As some of you know, I signed up for my first bike trip in April. Well it took place this weekend and I had a blast. I left Friday morning for Williamsburg, and set a new family time record for getting there. I absolutely love driving down interstate 95, I had my windows down and my music blaring.
I got to the College of William & Mary just as check in began. I saw two cyclists, Melinda and Rick, from my club (Potomac Pedallers Touring Club) that I had met on previous rides. I met our trip coordinator while checking in (Laurel is really nice and did an excellent job arranging everything.) Almost everyone stayed on campus in a dorm called Preston. A few people decided to "rough it" at a near by hotel. We were in suites with four people sharing a bathroom, which for a dorm was pretty nice. The rooms had bunk beds, and since I got to the room first I took the top bunk (big mistake). I helped out around the registration area until it was time to get ready for our first ride.
8 of us meet at William & Mary hall for a ride to tour the Jamestown settlement. Two of the group were from Baltimore, Lips and Rob, and they were quite fascinated with my Kelly Take Offs. I wish you guys could meet Lips, he is 77 years young, competes in the senior olympics (his team won the silver in volley ball this year, last year he won the bike race), and has a wicked sense of humor. Rob is kind of quiet, and makes some of the funniest observations I have ever heard. Both of them are retired and meet 3 or 4 times a week to ride with others in B'More. They let me tag along on the C level rides and we had dinner together. I also met Loan, who was our ride leader for Friday, she and Lips were quite amusing because they play argued during the entire ride and at dinner.
The Friday ride started off as a disaster, I had problems earlier in the week with my seat post slipping and thought I had it fixed. Well 3 miles into the ride I realize my knee is hurting and my legs feel cramped. My seat had sunk all the way down. Lips and Rob pulled the seatpost out and put in a paper shim, which held for the most part for two days. We rode from campus to the Jamestown settlement. Williamsburg seems to be a cycling friendly town. There were bike lanes and the motorists were considerate for the most part (the entire weekend I ran into only one jerk). Even during rush hour it was a great ride, we toured the island. Loan, Lips and Rob were nice enough to stop and let me snap pictures. Rob even took a picture of me and my bike so I would be able to post it here.
After we finished riding around Jamestown, we headed back to campus via the Colonial Parkway. It is a really beautiful ride, but a bit bumpy. The road is paved with concrete and pebbles and after a few miles I could really feel it in my arms. Since it was really humid, Loan made sure we stopped for water and snacks.
We got back to campus around 5:30 and headed out to check out the lbs because Rob needed a new tire and tubes after he had a flat during our ride. The shop is Bikes Unlimited, and the owners are a retired Marine and his wife. Both of them are really nice and helpful. They were even willing to take a peak at my bike the next day to fix my seat tube issue. Since they are members of the Williamsburg club and new PPTC was coming, they gave us 10% our purchases (I bought a water bottle as a souvenir). I thought that was awesome If you are ever in the area I suggest you check them out, they are located off Richmond Rd across from the W&M campus.
Saturday we met and rode with the Williamsburg bike club, from York River State Park. The park and surrounding areas are beautiful. We did a 30 mile ride, full of rolling hills. The ride leaders did a good job of making sure no one was left behind. They seemed really glad to have us there and at the end of the ride had a cookout. Someone had told Laurel the it was Loan's birthday, and she purchased a cake and had a celebration for her during lunch.
Overall my weekend was great, I am going back in the fall to tour Yorktown and a few other places. I did get to the colonial city Saturday afternoon to take a few pictures. I think I am definitely going to make this an annual event, and maybe next year I will have someone to go with me.
I will post pictures as soon as I get my film developed.