We woke from our backyard warm-showers camping experience to the sound of the chickens running around the yard scratching for bugs and eating weeds. We met met the man living in the converted milking barn and his son. They kindly let us use their warm shower. The barn was 50% working art studio and the rest was living space. It was a chaotic creative hub of activity.
Refreshed from a hot shower we made camp coffee and ate some toast from the bread we got from out stop at the Tastykake outlet. It turns out that soft sandwich style loaves don’t travel well as they don’t hold up to being strapped to a bike for miles and miles.
Finally packed up we got a tip to check out Sub Rosa, a local artisan baker in the city. Bikes back on the road, we rode the final miles of the 50+ mile long Virginia Capital Trail to the riverfront and tobacco row. A few historical plaques and photos later we made our way up to 25th street where we learned that Richmond is not at all like the East Coast cities we are accustomed to. It was a steep climb up the hill with traffic bustling by, San Francisco’s hilly streets quickly came to mind.
The hill flattened out and we knew we had found the bakery by the lively crowd that was eating outside. Amanda parked her bike while I entertained a nice couple with talk of touring and all of our stuff, our goals, and our thoughts of Virginia. Inside the bakery, we were overwhelmed by the assortment of wood-fired croissant, fritter, flat breads, and heirloom rustic loaves. We ate a delicious salami and cheese croissant and took two loaves to go.
Bodies nourished it was time for some professional bike care. We made our way across the city to a Carytown and the Carytown Bicycle Company where the bikes were tuned and friends were made. Kevin and Kyler tuned our bikes while we discussed touring and route options. The question of where we stay each night came up and the shop employees debated the options of stealth camping in the city parks. Margo recommended we grab a cheap beer and good eats at the Mellow Mushroom and take a walk while the bikes (and bags :-)) were kept safe in the shop.
Grocery shopping, exploration, food, and libations all complete we returned to the shop to gather our mountain of crap and continue. Kyler approached us and invited us to camp in his backyard as a safe and quiet option in the city. Carytown Bikes is truly a full service, open arms bike shop. I would recommend walking your bike miles just to get to their shop.
We spent a bit of time hanging out in the shop, downloading maps for the Garmin and writing while Kyler finished his day. The three of us rode back to his house and enjoyed good conversation over many strong beers.