Have you ever done something for the first time and wondered why it took you so long to try it because it was so fun? That happened to me last week when I biked a portion of the Capital Trail with the Biking Belles.
bJm asked me to join her group for a 16-mile ride which traversed the completed portion of the trail in Charles City County.
The Capital Trail (a short course)
The Capital Trail is a paved bike and pedestrian path that runs beside scenic Route 5. When complete, it will link Richmond and Williamsburg.
Three sections of the trail are finished: a half-mile path in downtown Richmond, 7.5 miles in Charles City County, and 8 miles in James City County. The trail is scheduled for completion on September 1, 2015, just in time to welcome the UCI World Road Cycling Championships to Richmond.
Biking the Charles City County Trail
We left RVA at 4:00, headed out Route 5 and arrived in Charles City Courthouse at 4:45.
We parked at Cul’s Courthouse Grille
knowing we would return for a post-biking dinner. I warned my companions that I brake for photos, so before the pedaling began, I took the obligatory shot.
The trail is a perfect outing for a fledgling biker like me because it is mostly comprised of straightaways but does have gently rolling hills just for good cardiac measure. We started from Cul’s and headed west for approximately 8 miles to where the trail ended
then enjoyed a refreshing snack
provided by our mother hen, bJm.
As mentioned, the trail follows along side Route 5, an official Scenic Byway in Virginia that passes numerous historic homes and sites, including
Berkeley Plantation, Westover, and Westover Parish, which we covered in our post about the Autumn Pilgrimage. Scenic and bucolic,
the trail permits the mind to wander and conversations to percolate. We stopped periodically, one time to sample the wild blackberries
growing beside the trail. On the return trip we detoured down Willcox Wharf Road to the Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Park on the James River.
Wintering bald eagles,
great blue heron, and an abundance of other wildlife make their home in this small park. I had to stop myself from taking a choice piece of driftwood
home with me.
The Finish Line
After scanning the skies hoping to see bald eagles, we hopped on our bikes and headed back to the trail. A few minutes later we were back in Charles City, sweaty but exhilarated from our ride. We loaded the bikes
while it was still daylight, then headed inside for dinner
where we toasted the great weather and terrific companionship. After munching on burgers, chicken salad sandwich and a wrap called the Courthouse Convict, we returned to RVA along Route 5 and were greeted by one of the finest views of the city.
Better Late than Never
Periodically through the ride I kept asking myself, what rock have I been under? RVA has become Bike City, and I felt late to the party. But no more! I look forward to more outings with the Biking Belles and other like-minded pedalers, once I get my biking gear together. Look for a future post on that topic. Until then,
July 2, 2014