June 22, 2007, Friday
Reston, VA to Hopewell, VA
This year is the 20th anniversary of Bike Virginia. Kerie and I have ridden on 10 of the last 19 and this would be our 11th trip. The organizers of Bike Virginia live in Williamsburg, VA, which is the headquarters of the organization. This year the event returned to that area to celebrate their 20th.
I've lived in Northern Virginia for many years, since 1979, and yet I've never visited Williamsburg, Yorktown, or Jamestown. I'm not sure why, perhaps I thought it was too commercialized and expensive. I have always wanted to go but never seemed to get around to making the trip. BikeVA was a good excuse to see the area from the seats of our bikes.
The drive down from Reston took about 3 hours. I-95 was crowded and crazy as ever. I can't imagine the daily commute of those thousands of people who drive north from the many towns along the highway. We decided to drive straight to the high school to register before checking into our motel. It's been many years since we've camped, although most cyclists do pitch a tent at "tent city" during the week. We picked up our free t-shirts, wrist bands that we'd wear throughout the week, and checked out the various vendors.
Mary Turnbull, wife of the original organizer of the tour, Alan Turnbull, gave an overview of the week's rides along with her annual safety talk. She discussed the various ride options; usually there are 2 or 3 of varying miles. She also talked about the ferry crossings and the logistics throughout the week. On the ride to Yorktown along the Colonial Parkway she warned of the wide seams in the concrete roadway; apparantly many people skipped the talk as there were many crashes that day.
|Welcome party at Weston Manor|
|City Point Historical marker|
|Grant's Cabin at City Point|
Luckily we arrived just before the young park ranger closed the visitor's center for the night. He gave us a brief tour of the building and gave an overview of the operations that were conducted during the Civil War, which included a hospital for 15,000 people and the handling of 1,500 tons of supplies a day through the port. Back at the motel we readied our trusty steads for the start of the tour on Saturday.