Brunching at the Ironhorse Restaurant in Ashland, VA, about 15 miles north of Richmond. As of now (mile 40) I have not walked any hills today. Naming this post is motivating me to ride the hills, although they haven’t been killers today. (Of course they haven’t. I can ride them.)
Today’s motel breakfast buffet was very disappointing, even by Quality Inn standards. No cream for the coffee, no peanut butter, no bananas. And they didn’t even have the cool turn-y cereal dispensers. I actually had to scoop my own Raisin Bran. Not acceptable.
After that, our major dilemma was trying to decide how to get back on route from our motel. We chose the longer option, which got us on route faster and looked less hilly on the map. It turns out is was pretty hilly, and the shorter option probably would have been faster, as it shaved off 4 miles.
4 miles! Hah! We laugh at 4 miles!
All of the roads today have been beautiful, remote, almost traffic free. We’ve seen a lot of farms. Got corn?
We are trying to stop at all historic markers….
The birthplace of Clark, as in Lewis and Clark:
A marker about a house that Stonewall Jackson visited…
And here’s the house:
Where JEB Stuart’s ride around McCellan began:
And historic proof of why important decisions should not be made while drinking:
We have been following U.S. Bike Route 1 most of today. This is where it intersects with U.S. Bike Route 76, also known as the Trans-America Trail. So we took a picture.
The roadside vegetation here is so pretty. These big red tulip-shaped flowers on vines, ground cover of tiny, bright orange flowers, banana trees. Stands of bamboo. Tulip trees. And today we saw a turkey vulture, bluebirds, hawks, orioles, and woodpeckers. And we saved a turtle! (I save turtles at home all the time, but this is a different kind of turtle.)
Funny thing about the maps today. The first map showed a lot of contour lines, so we anticipated hills, but there were no serious hills. The second map shows no lines nor color variations, so we assumed flat terrain. So, of course, the hills started right after we crossed onto the second map. I’m thinking whoever drew the maps got a B+, at best, on their sixth grade ski hill project.
We met a man outside the Ironhorse – he was on a bike, it seems Ashland is a big biking area. He asked us where we were headed, so we chatted for quite a while. We showed him the ACA maps, etc. It turns out he grew up in Richmond, so he told us about restaurants, brew pubs, canal boat rides, and hotels. He said the best hotel in town is the Jefferson – very expensive, very fancy – and when it was first built, they had live alligators in their fountain.
In a hotel in downtown Richmond. Check out this size of this room!!! Beats the crap out of the Quality Inn.
About brunch at the Ironside, I had shrimp and grits, and it was freakin amazing. Dana had a ham and fontina omelet, which he also thought was amazing, but I think a shrimp and grits picture is more unique than an omelet picture.
Today was our longest riding day so far – 57 miles. How appropriate! And I am proud to say that I DID NOT WALK UP ANY HILLS TODAY!!! By the way, today we are at mile 805 – a third of the way through our trip!
On our way into Richmond, we saw this monument of Robert E. Lee, which is one of a plethora of monumental reasons why the main street is called Monument St.
While biking down Monument, we also passed the Jefferson Hotel. They still have their original fountain, and it has an alligator sculpture in it.
We walked to the waterfront neighborhood, which seems to be where the cool pubs and restaurants are. Had a drink at The Tobacco Company, which is THE historic restaurant and bar in town. Of course, it’s part of the history of the antebellum tobacco and cotton trade, but it’s a beautiful place nonetheless. And we watched the World Cup while we sat at the bar. Then we had dinner because we were too lazy to go anywhere else. And then we had dessert because we can.
While we were bar sitting, we planned tomorrow’s hotel. It is a B&B outside of Colonial Williamsburg. The proprietor said it’s ONLY 2 miles from the nearest restaurant. Sigh.