Last weekend, a couple of my homies (i.e. riding buddies) participated in the Tour de Fall Line. I was kinda interested, but for some reason couldn’t commit. Plus, a few weeks out I had volunteered to help work on some new trails out at Pocahontas State Park that are being built as part of the Richmond Regional Ride Center initiative.
On Thursday, JB and I departed from Tredegar and he took me on the first part of the TdFL route. It had a little more pavement than I would normally seek out, which was amplified by rush hour, but all in all it wasn’t too bad. We cruised down behind the Fed, along the canal and took the canal walk under 360 (bikes are allowed, right?). We hopped through the flood wall door and followed the canal down to Great Shiplock park before turning north and climbing to Main St., up the cobblestone through Libby Hill Park and eventually reaching Chimborazo Park.
After years of seeing and hearing references to the BMX track at Chimborazo, I finally laid eyes on it. I think JB had plans for us to take a lap or two, but the groms were having a practice session, so we just watched for a few minutes, chatted with their “coach”, and moved along.
We circled back around to Great Shiplock Park where we briefly explored Chapel Island, which offered some nice views of the James. One thing about “urban riding”, it’s not quite as easy to pull off on the side of the trail when, um, nature calls. Fortunately, the city of Richmond does their best to accommodate.
With the sun setting, we departed Chapel Island and headed back to Belle Isle, where we hit the Lost Trail, played around for a few minutes at the skills park, and then did a quick lap of the singletrack atop the Isle as the canopy absorbed what was left of the day.
At one point while cruising singletrack along Gillie Creek, I flashed back to being a kid, on my bike, exploring new places and terrain. It just goes to show you, no matter how close to home or how far away, how remote or urban, there is always new territory to explore. And it is always as fun as you allow it to be.
Thanks for a great ride, JB!