up: Paul, a friendly warmshowers.org contact pioked Matt and I up from the airport and dropped us off at the special cyclist’s house run by Grace Episcopal church in Yorktown. Parry, Pat, Jeff and Corey were all there when we turned up at 8:30pm. The sensible thing would then have been to start unpacking and assembling our bikes. So naturally we all headed down to the pub for a pint.

We were up at 6 the next morning, thanks to minor jet-lag. We were able to take our time assembling and checking our bikes and sorting out kit etc.


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Assembling the bike with the Atlantic in the background

Finally at 11am we trundled off, buzzing with excitement and banter – mostly about Corey’s recumbent bike, which, when viewed from the rear, gives the appearance of a child riding a motorised bicycle.

We all trudged through the sand for the obligatory ‘rear-wheel-dipping’ in the ocean and then up to the Yorktown monument, the official starting point of the TransAmerica route.


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Little did he know what perils lay ahead...

 

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Official start group photo

 

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Jeff - nicknamed the SAG wagon

The riding was superb – mostly along the Colonial Parkway. We took it real easy, just gliding two-abreast along the quiet, smooth road, chatting and getting to know each other. This felt really easy. Too easy! If only the whole route was like this…


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The Capital Trail

Corey on his recumbent stuck to a mode sedate pace and indeed we’ve already left him behind as he ended up staying in Williamsburg tonight. Its a shame as he would bring a great asset to the group dynamic.

Williamsburg is an odd place – like one of those museum villages in England where everything’s set-up or restored to look like it did ‘back in the day’. Lots of school groups visiting. I also bagged my first “Oh my gosh – I love your accent! Its so cute!” comment in the grocery store in Williamsburg. And so it begins :-)

Jeff stops to ask some locals for directions

A rare state-side Union Jack

We rode on to the campsite we’d planned to stay at but it was quite pricey so we turned ’em down and carried on. About 20 miles further on we stopped at a Methodist Church which supposedly had a hostel attached to it. Finding no-one around, we took our bikes round the back and set our tents up behind the church, out of sight of the road. Fortunately there was a hose there so we were able to shower and wash clothes as well. With impeccable timing the rain came just after we’d settled into our tents, providing the perfect opportunity to sit and write up this post!

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One for the ladies

 

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9 Responses to “Day 1 – If only it was all like this”

  1. Nate Morrison says:

    If you make it as far as Pittsburgh you are welcome to stay here. Just a few minutes outside of Pittsburgh that is in Munhall.

  2. Nate Morrison says:

    Upon further investigation of this site I discovered that you will not be making it this far North.Reading website Fail.

    • Graham says:

      Ha – no worries. If I could have picked a route passing Pittsburg I would have!

  3. A.Sheila says:

    Loved all the photos Graham! What’s a recumbent bike? None of them looked remotely recumbent…

  4. Jessie says:

    You may have received your first “cute accent ” comment but you’ve already started to change your ways. Grocery store. hem. hem.

  5. Jessie says:

    p.s Nice tan line :)

  6. Sarah says:

    impressive photos, they’ve come out well. and sounds like a great start to the trip!

    hope smooth sailing for the rest of the trip too!

  7. Mum says:

    Thanks for Mother’s Day text – quite a surprise! Looking forward to Day 2 blog.

  8. Virdi says:

    Looking forward to more days ahead… Have a safe trip…

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