Day 14: Doswell to Richmond

Yesterday morning, I woke up at sunrise. After writing the previous blog post, I had a very fulfilling breakfast with Kathleen and Dave. I remember from the last visit that they both eat very healthy. No wonder they are in good shape at their age. Kathleen gave me two clementines and a bag of cookies for the road.

Dave also fixed my flag pole while I folded my clothes. Kathleen thinks I should get an American flag instead of my pink flag because I’ll be riding down south. I think that’s a good idea. I’ll have to look for one at a bicycle shop.

I bid farewell to Kathleen and Dave a little after 9 AM. I don’t know when I’ll see them again, but I sure hope it’ll be some time soon. We have so much in common and had a lot of fun talking in less than 24 hours.

The country road is beautiful in this area of Virginia. I used the app this time and followed the East Coast Greenway route. I cycled passed some horse farms. Kathleen told me to stop by Ashland and take a photograph of the new statue of the Secretariat that just came into town yesterday. The Secretariat is a famous horse that won three races in one year and broke all the records.


When I got to Ashland, my eyes started to fatigue again. I thought I was over it, but apparently not. After finding the Secretariat statue, I had to wait until 11 AM for the local restaurants to open. I ended up having a California burger at Trackside Grill. My eyes got better after over an hour of agony. I still think this is due to low blood pressure despite the fact that I drank water with electrolytes.

My "horse" and the Secretariat

After lunch, I rolled out of Ashland on the path that’s parallel to the railroad. Not too far down the road, I saw another touring cyclist coming from the opposite direction. He is the first touring cyclist I came across on this trip. We stopped to chat a bit. His name is Craig and he’s coming from Newport News, VA, and will cycle to Washington State. He will be going to medical school soon. I gave him my business card and he found me on Instagram. Hopefully, we’ll stay in touch.

Craig is going to Washington State!

There were so many road cyclists riding on the US bicycle route 1, but car traffic remained light.

I arrived at my Warmshowers host’s place in the Carytown district of Richmond around 1:30 PM, after riding a total of 26.4 miles. My host’s name is Sarah and her friend’s name is Jackie. They are in their twenties and they share a big house with three other housemates, but they are not at the house at the moment.

Sarah made a mean smoothie for me and I ate some chicken strips even though I just had lunch about two hours ago. 

Jackie has a lot of interesting books on the bookshelf. I wish I had time to read some of them. She also has a picture of a reflection of a building that’s very similar to my architecture reflection photographs. I gave Sarah and Jackie a copy of my photography booklet and they really like it. Jackie even showed me her photography book she made from school.

After taking a shower, I separated the things I need on this trip and the things I don’t. It was more than I thought. Sarah found a box that fits everything and we packed it. Tomorrow, I plan on exploring Richmond and will send the package to Merritt’s house. 

All the stuff I don't need

Around 5:30 PM, I decided to walk on Cary Street and go to Kroger grocery store to buy a bar of soap, some ramen, beef jerky, and dried pineapples. In the next several days, there won’t be Warmshowers hosts so I’m preparing some things ahead of time for camping.

Cary Street in Richmond

When I came back to the house, Sarah and Jackie were just about to leave for the grocery store, too. I watched some YouTube videos while waiting.

We didn’t eat dinner until around 9:30 PM. Sarah cooked a lot of things while we chatted in the kitchen. Sarah is getting her master degree in social work and Jackie works at a book store downtown and is applying for web developer jobs. They graduated from Barnard College and Wesleyan University, respectively. Very smart young women.

All the things Sarah cooked

Sarah and Jackie had a hot discussion about cities, art, food, culture, etc. I feel if I was still in my twenties I would have joined the conversation a lot more. Soon after dinner I went to bed at 11:15 PM. Sarah and Jackie finished watching an episode of The Sopranos.

Sarah and Jackie

This morning, I got up at 7:15 and will stay in Richmond for another day.


  1. Great to read your stories. Have a great trip.

  2. I very much relate to the emotional roller coaster that you describe. The tedium of riding mile after mile down the byways. It is challenging to keep the mind focused on the present. At least you seem to be past the initial body acclimation stage with no or minimal complaints about saddle soreness, etc. Hang in there Hiatt


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