SATURDAY OCT 29- My trip on the bike was over, and now I could relax and just go see the sights of Virginia for a few days before I got back on the plane and arrived home to the reality of running a business that I have neglected for the last 2.5 months.
I don’t really feel that it has been neglected, since I had my most able partner at home taking care of things, that being Colleen and my kids whom work so hard at keeping the shop going.
I had some time to kill before I could get on the plane, with that time I decided to take a drive and cross the famed Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The bridge is really a neat thing, since it crosses the Bay on what is both a Bridge and a tunnel. For most of the way you are on top the water, but on two occasions you drop down on to the Bays floor which then allows large ships unfettered access to the Bay and all the shipping that takes place within these ports.
Once across I drove up along the coast to Poconoke City on the Maryland State line. I turned and headed back south along the main road and stopped in Cape Charles which houses the oldest existing Court Records in these America’s. While in the Cape, I had a chance to visit with Dave who has been fisherman off the coast of the Atlantic for some 26 years now. It’s a love says Dave, it becomes a passion. You are obsessed with the catch, the size of the water, and the weather overhead……………it’s more like a dance than a job according to Dave.
The water across the Chesapeake was rough and very windy, blowing some 35 miles per hour, so Dave was sitting in the fishing harbor waiting for the wind to subside and his boat could then leave. The fishing has not been real good this season according to Dave, but you know the high’s and lows are all apart of the whole process of being a fisherman. So I got a lesson on fishing for Conck’s, and Skates, as well as the larger fare like Tuna and Mackeral. All in all, as bad as I am afraid of water, I am glad I like beef and stay on shore. The little town of Cape Charles is real picturesque but it was a Saturday so the old Court house was closed.
Back across the Bay Bridge, and I was hungry so I stopped at the Jewish Mother restaurant, now this is really a place too eat contrary to its funky looks on the outside. I would highly recommend it if you are on Virginia Beach, and by all means come hungry because the servings are a good size. And do not skip desert, I think that may be the best part of this place. Before I could head north much further I had too ship my bike from the UPS store.
Then with that done, I could head north and start the next day up in Yorktown. I drove as far as Oyster Bay, and found a place to stay that wasn’t too expensive……..trying to keep the costs down I have been gone so long from the shop. The Motel had a computer for guests too work on, but it was real poorly equipped with software, and so I got text only worked on that evening till about 10:30 pm.
SUNDAY- October 30th I start the day with a little Continental Breakfast downstairs and work on the blog till 10:30 approx. Now I have to tell you all that I have been Praying for the chance to get to a dominantly Black Church for years, and I Prayed for the same this morning as well.
This is exactly how it turned out. I left the parking lot just after 10:30 and headed north on towards Yorktown, and after about 3 miles I saw a sign that said Colossians Baptist Church……….so I just turned in, I didn’t have much time too waste in looking. Indeed I knew s soon as I hit the parking lot that I had maybe hit the Church that I had wanted to hit for several years now. I guess out of fear, I sat near the very back of the Church………..I was not sure of what too expect nor was I sure of why I should be fearfull………..but I was. A young fellow, named Jamal came by, and said hello but also told me that I should move ahead and I would then be able to hear better as well.
I did just that and sat about midway up. Now I won’t get onto a soap box here and try to relate the entire Sermon to all of you………but I do want to stress just how great the music was. It was so deep and rich with melodies and the music accompaniments, so totally unlike anything that I had grown up with in Canada, nor even my home church in Coalinga for that matter………and we have a good Praise and Worship Team.
Then the Minister, Pastor Evans came out and it got even better, you talk about being uplifted and invigorated with the passion of Jesus………Pastor Evans goes into what I will call a chant for lack of knowing the real name for it, but some of these lasted for up to 40 minutes with the sweat just pouring off of him as he delivered the sermon. And all the time that this is going on, there is music crooning out in the background and then rising to a crescendo at times during a lull in the sermon.
Folks, it was fantastic, one of the neatest Services that I have had a chance to too attend, and a great finish to a bike trip like I had just done. I left the church after such a warm farewell from everyone, it was now 4pm
Onto Yorktown, a short ways down the road. I began with the Moore House in Yorktown, this is a building sight more than a actual house. And while I was taking pictures of this house I met with an 83 year old fellow Lou Williams.
What a neat fellow, as we talked about the current state of the elections, the current state of secularism in our schools, and the current state of imprisonment of the human spirit by the God Police. Lou has genuine concerns for the taking of our spiritual freedoms by way of the Court Bench and what may soon be a day when we do not have a State Religion, but rather a time when we have a NO RELIGION MANDATE.
The current crop of youth are completely dismantled spiritually says Lou, they have no real depth to there character nor their family lives and so have no real sense of what it is to be American and appreciate what has been bought and paid for by men of generations before them, I was in awe of how well worded he was. We prayed and I was on my way as was Lou.
On to Yorktown and the rest of the sights, to see the Commemorative put up by the Colonists to show gratitude for the Men of the Colonies whom had died in this War, and to the French who had been our sincere allies in the War. It got me to thinking that maybe what we had done during the second War was in fact just making us even for all the help the French had given us during our war of Independence, for surely as most Historians would tell you.
That these America’s would not have been victorious had it not been for French aid, troops and ships? I went on to Williamsburg and got a Motel room, even a little cheaper than last night, but one that had a computer in it so I could work on the blog site.
I bought some food at a deli, and ate in my room. I headed downstairs too work on the blog, but at about the same time a large group of teens came along and had a Pizza party in the same room as me. I got too visiting with the teachers or chaperons that were with them and found they were all from England. Well this turned into a 3 hour visit about what to see and where to go in England.
For you see next year, in the month of July we are headed too England as a family and see the sights, so how opportune it was to have this chance too visit with them about this subject. I worked till 3:35 am and had a wake up call for 6:45am because I did not want to miss any of Williamsburg that next day.
Oct31st -Monday I had a small breakfast and headed out to take a walk in Williamsburg and then onto Jamestown I thought. But the sights of Williamsburg proved to be so splendid, that I was there till almost 4pm and still had not made it to Jamestown. So I headed out with a few groceries to make a sandwich and went to the newly opened Jamestown Museum. I ate a little and called home as I was eating……………SURPRISE……….my darling wife was flying in to meet me that night in Norfolk.
SO I took a quicker trip through the Museum than I would have normally so I would have time to drive back into Norfolk for Colleen. The Jamestown Museum is a very interactive type Museum, and the displays are just great, as is the information that they make known.
It’s about 9:45pm and my wife arrives at the Norfolk International to spend a few days with me, we can celebrate our achievement. Sorry but we had a night alone, I didn’t even bring the blog into the room, so don’t expect me to bring YOU into the room………..forget it, I will see you tomorrow!
Nov1st- Good morning.........and NO, don't even ask. It'sTuesday and we had driven back to Williamsburg so that Colleen could see the place as I had the day before, and the truth is that there is enough too see that it is easy to spend two days there and enjoy each moment of it. I was elated at having this chance to see my wife, the 72 day sojourn had taken its toll on me more from the mental standpoint than from the physical side of things.
We headed strait to Colonial Williamsburg from the Motel after a light euro-breakfast. Interestingly when you are in Williamsburg, it is difficult to determine when you are in the Colonial district and when you are in the day to day business district, as by laws must dictate that all business maintain a Colonial feel and spirit, anyways it all plays into giving you a great feeling.
The Colonial District encompasses a lot of acreage as well as a broad scope of crafts and business that reflect what took place back in the days of Colonial Williamsburg, so for a person interested in that sort of thing needless to say a lot of time can be spent learning. We participated in an evening Ghost Tour as a part of the Halloween Scene, this was really fun, we had a huge fellow in a Black Cape as our tour guide, and we went to 3 different buildings on the grounds of Colonial Williamsburg and story tellers would then relate either a historical account or a folk tale to us in candle lit rooms, with that dark atmosphere and story all playing into an intriguing evenings entertainment.
We walked for a while and talked about the night the business at home and it was time to us to go to our dinner reservations at the King’s Arm Tavern. This is a Tavern that specializes in serving the traditional dishes of the day, and serving them to you in the traditional manner of the day as well. We had Peanut Soup, just great. A steak of Shoat (pork) in rich red wine sauce, a Wild Game Pie served with red Current Jelly, Fricassee Rabbit, Oysters, Venison and Shoat Sausage, Colonial Ham Pate, and Sweet Potato Stew……….. wow what a great meal, served to you slowly allowing time to talk and reflect rather than all heaped on the table in a five minute course.
We finished off the meal with Virginia Rice & Custard Pudding in a Vanilla Sauce as well as Southern Pecan Pie. Our time was over at this point, the next day at 8:15am we were on the plane headed home to the hugs from my kids that I was missing so much. Of all the things that may have been perceived as being difficult to deal with on this trip, it was the lack of affection I could share with my kids that I found to be most difficult too deal with.
Opinion on Performance………keep in mind that this is my own opinion on how well I was served by certain items and Articles that I used while riding across America. My appraisal is my honest view, and not just a carte blanc endorsement of any one item.
BIKE USED- Merlin full Titanium was just great no complaints or suggestions required here. It was not a custom frame for me specifically but one I horse traded for and then had to make work.
COMPONENTRY- I used all Shimano Ultegra components and they performed with out any flaws nor complaints. Something that I did learn in all of this is that the Shimano Brand offers the widest selection of gearing configurations of any and all of the cycling component companies out there today. Younger riders may climb just fine in a 10x2 situation, but older riders may need some gearing advantages not offered unless you go to a Shimano setup
SADDLE SEAT- although many of you read about the teeth comment in regards to my saddle seat, and you must know that for approx 10 days I did switch seats. The truth is that I switched back to my Selle Anatomica Saddle seat made in all leather with a cutout, and I want to say that I think it is the best seat that I own and I do own quite a few. What really changed here was not the comfort of the seat, but rather the actual physical setup of the bike. What I did change was the overall height of my handlebars, then I changed the level of the handlebar setup, and lastly I changed the distance that the seat sits behind the handlebars of the bike. I found great comfort with these few changes.
BOB TRAILER- I never had any problem with the Bob, it always pulled very well and tracked cleanly behind my bike. The problem that I did have was in my inability to stand into a climb and thereby give my derriere somewhat of a break at times, all of this changes with just an elimination of excess weight being carried in the trailer. By the end of the trip I could stand easily, all because of reduction in trailer weight.
SADDLE BAGS, made by Trek. Now these do fail and you may be wondering how. Yes, the pockets and what not all hold your items, but the truth is that the bag keeps trying to fall off the rack………..not really fall off but rather sag its way off the rack. So in order to fix that I tied a tight strap around the entire bag to help hold it upright, which helped a great deal. The biggest failure of this product was that it is nowhere close to being water resistant never mind water proof. Any time you ride in the rain, you can count on all items inside of the saddle Bag System getting soaked completely. So I would fail this item for sure.
Mavic Elite Wheels, performed very well in all and every situation.
CELL PHONE SALVATION- I have found that my service from Cingular is completely unreliable. If it had come too a place where a life and death was at hand I am convinced that the Cell would leave me stranded. As poor as the actual coverage was, I would have been better off with two tin cans and a piece of string. The only place that my Cell Phone worked, was when I was in a large urban area, but even then it was not always a guarantee of having a connection. So I would rate it as very poor performance.
CYCLING CLOTHING – of course I had several brands like most folks, but I do want to say that of the brands the Pearl Izumi had served me very well. In truth nothing failed, it just didn’t wash up as easily nor maintain its elasticity in the legs and butt as well as did the Pearl brand.
FANNY PACKS- One other item that I would mention here, and you may wonder why………and that is the traditional Fanny Pack that many of us carry. I too started my trip with one on my waist carrying things more important to me. They are made to sling around the waist and most are carried against the lower back or against the stomach………..but consider where all the sweat goes even if all you are doing is simply walking around let alone exerting yourself. That’s right strait to the fanny pack………………..and I found it presented a problem with documents and cards I was carrying along with me. My cure was simple, and I think makes sense if any manufacturer is reading this, I inserted a homemade waterproof membrane made out of a piece of milk bottle plastic inside of each pocket and thus eliminated the sweat from permeating the pockets contents.