Wednesday, August 01, 2012

VA/NC p.1

We've recently returned from a varied vacation which included a bit of everything: roller coasters, history, beach, bikes, family, food. Anything else? Birds.

The blog here will focus on a few bike rides I was able to take. Much as I did during our Rushmore trip two summers ago, the bike riding on these trips is subservient to our other activities, so that means short-ish jaunts in the morning before the schedule heats up. It helps to keep me calm during the day, and of course, I get to see some new sights, in this case bike rides in Virginia and North Carolina for the first time.

Williamsburg
The first stop was a visit to Busch Gardens for some roller-coaster time.  Pre-park I got out about 7am for a shortish ride along the Colonial Parkway, the plan being to go one direction one morning the the other the next day. I rode west towards Jamestown in some serious humidity, with the plan of reaching the Jamestown entrance before turning back; I was drenched early on. The surface of the C.N.H.P. is rough pavement with heavy pea-gravel in it, making for a scenic look but isn't the smoothest on a bike. I stopped several times to take in the views and look for birds (new hobby), so much that a jogger caught me a couple times. Ride on Man!

Farther west towards Jamestown I saw a "bike trail" sign leading into the woods so I investigated that a bit and found what looked to be a local road with the proverbial notion of it was somehow better for bikes than others. Whatever. I decided to make my way back due to time, pace and humidity. I'm pretty sure I saw some kind of interaction between a blue heron and an eagle but I wasn't observant enough to take it in, but it was cool from afar. On the return loop I also very briefly toured the main stretch of historic Williamsburg. It seemed nice, perhaps a place to visit a bit later when the boys are off doing their adult thing.

My plans for day 2 quickly fell aside after our day in the park. I had a rougher day than usual but managed to ride several coasters; the rest of the crew power-rode all day, even after a mega 1.5hr storm that closed the park. I woke up bushed and in no shape to do a ride.





I'm not sure what this is, but my guess is a birding blind.






Nag's Head-Outer Banks

This was our first trip to the OBX area, and with somewhat inadequate planning (and $) we only planned to stay for one night. The wife found a nice mom-n-pop hotel with a balcony overlooking the beach and we used the afternoon and evening to play in the sand. The following morning I took the bike out for what hopefully would be a 1hr trip up to the KittyHawk Wright Bros Nat'l Memorial and back. I had mounted the dense-as-rocks Vittoria Rando 35c tires on the CrossCheck as a fool-proof mechanical decision. Instead, I managed to feel the effects of a soft back tire just a few miles into the downwind portion of my ride. The 'out' was prolly going to be a 16-18mph trip (the return, of course, would have been a different story). I had the necessary stuff to change a flat, but with 1hr rides you don't have much time. I turned the bike around, filled the tire with a bit of air, and headed to the coffee shop near our room. This ride became a disappointing 5m Fail.

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