Virginia-Second Time’s a Charm


We headed out into the sunny morning on November 9th from Silver Spring, MD.  With plans to meet up with our friend Brian from Iowa where we left him on the C&O a week ago we weaved our way to DC via various roads and bike paths.  Specifically we used the Sligo Creek Trail, The Rock Creek Trail, and The Capital Crescent Trail.  We met up with Brian at Mile Marker 3 on the C&O and proceeded to finish it with him as our guide to find Mile Marker 0. We’ve heard it can be difficult to find and sure enough it was in such an odd spot we were glad to have help!

Debi on the Sligo Creek Trail

Mile Marker 0 on the C&O

After hanging around the Mile  Post for a bit we then headed out with Brian to take the Mt. Vernon Trail. We crossed the Arlington Memorial Bridge.  There was air traffic everywhere and then we actually went around Reagan International Airport.  We watched the planes flying over us, one after another.  Brian rode with us to the small town of Alexandria where we shared a picnic lunch.  It was great to spend a bit more time with him and we’re glad to have a new friend from Iowa.

Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument-Washington DC is a low-rise city, so no buildings over 12 stories tall. The monument is always easy to find.


Vernon Trail along the Potomac River. It may look like a road but it's truly a bikepath!

We camped near Mt. Vernon for the night.  The next morning we woke to sunshine and biked through a military base called Fort Bolivar. We had to show our ID’s to go through and our VT licenses failed to scan.  They let us through anyway.  We are now following Adventure Cycling maps on a route called the Atlantic Coast.  This is the first time we’ve tried them and we like them enough to order more.  The maps led us to go through a military base, which we probably wouldn’t have figured out on our own. It was quiet riding, everyone seemed to be very compliant with the speed limit. It was all very clean, maintained, and neat.  We spent a good hour going through it.  The rest of the day turned to rain and we had lunch under the eave at a gas station.  Sometimes there just isn’t a picnic table.  We rode for a few more hours and then pretty much got run off the road at about 4pm in a busy rural area. The town was called Aden.  We camped behind a Baptist Church and fell asleep before 8pm.  The darkness come quick this time of year and when it’s chilly there really isn’t much to do.

Cool window in Occoquan, VA

Quiet campsite

The next day 11/11/11 we rode into Fredricksburg.  We stopped by Bike Works in the hopes of getting some work done on Bryan’s bike.  Andre was able to replace the drive train.  The shop was so helpful and we were done in a couple hours.  We highly recommend them if you are in Fredricksburg.

Thanks Bike Works!

We camped outside of Fredricksburg in the woods.  We were near what appeared to be  an old farm dump.  There were so many old bottles on the ground including super thick Coca Cola bottles and bottle of this drink called Crass soda.  It was like a modern archeological site pre-plastic.  The next morning we packed up and headed to Ashland.  We had arranged to stay with a family through, a site geared toward cyclists.

We followed parts of Bike Route 1 which is eventually supposed to be running from Maine to Florida aka The East Coast Greenway

Soybean fields ready to be harvested

We happened upon the birthplace of William Clark of Lewis and Clark

On Sunday we left our gracious warmshowers host and headed into Richmond.  We were happy that is was a Sunday, most of the streets were deserted and it was easy to navigate the downtown.

Statue of Robert E. Lee

Following "Tobacco Row" along Richmond's waterfron we spotted the Lucky Strike factory

We eventually picked up the Virginia Capital Trail that took us toward Williamsburg/Jamestown area.  We camped int he woods once again and then started up on Monday the 14th continuing on the Virginia Capital Trail bike path. It was a glorious morning and we marveled at the open space that the trail passed through.

Bike path bliss-Virginia Capital Trail

Bryan on the wide open trail

Love this sign along the trail

Still chasing the fall colors

We ventured into Jamestown and crossed the James River on a free ferry.  It was a 20 minute crossing.  We love ferries and look forward to taking more on the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Jamestown Ferry, plenty of room for the bikes

We ended up camping for the night at a Virginia State Park not too far after crossing the river called Chippokes State Park.  We had such a lovely time spending the afternoon/evening exploring the park that we’re going to share the photos in a separate post next.  D+B


2 Responses to “Virginia-Second Time’s a Charm”

  1. 1 jake dubeck

    hey, deb and brian its jake and amanda from corpus christi tx, just wanted to let u know if yall happen to go thru north carolina we now live here and would love to see yall … heres our house number if u happen to ride on thru would love to see ya 919 237 2218 jake or amanda

    • 2 thrubike

      Hi Jake and Amanda! Sorry we didn’t connect with you. Neat to hear you are living in NC. Maybe we’ll connect with you again down the road someday. Take care and Happy Holidays!

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