Thursday, June 11—Kill Devil Hills, NC to Richmond, VA
Normally I would hit the road by 8:00 am. Today my first stop was the Wright Brothers Memorial, which just 5 minutes away but didn’t open until 9:00 am. So I started the morning with a walk on the beach. It was quiet and peaceful, and a refreshing way to begin the day.
I was the first one in line at the memorial. The memorial itself is simply the field from which the first motorized flight took off, replica cabin and garage, a display of photos and materials from the Wright Brothers garage, and the large memorial that sits atop Kill Devil Hill. Yet there is something quite magical about the place. 12,000 people came here in December 2003 to celebrate the first flights centennial.
The ride out of town was a relief. It was hot walking around the memorial in my riding jeans and long-sleeve T-shirt! The breeze from the ride cooled me off quickly.
I didn’t eat breakfast at the hotel because I was determined to find a Waffle House. (Basic American Foods, a company I worked for, makes their hash browns.) I’d passed many of them on the trip so far, and realized they might start getting scarce as I head north. It took two hours of riding along my planned route to find one just off the interstate in Newport News. It is quite a unique dining experience. I ordered hash browns “smothered, covered, diced, and capped” with a side of sausage.
I rode quite a distance on the interstate, which is unusual for me. However, just shy of Williamsburg I diverted onto the SR5 Virginia Scenic Byway that runs south of I64. It was thrilling to be on a back road again with lots of turns and beautiful scenery—with few if any stoplights. And no, I didn’t stop in Williamsburg. It is a beautiful, historic city, but I had been there before, so decided to ride on.
My destination for today was Richmond to visit with two people. Bruce Heilman, formerly the president of University of Richmond and currently its chancellor, is the father of Terry, wife of my riding buddy, Dave. Bruce is a World War II veteran, avid Harley rider, and a true gentleman. He is nearly 89 and just completed a 6,000-mile ride to San Diego and back to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. He has been referred to as a modern-day Paul Revere. You can read the full story here. We enjoyed each other’s company as we shared stories about our king- distance rides.
Dee Hardy, Associate Vice President of Campus Services at the university, is a long-time friend from the food industry. We served together on the board of NACUFS (National Association of College and University Food Services) in the late-1990s. She was elected president of the association in 2001, and provided excellent leadership to the NACUFS. I enjoyed catching up with her and seeing the fruit of her hard work on the campus. She and her team set a new standard for campus dining that others have since followed.
Route: 158N, 168N, I464N, I264E, 168N, 164N, 60N, 199W, 5W, 155N, Lott Cary Rd/602W, Barnetts Rd/609N, Roxbury Rd/106N, 60W, 33N, I64W
Miles Today: 190
Time Today: 5:25
Total Trip Miles: 5,863
Weather: Sunny in the low 70s to low 90s
Lunch: Waffle House, Newport News
Lodging: B/W Executive Inn
Dinner: Heilman Dining Center, University of Richmond