Freeze column: Leaving Richmond, getting an early start on smooth day of cycling

  • Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014 12:08 a.m.
    UPDATED: Friday, July 18, 2014 1:00 a.m.
David Freeze/For the Salisbury Post
The entrance to the Petersburg Civil War battlefield.
David Freeze/For the Salisbury Post The entrance to the Petersburg Civil War battlefield.

After a fitful nightís sleep (donít know why), I was up and out a little earlier this morning. I said goodbye to Richmond by riding completely through the downtown area.

For a major city, drivers and pedestrians were laid back enough that I never heard a horn. During my time in New York City and New Jersey, drivers seemed to be ready to hit the horn for any little thing. The Richmond drivers also gave me plenty of room.

After a few rolling hills going south again on US 1, I rolled into Petersburg. I didnít take much time to look around, but wanted to. These beautiful and historic cities come one right after another. My plan was to make my way to Suffolk, Va., on Highway 460.

As I left Petersburg, the hills quickly went away and most of the 50 plus mile ride on 460 was on very moderate terrain. This area is the first of what is called the Coastal Plain.

My goal for the day was to make Suffolk and position myself for entry into North Carolina tomorrow in order to visit older towns like Bath and Plymouth. I hope to ride a ferry and eventually head toward Topsail Beach and Wilmington over the next several days.

There was little contact with special people along the way today. My directions were good and it was a matter of just putting the pedal down on 90 miles of uneventful riding. Highway 460 is 50 miles of the straightest four lane highway I have seen. It only turns slightly when going through a couple of towns. My shoulder on the highway was never more than a couple of feet, so I was tight enough with the traffic. All went well though. Never got any ice cream.

Good weather is predicted, with temperatures warming slightly. I did not sweat today, but I imagine plenty of that is coming. With 17 days now complete, my estimate is that there is about 1,350 miles to go, over 500 in Florida alone. It will be great to be back in North Carolina tomorrow, and probably see some areas that I havenít seen before.

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