We are so excited about our upcoming event on June 18, 19, 20, 2021, and not just because 2020 has been such a crazy year. Equally exciting for me is the fact the upcoming bike tour will be in my home town of Williamsburg, VA, which also means I’ll be your Tour Guide. 😊
One of the highlights of this tour is an opportunity to bicycle on the Virginia Capital Trail - a 52 mile, paved, traffic-free, multi-use trail from Jamestown to Richmond, VA. The “VCT,” as we locals call it, links the first capital of Virginia to the current one.
Join us in June 2021 to Bike About the Historic Triangle of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. There is so much to see and do you might need to stay more than 3 Days!
I’ll be posting new entries occasionally to point out what is new on our website, things to see and do in the area, and provide more information about our tour, so check back often. I’ll also be providing details and tips to registered riders in the final two weeks before the tour.
Oh, and feel free to send in questions via the CONTACT US link. I’ll be answering some of those in the blog also because if you have a question, someone else probably has the same one.
Don’t forget – registration is limited to 400 riders.
That’s me. I’m the writer, bookkeeper, list maker, idea person, “no, Cynthia, there is no need to panic,” and road cyclist. I was raised in Virginia but spent the middle half of my life in Southern California. I have two adult sons, only one of which shares my passion for cycling. (Very likely you will also meet them at 3 Day Bike About as I “encourage” them to volunteer a lot.) I met Cynthia in 2015 when I first started volunteering at Bike Virginia. It was clear to me she could use some help, so I pitched in and never looked back.
In my former life: Worked for “the man.” Yes, I was a bona fide Special Agent with the U. S. Secret Service, among other agencies in the U. S. government. I’d tell you all about it, but well, you know what happens then……After that illustrious career, I raised my sons and became a Professional Volunteer – long list there. And now I’m here…..with Cynthia and friends.
The title of this article may have led you to believe I was going to get all philosophical on you. Not gonna happen in this Tour Guide.
Instead I’m going to introduce you to some of the people you will meet at 3 Day Bike About. You ARE registered, aren’t you? If not, jump over to registration, get signed up, and then come back here.
Welcome back. Now for the Who’s Who at 3 Day Bike About, the brainchild of Deana Sun and Cynthia Bashton.
Cynthia is a diehard mountain biker and self-supported bike camping enthusiast. And where she goes, oftentimes you will find her immediate family, consisting of her husband of 48 years, two adult daughters and their respective husbands as well. They love traveling, camping, and biking together. They also like karaoke. I speak from personal experience when I say they are a blast to be around. You will meet the entire Bashton clan at 3 Day Bike About. (I told you they travel together. 😊 )
She is also the designer of the website, the jerseys, social media, and anything else that is beyond my comprehension and ability.
In her former life: That list is pretty long and diverse so let’s just say she’s originally from Texas and spent 7 years with Bike Virginia as the Health and Safety Coordinator until last year (you know, 2020, when everything got canceled).
The Route Master: Charlie Hart
Charlie takes care of the routes. I tell him where I would like the riders to ride, he designs the routes, makes sure they are accurate and he puts them in Ride with GPS. (It’s really a lot more complicated than it sounds.)
I first met Charlie in early 2007, shortly after taking up road cycling. He taught me just about everything I know about cycling, including how to change a flat tire. He has a wealth of information; and if he doesn’t know the answer, he will research the question and get back to you with the answer.)
In a former life: Charlie was career U. S. Navy, and so traveled the world. He’s also a former runner. And in one of those crazy coincidences in life, his mother lived just a few blocks away in the same small town I did in California while I was in college.
Our Beta Testers….Source of Encouragement … My Personal Sounding Boards and Keeping Us on the Right Track Team: Jim and Martha Gullo
Jim and Martha are originally from New Jersey. They moved to Virginia after retiring because they had spent a lot of time cycling and running here….which they continue to do. Jim is currently on a quest to run a marathon in each of the 50 United States…22 down, 28 to go. They also did the Bike the US for MS event in 2019…on a tandem.
During the couple of times a week we see each other, I bounce (sometimes crazy) ideas off them to get feedback. Jim also keeps me apprised of what is going on with various cycling and running events both near and far. Jim is MY “don’t panic. Be patient” Person.
In a former life: Jim and Martha both worked for the State of New Jersey, 31 and 15 years respectively. Jim as the Developmental Disabilities Assistant Regional Administrator for Community Services and Martha was a Licensing Inspector for the same Division. They are glad they landed in Virginia where some of the best bicycling exists!
Marketing…or as I prefer to call her...The Queen of the VCT: Fran Wenbert
Fran has been promoting our event with local merchants, arranging for donations, and encouraging them to be sponsors, which is really hard to do when it’s a new event and you have no matrix of past performance.
So how did she get the title of Queen of the VCT (Virginia Capital Trail). I mean what else would you call a person who spent 2017, 2018, and 2019 riding the VCT so much she logged 36,000 miles and 40 centuries in those three years…mostly on the VCT. You will have a chance to meet Fran at 3 Day Bike About. Feel free to ask her any questions about the VCT or Surry. She leads regular club rides on those routes.
In a former life: Fran is a former New Yorker and has also lived in Georgia. She’s been in Virginia for a few years but every winter threatens to leave us for Florida.
Here is a look at the great ROUTES for you on 3 Day Bike About the Historic Triangle.
· Snacks available on Main Street at the Snack Shack before you head out to ride. We will provide information on the best places to get water, food and a little History for each day!
· Ride With GPS turn by turn directions will be made available with the free trial app on your phone and Signs will be posted with directional arrows.
· SAG will be available each day.
Friday we will begin with the Virginia Capital Trail, a 51.2 mile multi-use trail. We begin at Chickahominy Riverfront Park which is between mm 6-7. Riders wanting to complete 100+ miles can ride into Jamestown from the start and back to make the full 100+mile circuit. Riders will be able to turn around at any point to manage their mileage. There are many places to get water, food and to stretch along the trail. At Cul's Courthouse Grille (mm20) they are serving up BROWNIES to all participants.
Saturday takes all riders across the James River by Ferry. We offer many choices for riding.
· Drive to the Jamestown parking lot and board the Ferry on your bike and ride to Chippokes Plantation State Park (10miles)
· Drive to the Ferry and cross in your car then drive the short distance to Chippokes Plantation State Park
Once at the Park we offer 3 loop rides, all different. Riders may choose to ride all 3 and the 10 miles to and from the Ferry completing just shy of 111 miles. Two Surry Routes (20 & 28miles) will offer lightly traveled rural roads that are fairly flat and have good sight-lines. Perfect for getting up a little speed and working the legs! A third loop (43miles) takes you to the charming Main Street of Smithfield, VA. Stop for lunch and relaxation.
WE will also have cue sheets for riding from Chickahominy Riverfront Park to Chippokes (29miles). We are not encouraging this route which is partly on the Capital Trail because there is a Triathlon that will be racing on that section in the morning.
Sunday takes us out and about Williamsburg, James City County, and York County.
We have a 60 mile, 5 park ride with the parks all within 10 miles from each other. Water and restrooms will be available at all the parks. Each unique park is a good place to stretch and enjoy the scenery.
This will be a more urban route in some places. We also offer 1 park (18miles) and 2 park (30miles) routes. All routes end with a stop at the Spoke and Art on the VCT to pick up your box lunch included in your registration and the short 7 miles back to camp. Or you may finish your ride and then drive back to pick up your box lunch!
Have we got beer?!?!? Of course we have beer. We have enough microbreweries in town to put together an impressive pub crawl. But we’re going to leave that up to you and your own taste buds.
First off… Billsburg Brewery…get it? Williams-burg…Bills-burg. Right. Billsburg Brewery is located a short 7 or so mile bike ride from our “village” at Chickahominy Riverfront Park. Or, you can drive there. Plenty of parking. From the deck, you have a lovely view of the local marina while sipping on Tourist Trap, Driftin, Foggy Hollow, Pandemic Fatigue, and many other lagers, pilsners and ales.
In downtown Williamsburg, you can visit the Precarious Beer Project and Amber Ox Public House. Precarious’ claim to fame is their Electric Circus Taco Bar. Amber Ox Public House, just a couple blocks away, has a more extensive menu along with Precarious Beer Project beer like The Meadows Incident, Full Nuclear, Hip Hoppy Wheat and Happy Little Trees.
Also on Merchant Square is DoG Street Pub(DoG stands for Duke of Gloucester, but since that’s quite a mouthful, the locals call it DoG Street). A decade ago, the owners of DoG St Pub transformed an 80-year-old bank into this lovely pub.
In New Town you will find the Brass Tap that has over 150 craft beers from around the globe, plus flatbreads, tacos, nachos and sliders to munch on.
Close by is Craft 31 which has a extensive menu (burgers, pizza, salads, a raw bar and desserts) in addition to serving up American IPAs, Ales, Lagers, Stouts and Wheat Beer.
Just west of town you will find the Brass Cannon Brewing and Alewerks Brewing Company which has two locations, one at the Williamsburg Premium Outlets so you can do some shopping while you are there.
Alewerks is a “microbrewery with an ale focus and regionally themed beers, plus tours, a taproom and growler fills” per their website. Love their names: Spring Seasonal Shortcake, Bitter Valentine, Secret Admirer, Weekend Lager, Tavern Brown Ale, among others.
If you are like me an enjoy hiking or just want to walk a bit after a ride, here are a few suggestions while in Williamsburg for 3 Day Bike About:
The Virginia Capital Trail (VDT) is NOT a bike trail. It’s a multi-use trail, used by walkers, moms with kids in strollers, birdwatchers, skateboarders, rollerbladers, runners and bicyclists of all ages. From
Chickahominy Riverfront Park, it is a (relatively) short 4-mile walk east on the trial to Spoke & Art Provision Company where you can take a break and enjoy a mid-afternoon snack.
Just a short distance a little further east on the VCT is the entrance to the Greensprings Interpretive Trail – a 3-mile hard-packed trail through the woods. (A downloadable map can be found on the James City County website)
A little know trail in Colonial Williamsburg is the Basset Trace Nature Trail. The trailhead is located behind the King’s Arm Tavern parking lot and across from The Griffin Hotel. While the trail is well-maintained by volunteers and only about 1.5 miles in length (each way), it is not for the faint of heart. The trail is both steep and narrow in parts, but wonderfully shaded from the summer sun.
Several of the local parks also have hiking trails, including York River State Park, Waller Mill Park Freedom Park
On Friday and Saturday night of the 3 Day Bike About we will be holding a raffle.
How do you get a raffle ticket? Register!!!!
Anyone who registers during the month of February will be given THREE raffle tickets.
Register in March and you get TWO raffle tickets.
Wait to register in April and you only get one raffle ticket so don’t delay.
REGISTER TODAY to increase your chances of winning!!
Oh, and a shout out to Cathi, Kurt, Steve and Finn who registered in January. Thank you so much! You will each receive FOUR raffle tickets!
p.s. Because we are “going green,” you won’t actually get a ticket, but you will be “virtually” entered into the drawing for prizes.
STAY TUNED...to see what you can win!
We’ve Got News!!!
Cul’s Courthouse Grille and the Nance-Major House Bed & Breakfast have jointly signed on as a Contributing Sponsor. What are they “contributing?” BROWNIES!!! Locally renown, these delicious homemade brownies will be given to all our riders on Friday when they arrive at Cul’s in Charles City.
For those of you who might not be up to tackling the entire 100 miles of the Virginia Capital Trail that day, you are in luck! Charles City is just 14 miles from our start location at Chickahominy Riverfront Park - an easy 28 mile round trip ride to enjoy an awesome brownie. I’ve had (more than) one and they are heavenly. Better yet, ride up to Cul’s and have lunch or stop on your way back from Richmond. Cul’s is a local favorite. I personally have been having lunch there for over 10 years while riding the Virginia Capital Trail that goes right by their front door. My favorite lunch is a chicken salad sandwich with onion rings. www.culscourthousegrille.com
Looking for a place to stay during 3 Day Bike About? Check out the Nance-Major House Bed & Breakfast, located next door to Cul’s. www.nance-majorhouse.com Rent a room, a suite or the entire house for your group, because it is not only historic, but also a lovely place to stay.
Can’t say enough nice things about these two establishments and the wonderful family who own and operate them --Bonnie Whitaker and her son Cullen Jenkins.
1. Is 3 Day Bike About a good choice for new riders?
3 Day Bike About provides participants (new to cycling and seasoned veterans) and their families with a fun filled weekend full of great routes and sightseeing in one of the most historic settings in the United States. Off the bike activities include, but are not limited to kayaking, hiking. historic walking tours, as well as dining and shopping in Williamsburg, VA.
Riders decide how much or how few miles they want to ride each day. We offer you the option to ride a variety of route distances varying anywhere from 20 to 100+ miles.
The routes are supported by SAG (Support & Gear) vans patrolling the routes in case you break down or need assistance. Snacks are provided to riders at the start of each day and information on where to find water, food, and restrooms. A bike mechanic will be available in camp or we can direct you to one of many local bike shops. Routes are signed and marked for easy navigation from start to finish. Plus, you will be provided with a Ride with GPS link of each route.
3 Day Bike About is the perfect way to dip your toes into bicycling touring. The event is limited to 400 participants so register early!
2. What does my registration fee include?
Outdoor Tent Camping w/ Campground Shower & Restroom Facilities
Convenient Parking at Camp for all Participants
Multiple Route Options Daily: 20 -100 miles
Access to Ride with GPS App free trial.
Clearly Marked Routes
SAG (Support and Gear) on the routes
Detailed information about Amenities & Sites on the Routes
Free Snacks before and after you ride
3 Day Bike About Fanny Pack for your snacks
Local Entertainment Saturday night
VDOT Bicycling Safety Booklet
Wristbands for Rider and Bike
On - site conveniences include but not limited to...Local Food Truck for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (fees apply) Beer and Wine Garden Friday and Saturday night (fees apply) Bike Mechanic (fees apply) Vendors on Main Street for shopping at camp.
3. Do I need to reserve outdoor camping space?
No reservation is necessary for outdoor camping but you must be registered to camp in the Group Camping area. Space is limited to the first 200 registered riders who request outdoor camping.
4. What if I plan to bring an RV, trailer or pop-up camper?
If you are planning to bring your personal camper, trailer or RV, please indicate on your registration that you are NOT camping. Chickahominy Riverfront Park has RV campsites available for a fee. Please contact the park directly at (757) 603-1114 to make a reservation.
5. What food does 3 Day Bike About provide at the Snack Shack?
Our onsite Snack Shack will be open each morning for riders to choose among a variety of snacks to take along on their ride. Per Health department guidelines we will serve whole fresh fruit and prepackaged snacks. A specific list as to what will be available will be provided to registered riders the week before the event.
6. What time do the routes open each day?
There is not a mass start for this event so you can access the routes at any time during the stated route hours below. If you leave before the routes open or you are still on the routes after they have closed, we cannot provide you with support services.
3 Day Bike About Route Hours:
Friday: 7am to 5pm
Saturday: 7am to 5pm
Sunday: 7am to 4pm
7. Do I have to finish riding by a certain time each day?
The routes have a closing time each day. At that time, all directional signage and SAG support will end.
8. What is there to do when I'm not riding?
Local volunteers will be in our Hospitality tent daily to provide you with information for off-bike activities in the area. This information will also be available in the Tour Guide on our website the week before the event. Local activities may include kayaking, ziplining, axe throwing (I’m not kidding!), historic walking tours, shopping, a beer or wine garden and live musical entertainment at our camp location and elsewhere in town. Volunteers can also direct you to local mountain bike areas.
9. Are pets allowed?
Pets are not allowed in our Group Camping area. Please consider reserving a private campsite at CRP if you wish your furry companion to join you. (757-603-1114. Fees apply)
10. Are stoves, grills and/or fire pits allowed?
No cooking is allowed, and all open flames are prohibited in the Group Camping Area. If you wish to do your own cooking while at 3 Day Bike About or prefer a fireside chat in the evening, please reserve a private campsite at Chickahominy Riverfront Park (757-603-1114. Fees apply)
11. What kind of bike works best for this ride?
3 Day Bike About is suitable for any style of bike. The routes on the tour this year are mostly flat roads, there's no real need to get too fancy on your gear ratios. Just pedal and go! Make sure your bike is tuned up and ready before arriving at the Tour. Visit your local bike shop for a bike check up.