By no plan known to me, Kevin, Dan and I all showed up for our July 4 cyclocross shakedown cruise on the paved and dirt roads of James City and New Kent counties sporting various iterations of red, white and blue. I don’t know what Liz was thinking. But we boys are just a patriotic bunch, I guess.The ride turned out to be a bit more epic than anticipated. We rolled 20-some-odd miles before getting to the dirt on Mount Pleasant Road. I overshot the turn before Dan announced it and Kevin shot off up the road. After realizing he was working, I set off in pursuit. He stayed well away through the rollers, but once it flattened a bit, I was able to work up to him. And I mean work.
We cut off the main road onto more of a jeep road for a ways, then found Evergreen Road, which cut back toward Route 60. This was one of the most technical dirt roads I’ve ever ridden because it was mostly loose and ungraded with lots of large gravel. Skidding and spinning out was de rigeur. Kevin took off again, but I wasn’t about to be aggressive in that stuff. (Did I mention that the Dawg seems to be growing a new muscle on his right thigh, courtesy of this?)
Somewhere along Evergreen, by this primordially beautiful cypress swamp, Dan double-flatted on a “boulder.” Turns out we had three tubes between the four of us. Oops.
A long way to go with one tube, we rolled down 60 a short way and turned back on Mount Pleasant. My turn to go off the front. Kevin chased for a while, but stopped to wait at a fork in the road. I rolled on, thinking I was safe, until I hit a stone and – pfft, pfft, pfft – my rear wheel went flat. I stopped, took it off, stripped out the tube and waited. Still no Kevin, Dan or Liz. I waited. Uh oh. Four of five minutes later, they finally rolled around the corner. Phew. During this break, Dan discovered Kevin had, uh, borrowed his full water bottle. Maybe his nickname should be Coyote (the Trickster).
Back across the dams to Freedom Park, the finishing miles were brutal, much of it into a headwind. We were very low on fluids and even lower on energy. But we made it, about 62 miles in just under three-and-a-half hours. Nice ride.
After scurrying home, I went to pool for the 4th of July party, which was a blast. Great BBQ. Played with the girls in the pool. Below are photos of Millie and three of her friends climbing all over me as we played.
After the pool and some downtime at home, we rode our bikes down to Plum Point and watched the downtown Norfolk fireworks from afar – the first time for Millie and Audrey. All in all, a great 4th!