An easy day into Ashton, VA

Thursday May 14, 2009, 38 miles (61 km) – Total so far: 111 miles (179 km)

Rolled through Mechanicsville and into Ashland today. The ACA promised heavy traffic, but we didn’t think it was too bad, with a few exceptions. There was some heavy suburban traffic past Cold Harbor battlefield, and in a few spots past Mechanicsville. It’s a bit of a surprise to realize we’re almost through our second area code, and some of the roads (like the one through Charles City) are nearly as isolated as anything I’ve driven on out west. And the roads have been pretty nicely paved so far (except for the Colonial Parkway from Yorktown to Jamestown).

Richmond battlefield -- Cold Harbor

The Richmond Civil War battlefields cover a lot of ground, corresponding, I guess to the vast amount of time, materiel, and men who fought here.

I was a bit nervous about the new bike, so we found the bike shop in Mechanicsville — Pedal Power. Mark Batterson checked it out for me, and declared, “Somebody checked this bike out before it rolled out the door.” So thanks to Mark, and thanks to the crew and Joshua, the manager, at the Bailey’s Corner REI! Those guys worked shifts, as a team, over about four hours to get everything set up just so.

Ashland is an old railroad town. With the way some people seem to be allergic to railroads, it’s quite a change to see the double track running through the middle of the town, with a one-way street on each side. We treated ourselves to ice cream downtown — yum!

Downtown in Ashland; railroad through the middle of the street!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Also got lucky; as we rolled up to the hotel, it started sprinkling. We’ve had three days of “why you want to go bicycle touring” weather, and missed the shower this afternoon. I don’t expect to stay this lucky, but I’ll take it!

Resting up tonight, and we’re planning to load up again tomorrow. Maybe that’ll be the impetus I need to send some of this weight home!

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