Acres of open fields, fields of never ending, sun-kissed plains surrounded us as we rode out of North Carolina into Virginia today. Riding was smooth and easy going. The weather was cooler than it has been and Jamaal and I felt so comfortable that we rode without our normal shorts over our cycling shorts.
We reached a bridge, probably a mile or so long, with decent elevation. The elevation reminded us of the hills we encountered in the first week of riding and allowed us to approach the speeds we topped in the first week too.(I topped out at nearly 28MPH going down this bridge.) After the descent though, as with every hill, I began to slow and I attempted to coast on the speed I reached as far as I could. Jamaal, however, pedaled through and tried to reach the highest speed he could. A well disguised pot hole thwarted this attempt, though, causing Jamaal to slide baseball style while still attached to his bike. His fall looked pretty gnarly to say the least and I was actually genuinely worried, but he was on his feet as quickly as he fell and managed to come out with only a couple scrapes. He brushed himself off and we were on our way again.
After reaching Virginia we encountered what appeared to be fog, but after breathing some of it, we discovered it was smoke. Yeah, no kidding. Smoke. I assume this is smoke blowing from North Carolina into Virginia, but it ruined the rest of today's ride. It was so bad that we saw a few, unfortunate pedestrians walking with bandannas over their faces to keep from breathing the smoke into their lungs.
Tomorrow we ride from Yorktown to Tappahannock. I have been informed that there isn't much there so tomorrow should be interesting. However, the day after we will be riding through D.C. and Baltimore. How we will go from nowhere to the U.S. capital from one day to the next, I will never know.
Tomorrow is Jamaal's birthday, so I am sure he would appreciate it a lot if you could leave him a message for after tomorrow's ride. Thanks everyone. Take care and be safe.
John and Jamaal.