Nick on the bike 2005: Oregon to Virginia
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Shakedown Cruise, Day 3: Jamestown Beach to Hell Neck
May 28, 2005, 2:00 PM
Where am I now: Hell Neck, Gloucester county, Virginia
Today's distance: 57 miles (4576 miles total so far)
So where (the hell) is Hell Neck? Hell Neck is an arm of land that sticks out into the Piankatank River, in northeasternmost Gloucester County, VA. Here's the view:

It's on the so-called Middle Penninsula, not very far from where the Piankatank enters the Chesapeake Bay.

If you happen to be in Yorktown finishing up your transAmerica bike tour, the only (reasonable) way for you to get here is to get back on your bike and ride north across the George P. Coleman Bridge, which towers over the Yorktown municipal beach.

That gets you into the thick of Memorial Day traffic on US 17 (not plasant), but after a few miles, if you know the roads, it's possible to get off the four-lane and onto smaller roads that wind through the rural countryside. I arrived at my destination at around 2PM. Family sitting on the porch having braved the two and a half hour drive down from home.

This morning, I left dogworld after tea & oatmeal at around 7AM. All the dogs and human players had stayed up partying all night, and they were snoring in their respective tents and kennels. One of the human players was passed out on a bench in the men's bath house.

The skies were overcast, and it started raining shortly after I got on the Colonial Parkway. This gave me an opportunity to try out my GoreTex rain jacket--works great. It also made me glad I had decided to put full fenders on the bike. I was getting rained on for sure, but it would have been a lot worse with all the water being thrown up off the tires.

As for the Colonial Parkway, they ought to call it the Colonial Cobble Path! A rough ride, particularly if you're packing a lot of air in your tires, as I am. Bring on the asphalt--maybe they could paint it somehow to give it that Colonial look.

Cruised Williamsburg & Colonial Williamsburg, the rain stopped, and I found a place to have breakfast. As I ate at an outside table, a group of local cyclists showed up, and we chatted.

I left Williamsburg in the sunlight, then two miles down the cobble path the heavens opened up again. Rain gear back on, onward through the deluge.

It had cleared again by the time I got to Yorktown. I parked at the victory monument & achieved photographic documentation, courtesy of a lady who happened by.

Then down to the beach, where some sort of beachy street festival was going on. For the moment the sun shone, skantily clad folks froliced on the sand, I spared BOB and the bike a dunk in the York River. Maybe that will happen in the Piankatank instead.

This is Tidewater Virginia, there's water everywhere and not much topography. Roadside ditches are full, home to lots of frogs and misquito larvae. As I wisk by in rural Gloucester county, the frogs jump into the drink one after another : plop, plop, plop, croak.

Stay tuned.