First, the Virginia Capital Trail is a fabulous trail. I wish other areas would take a look and see how they can copy it.
This alternate route for the East Coast Greenway is asphalt, except where it turned into wooden boardwalks over watery areas. I’m guessing it’s 12 feet wide. Most of it parallels Highway 5, and even the serious Lycra cyclists use it.
Today I biked from Richmond to 4-Mile Park, or 11 miles each way without detours. That leaves a gap of 20 miles or so for another trip! The route out of Richmond goes past the old tobacco warehouses, now being turned into condos or new construction views of the James River. Nice to have a trail outside your door; not sure about whether you hear active freight lines.
This (below) was being pitched as potential office space. Seems a bit of a stretch! And there was another, more cave-like structure, that could be turned into an unusual restaurant space. Uh huh. Do I hear money suck?
My big detour was to a National Parks Service site — part of the Richmond battlefield. Too bad I didn’t look at the sign that said the visitors center was 2.3 miles away, rather than, oh, 0.3 miles… and when I got there I discovered the visitors center was closed for the season!
But it meant I was back on the trail at 10:30 am and heading to the nearby barbecue spot, Ronnie’s BBQ. I had seen smoke on my way out to 4-Mile Park and was starting to get hungry …. Except it opens at 11! Ronnie (or I’m deciding it was him, or Ronnie Jr.) poked his head out of the store with a menu, but I must have looked so crestfallen that he said he could sell me the one thing that was ready — a pulled pork sandwich. Sold! And delicious! (The ribs, btw, got a shoutout on Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate.”
You know that saying about finding a penny bringing luck? I had just picked up 10 from one spot on the road. Coincidence? And did I use up all 10 to get this sandwich? 🙂
Ronnie told me the trail is bringing extra business … and it should, given that it’s only about 5 miles from Richmond. Perfect for a short day trip. It’s also inspired him to get back on a bike, and he wants to build up to doing the entire route in one day.
Someone else is trying to benefit from the trail too: