Sunday, May 9, 2010

Richmond to Williamsburg, and pre-ride...

Dave Schweickert. Is. The. Man.

We met online on a bike touring website and he had previously offered to pick me up from the Greyhound station in Williamsburg whenever I arrived. I knew I would either arrive at 730 p.m. or 1255 a.m. and he said he'd pick me up at either time...quite a generous offer, no doubt. When, via text, I told him about how, even though I'd made the early bus, because of traffic we'd missed our connection in Richmond, Dave Schweickert didn't miss a beat. Rather than have me wait five hours in Richmond's bus station for the next bus, he told me he was driving to Richmond to get me. Yes, this man drove over an hour EACH way to help a man he'd never even met.

It did not end there. Dave drove me all around Williamsburg and Jamestown showing me the lay of the land, explaining where my route was closed due to a bridge repair, and ensuring I knew my way around sufficiently to find bike shops, restaurants, and important landmarks. He took me to the hotel, helped me unload, and then drove me to a great restaurant to talk bikes/touring while I fed my famished self. Yes, I said 'I'; all Dave would let me buy for him was one glass of wine because he'd already eaten dinner with his wife and family!!

Now to top it off...get this. Dave and his family were leaving the following morning to go to Ukraine for SIX WEEKS to finalize the adoption of a Ukranian boy (their third).

I feel honored by his selflessness and that he would take such precious time from what must have been a very, very busy schedule. Dave, if I can ever repay the favor, let me know. Your deeds helped the beginning of my journey go SO much more smoothly!!

I stayed 2 nights in the Super 8 motel and one day packing and riding around doing last-minute errands and prep. The second and last night in Williamsburg was topped off with another great meal at the same restaurant that Dave introduced me to, as well as a free beer from the beautiful bartender Bobbie...she wanted to do a little something to send some well wishes my way. I didn't tell her, but her sweet smile and lovely eyes were all I needed.

Chicago to (almost) Williamsburg, VA

The train dumped me in Chicago and I sadly could not see my good friends during the short layover but I gladly was able to fill my belly with a Chicago dog and my favorite caramel corn.

The train to DC was somewhat miserable without a sleeper berth and sitting upright for 18 hours next to an astoundingly annoying man. Still, I am getting excited.

It was fairly smooth getting my bike and bags from DC's Union Station to the Greyhound terminal after an early train arrival from Chicago, a five dollar tip to the red cap porter who carried my stuff out to the curb, and a very helpful cabbie who parked illegally so I would have the easiest unloading possible.

I was sitting pretty, and able to get on the 230 bus to Williamsburg, thus avoiding a five hour wait for the next bus. Getting on the 230 bus also meant a 730 arrival instead of a 1255 a.m. arrival. Sweet!! But, traffic was so bad that we missed a connection in Richmond and suddenly the five hour wait rematerialized. Not fun after being awake for almost 24 hours! But...enter Dave the rescue.