Day 1, April 30th
The minor hiccups continue but the riding has been great.
Norfolk to Virginia Beach didn’t take all too long, but I did stop at a wayside which had good access to the beach. It was still fairly early and I hadn’t had breakfast and worse coffee. I figured taking a break to whip both of these up would make for a great start to the trip but I soon learned that my small stove regulator was not working. After messing around with it for a while I gave up and had some of the yogurt raisins from the airport. Unfortunately I haven’t come across a store where I could replace my stove yet. No brewing my own coffee in the meantime 🙁
Coffee and oatmeal substitute… not the same.
Virginia Beach has an impressive huge sand beach… the town itself was a bit touristy for my liking so I didn’t stick around long. It wasn’t long after I left Virginia Beach that I noticed I had been dragging a front pannier on the ground more frequently. Turns out my laptop was creating a low spot and I saw I had actually rubbed through in one spot. The duck taping begins. I reorganized my panniers and they seem to seat much higher now. I also reinforced these rub prone areas with duck tape just in case. When I get time I’d like to add some sort of metal or had plastic rub pads to the bottom. I’ve got some ideas, just need to visit a hardware store.
After taking a couple turns that led to the military base and required me to backtrack it seemed the day was getting a way from me. My goal was to try and get into False Cape park and look for camping opportunities. My planned lunch destination seemed too far now and I was beginning to fade so I swung into a local sandwich shop. A huge hoagie later I was off again. It was nasty headwinds all day… thats right headwind the one time I am probably going south.
The air cooled off once I got close to the cape. I found a pier with a beach shower where I was able to clean up and wash my shirt. It was a pretty muggy/warm day so I was feeling grimy. I felt a few sprinkles and considered setting up camp nearby. Their was still plenty of riding light left so I decided to press on.
I’m glad I kept riding because False Cape was a great ride. Once in the park it is walking or biking only and I never saw another person. Great scenery and lots of wildlife. I ended up settling on a camping spot and just as I got my tent up the rain came. Lucky!
Big water snake that didn’t like my presence.
Right before the rain.
Raisins again for dinner… Need to replace this stove!
Day 2, May 1st
Today has been a battle. A battle with great views and lots of sand. I suppose it deserves it’s own post but since I should get on the road soon I’m going to just include the photos here.
Drying things out this morning.
The ride begins. A bit of an eerie haze lingers.
It must’ve rained last night… and apparently the last three days. Plenty of big puddles today.
I took a detour to go check out an old church and cemetery site.
Just the foundation and steeple remain.
Some of the Tombstones themselves were sinking away.
So that’s why they call it Sandbridge Road… Time to hike a bike. A heavy bike.
Wishing i had a fat bike right about now.
The journey through the park seems to be over and hopefully the sand as well. I could hear the ocean and see houses. Still no people.
All the pushing rewarded with great views!
An endless beach. Time to get back to the road.
This is the road… I fought this for about 2-3 miles, pushing and carrying my bike (after pushing 3 miles in the park). Pretty much out of water and with only food that could be cooked (not helpful with no water and a stove that’s not working) I sat down to assess how far I had to go. Things were looking pretty grim. Like 10 miles of this wonderful road. Then, all of a sudden my new best friends pulled up and offered me a ride to where the paved road starts.
My heroes of the day. Dropping me off at the pavement! Ahhh yes! No filtering water out of the giant puddles in the road.
So here I am only ten miles into my day but feeling like I totally deserve this beer I’m enjoying. I have to have a Yuengling while I’m on the east coast! Just about to head to Kitty Hawk and have a look around. I think it’s only about 20 miles away. More fun to come!
Ha, the joys of emaps… Siri, what’s that road made of?
Glad to hear your wheels are turning again 😉 Have fun Brad!
Siri should have warned me!!! I need to have talk with Apple.
It looks like you took the hard way, but it looks beautiful! Let me know if you want a stove regulator FedEx’d to you.
You can ship stuff to hotels that you aren’t necessarily staying at and pick it up at the concierge’s desk.
Erik thanks for the offer and suggestion! I’m going to research tomorrow and see where the nearest camp/sporting goods store is. If it’s far I may just try and buy the part online and have it delivered to a hotel like you mentioned. And yes! Hard road today but I have no regrets! The sights were great!
Hey Brad, outstanding beginning to your ride and nice job sharing your day(s) with us in the blog. Following along with GE and YouTube for added context… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK3WOHkDAI4
Hope by the time you see this you’re enjoying a new stove.
Kris nice find! That’s the place. It was really neat. No stove yet but I’m dreaming of that morning coffee outside my tent in the morning. Soon!
False Cape is an awesome way to start your journey! Did you see any of the wild horses? Although bummer about the waterlogged road. Glad some friendlies helped you out. I think your first picture of the Atlantic Ocean is actually the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, but we won’t tell anyone. It’s still REALLY far from the Seattle area. Did you see the Cape Henry lighthouses in Va. Beach? Maybe not, because no photos. Depending on your route, try to swing by the Cape Hatteras lighthouse on the Outer Banks. Hope things go more smoothly soon!
Eric I did see one wild horse on the beach! Very cool. Also I don’t recall a light house in VB. Camping in Kitty Hawk tonight. I’ll look for the outer banks one in the morning. The Yuengling was just as tasty as I remember! Might have to have another before I’m out of state! Crazy they don’t have them in CT.
Seeing a wild horse is a good omen! (I just made that up.) Too bad about the Va. Beach lighthouses. Cape Henry lighthouses, to be specific. They’re actually on Fort Story, so you probably rode right by them without knowing. One c. 1789, the other right across the street c. 1881. You MUST get a photo of an Atlantic and Pacific lighthouse, or your ride does not count! You’ll have to re-do the whole thing. And we don’t want that. Hatteras lighthouse is down where the coast dog legs hard. If you don’t want to go down that far, try to reach Currituck or Bodie Island lighthouses. Interesting fact: Years ago the Hatteras lighthouse needed to be moved inland due to erosion fears. Some guys I went to high school with were hired to do that job. Quite the engineering feat, if you ask me!
Impressive! Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the lighthouses. I missed Currituck and Bode was farther south than I was planning to ride. Jockey Ridge was cool though! Thanks for suggesting it!
No lighthouses? Well, when you get to the Pacific take a nice lighthouse photo, and then you can re-trace your route back to the Atlantic to fine one or two you missed. Glad you liked the memorial and Jockey’s Ridge.
Yuengling?!? Ni-i-i-ice. America’s oldest brewery. My daughters and I visited there (Pottsville PA) on our way back from Philly, Feb 2013. Sadly we can’t buy Yuengling in this Godforsaken state, but I have been nursing the ones I brought up from Pottsville. I’d say yours is a well deserved reward!
Mud looks difficult, but it could have been worse–could have been snow! Beautiful scenery.
Wow…some great photos you have taken! Some crazy conditions though w/ the sand! Geez! Keep it going Brad! You will hopefully have some great days ahead!!
Thanks Marcy! It’s been great!
Hoping the adventure is going well! Thinking of you!
Here’s wishing you sunny days ahead! I look forward to following your journey and hope for the very best 🙂
Thanks Katelyn! Sunny days the last couple days! Can’t put the sunscreen on fast enough!