So following a few days in the Outerbanks with friends, we cruised back through the Bike Virginia tour for a long weekend of cycling. This year’s event was titled East Bound and focused on cycling in the Chesterfield and Williamsburg areas of VA with the first few nights of camping starting at the Pocahontas State Park. We registered for the weekend event starting on Friday and ending Sunday, however there was a full week option with a second camping area available for those individuals looking for some additional miles.
We rolled into camp around 2pm on Friday, just late enough to not get a group ride in, but with plenty of time to get signed in and find our campsite. With the Sprinter, life is good… We popped out the awning, opened up our REI camp chairs, and unloaded our bikes so we could go checkout the festivities.
HQ, as the Bike Virginia hosts call the main meeting site, was a virtual tent city packed full of cyclist claiming real-estate and finding a parking spot for their bikes. There were a few venders on site, a beer truck and a swag tent selling all kinds of Bike Virginia jerseys at a great deal. We snagged up a couple of silicone pint glasses for use in the Sprinter. The dinner served on site was a catered in Lasagna meal and boy did it hit the spot.
After dinner we biked back to the Sprinter and focused on chasing fireflies with our 2 year old. I really enjoy how having a toddler in your life puts the excitement back into things we’ve long forgotten were fun.
Once we got our little one down for the night, Sarah and I focused on drinking some red wine, watching the fire and talking about life. The next day we would have 65 miles of pure cycling bliss in front of us, so we hit the sack early.
An early morning start was in order for Saturday based on the 65 miles of cycling ahead of us. We don’t exactly set any land speed records on our Salsa Vaya and Surly Big Dummy (with toddler attachment), although we do average about 12-13 mph over the day.
The morning went well with cyclists everywhere! People were excited to be starting the day and everybody was enamored with our little 2 year old who was ringing her bell over and over. The route was an awesome rolling country atmosphere with no significant hills for the first part of the morning.
The first aid station came up around the 13 mile mark at a local horse stable. There were plenty of snacks and liquids available for a quick replenishment. Our little girl ran around and said hello to EVERYONE to include the horses. This was just the beginning of her making friends on the trip.
By the second aid station, people would cycle past us and know our daughters name! She was constantly receiving compliments and greetings from fellow cyclists.
The day was filled with nice rolling hills all day through the Virginia countryside with minimal traffic. At about the 50-mile point a couple of things happened…. We started getting tired and the hills started getting steeper. None of the hills were very long, but some of them got pretty serious for short durations.
At about mile 62 we were on the home stretch, when we noticed an ice cream shop! As a habit, we try not to pass up on a tasty treat during a hot humid ride and today was no different. We stopped for an ice cream and lemonade, making the last few miles to camp very easy.
Once we had taken advantage of the showers at our awesome campground, we decided an evening on the town in our favorite neighborhood, Carytown Virginia would make for a perfect ending to an awesome day of biking.
Carytown has a bunch of cool restaurants and shops on the main street for hours of walking around, but because we are routinely in the area, we went direct to one of our favorites called the Burger Bach.
The Burger Bach is a “New Zealand inspired gastro pub” and serves some AWESOME burgers only to be rivaled by the beer selection. Sarah and I both decided to do the noble thing and each had a burger and a beer to cap off the day.
A short 25 mile day was on the agenda for Sunday. There were longer options, but after our 65 miles the day before and a need to get home, we decided a short day was the best option.
Many of our acquaintances from the day before cycled by and said hello to us and mentioned how awesome if was we were introducing our daughter to cycling so early. The ride was pretty easy compared to Saturday ending with just a few sprinkles of rain as we entered the campground.
The Bike Virginia event was a fun tour, with tons of awesome people. There were bikes of all types, from crazy fast folks on tri-bikes to recumbents, tandems and even a family on a Surly Big Dummy with a toddler seat (Adventure Family in Motion). We had the opportunity to speak with a TON of people about our family cycling history and how we came to utilize the Big Dummy with a Yepp seat installed. I hope we inspired at least one other cyclist to consider bringing their family on the next ride vs leaving them at home!
Did you get to enjoy Bike Virginia this year? Share your stories or a link to your writ sup with us! We would love to hear about it!
Don’t forget to check out our MUST HAVE kids cycling gear!