Gravel Bicycling Journal

bicycling, biking, blogging, Daily Post, gravel, history, Journal, revolution, Uncategorized, Virginia, woods, forest

On this particular day, My journey starts at Newport News Park, in Newport News, VA.  The park offers a 5.3 mile, hard-packed gravel, bike loop beginning at the Campsite Office. The path is fairly well shaded with an overhead canopy from beautiful trees. About half- way through the loop, a placard on the trail indicates George Washington’s Headquarters.

If you decide to further your bike ride another 5.6 miles and back, this loop crosses into the Colonial National Historical Park, in Yorktown, VA which leads to George Washington’s Headquarters, this route is mostly flat and wide wooded trails and some paved one lane roads.

Gravel bikers, mountain bikers, and hikers will see ramparts still in place from battles past.

This section is known as the French Artillery Park, it was an open field where the French established its ordinance depot.  Damaged pieces where brought here for repairs.

I biked a little further on the trail, wondering where this will lead me.  My bike computer reads I am six miles into my unknown journey. I thought, should I turn around or keep on.  About 20 yards ahead of me, I got spooked when two deer ran in front of me; not knowing if there were more, I stopped and took out my iPhone ready to take a picture, but I didn’t see any.  My history lesson continues as another placard appears.

In 1770, this is the spot of “General Nelson’s quarters

A little further on the trail was Daboville’s Headquarters.  It is difficult for me to visualize this area was inhabited and with plantation buildings.

Daboville’s Headquarters


 

On one side of the gravel road, stands a lonely marker, known as the Essex Lodge Cemetery.  It is dedicated to the memory of those who rest here.  The forebear’s and descendants of Thomas Wynn.  Host of General George Washington, October 1781.

This simple cross is thought to mark the burial place of about 50 unidentified French soldiers killed during the Siege of Yorktown.

Now, I am off onto a beaten path; where I see a group of turkeys.  There are a dozen or more, but as biked closer most of them scattered into the brambles.  I took a picture, but I only could photograph two turkeys.       

I hope you all enjoyed gravel bike ride through history. Comments are welcomed.

Should bicycling in the city be stressful?

bicycling, biking, city, travel, Virginia

Should bicycling in the city be stressful?:

It’s Thursday about 2:00pm.  The weather is very hot, about 95% humidity with temperatures in the high 80’s.  The dark grey skies looked as though the thunder, lightning and rain is about to let loose.  I cut my bike workout short.  The traffic is heavy especially on Maxwell.  Yates elementary school is off of Maxwell.  The fleet of school buses is on the move heading to Yates.  In addition to the buses and cars, parents are huddled on the corners waiting to give comfort to their love ones as they get off the bus.

Biking in the city is not a great stress relief.  City biking does help improve alertness, reflexes, and to keep focus in a 360 degree radius. The stress I encompass is coming to an intersection.  The light is green my way. Traffic is coming against me.  I wonder.  Do I take a chance if the car coming toward me is going to go straight or will it turn?  The car doesn’t indicate it will turn; just as I am ready to cross, the driver sees me and then turns on the signal.  Emergency braking, I pull on both rear and front brakes at the same time and come to a screeching halt in a stand up position.

I try to ride on the pavement if at all possible; even that is a challenge.  I need to be alert for broken glass; sometimes I don’t see it until I am almost on top of it.  One time I came upon some pieces of glass and had to quickly turn the handle bar to avoid the tiny shards of glass.  I barely miss the glass, only to come within inches of hitting a fire hydrant.

Other times you have people walking with their ear buds on listening to what ever, anything but to me.   I slowly come behind them and I call out “Coming to your left” Sure enough they look startled and do a quick move to the their left, then another quick step to their right.   It looks almost like a dance step.  They apologize and I smile and say no problem.

By R. Smith