5/6/23 – I’m in Virginia! – Chippokes State Park to Richmond, VA

Miles: 68.64 Today / 1652.22 Total

Elevation Gain: 1493 ft. Today / 18,984 ft. Total

If you looked at yesterday’s map, you would have noticed that we camped close to Jamestown. Well this morning, within about 3 miles of leaving our campground, we hopped on the Jamestown Ferry and crossed the James River to get to Jamestown.

On the ferry, I enjoyed chatting with a couple of beautiful sisters from Georgia, who were headed to Maryland for a wedding. It was such a pleasure to meet you two, Susan and Cathy. Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip and have safe travels home.

This is Susan & Cathy with me, of course.
From the ferry we could see the monolith and remains of a church in Jamestown.

The weather today was a little nippy, so I started out with 4 layers of clothing, gradually pealing off 3 layers over the course of the day. As for the terrain, yesterday we had a couple of hills, but today was a lot more hilly. Nothing steep, thankfully, but by the end of the day, I was feeling it. Spoiler: My legs are about to get even stronger, and how do I know this? Because this is just the beginning of the climbing that is up ahead as we continue toward Bar Harbor.

Just after we got off the ferry, we rode into the parking lot of the Jamestown historic site. It, Williamsburg and Yorktown are all connected, and I will see them with my grandkids some time in the next few years, so I didn’t stop.

The starting point of the Virginia Capital Trail is just across the street from the historic site, so I jumped on the trail, and began 50 miles of smooth, well maintained paths. Bikes dominated the trail use, but there were a few walkers and runners.

There were hundreds of historical markers along the trail, and though I had a fascination with reading all of them on the Southern and Northern Tier rides, I didn’t stop for a single one of them, because if I did, I’d never get anywhere. I just glanced at them and kept moving. I love history, but there may be too much of it posted all around you on the East Coast. Instead of them, I payed more attention to things that stood out to me. Like…..

Typical plantation house with its own farm.

The Capital trail ended when I arrived in Richmond, and so did my ACA map and Garmin course, but in spite of that, I saw some really cool things in town.

A community garden adjacent to some condos. For $60 a year, you get your own plot.
Identical Reconciliation statues are located in Liverpool, England, and Benin West Africa, which along with Richmond represent the three regions of the world that profited from slave trade.
The Richmond State Assembly building was designed by Thomas Jefferson.

When I loaded up the new course, there was something wrong with the starting point, and navigation suddenly because more difficult. After stopping at a bike shop to get a new headlight, then treating myself to some ice cream across the street, I now was ready to fry my brain figuring out where I was on the maps. My GPS kept sending me down roads that were closed or one-way streets going the wrong direction. I’d follow it anyhow, and then it would flash the “Of Course” message. I finally caved in and plugged the address of the Lakeside United Methodist Church into Google Maps and went with those directions. A few miles later, I was pulling into the parking lot of the church, and dinner was about to be served.

The members of this church are the nicest people. They prepared a wonderful meal and desserts, then sat and talked with us during and after dinner, like we were long lost friends of theirs. And this particular evening, we needed that and the pastor’s dinner prayer, because something really sad happened on the Virginia Capital Trail a few miles ahead of me, today.

Nick, the doctor on our team, was riding ahead of the rest of us, and as he came up over a little rise,150ish meters up ahead he saw a guy fall from his bike and a few people quickly gathering around him. The first 3 on the scene were women, one of whom was a nurse who quickly checked his pupils and made the assessment that he was dead. When Nick got to the guy, he noticed that the cyclist’s neck was broken and his head at a unnatural angle that at the very least would result in paraplegia, then he too noted that the guy was dead. The paramedics arrived, started doing CPR on the dead man and basically told Nick to get out of the way, that they do this all the time. 

The guy had hit a bump on the trail, possibly a tree root, ridden off the trail a foot or so and gone over the handlebars. He just had a bad landing, and his life was over. Nick was pretty shaken up, and as word passed between us riders, we were all shaken up too. I hope I never see anything like what Nick saw, and I likewise hope such a thing never happens to me or anyone I know. By the time I got to the location of the cyclist’s death, there was no sign that anything had even happened—no accident scene tape—nothing. I heard about it at my next rest stop, and it put a sad, somber cast on the rest of the day.

No pressure, but if you can afford to make a donation to MS treatment and research, the cause for which I am doing this ride, it would be greatly appreciated.

2 thoughts on “5/6/23 – I’m in Virginia! – Chippokes State Park to Richmond, VA

  1. I am so sorry to hear about the cyclist and his accident. I keep saying my prayers every night for the safety of everyone on your team! Stay safe!! Mickey

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All prayers are appreciated. The cyclist was supposedly in his upper 60s, so had probably been a cyclist for a while. Just had one unlucky moment, and poof. Very sad.


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