All my muscles are sore and we haven't even started cycling yet! Carrying my panniers around on my shoulder in-between trains is what did it, I think. My neck, upper back, shoulders, and arms are feeling it now (good thing I've been working out with my dad and getting stronger before this...). My legs are also a touch sore in weird places because of all the walking yesterday in cycling shoes, but the blisters are better.
I make coffee while Jenn and Dan walk down to the bike shop (turns out it's just across the street!) to get a new skewer and finally put his bike together. Free motel coffee, yum. Put my off-day clothes in a plastic bag to keep them from stinking up the rest of my stuff and go about getting ready. How exciting, you guys. I'm in Virginia.
It takes a while for us to pack up our gear and get started 'cause there's adjustments to make on our bikes and such and so on and so we don't actually get going till like noon. It feels really good to cycle in cycling shoes instead of walking in them! We ride thru downtown Richmond to get on route 5 toward Yorktown. My gears are super maladjusted... I make them worse by fiddling with them while riding, then make them better, then make them way worse and we have to stop and flip my bike over to mess with them more. They are still off somehow but manageable; we'll get a pro to look at them in Yorktown?
The roads are mostly wooded, lots of waterways, traffic is okay but there's no shoulder. The amount of snake roadkills around does make me a little nervous for camping, tho'! One thing I'm definitely missing about Ireland--not so many creepy crawlies. We're going an average of like 10 mph. At some point we meet a guy from Australia on his way across America from D.C. and he tells us to eat at the Courthouse Grill, which is in Charles City. We sit in the AC and have water and cokes and I talk to the chef to figure out something safe for me to eat (we go for steak wrapped in foil on the grill and plain green beans).
Dan's knees hurt him so we go a bit slower for a while. Turns out his bike wheel is a bit out of place and making trouble for him. Due to our late start it's getting dusky already; we stop at a small country store (filled with gnats and weevils... ugh), grab some canned food for breakfast tomorrow, and keep going. From here until the James river it's pure woods, swampy from time to time, very soggy, and the air cools down and the wind, which was in our faces pretty much all day, lets up for a while.
There's a campsite just on the other side of the James River so we stop here, as it's getting dark, take showers and set up camp. I brought a bivvy bag but this one has a bug net at least.
Tomorrow we want an early start. It's a bit over 20 miles to Yorktown from here, so it'll *basically* be a rest day once we reach it. Then, tomorrow, we meet the rest of the Handlebarbarians and begin in earnest.