We woke up in Stan’s yard before Stan woke up, but then david accidentally went in the house to use the bathroom and woke him up. He puttered around until we were packed up and ready to leave, because he really wanted to make a picture of us. What I really wanted was to take a picture of all three of us, but there was no one around to take it for us. We got on the road and rode in the country for 15 miles, but then, the inevitable happened, and it turned out that our directions were bad. We are never using google maps again. The morning turned into a comedy of errors – was this road the right turn if the mileage is right but the name wrong? Was this the right direction if our map looks like we should turn left, the directions say to turn right, and the intersection has unclear signage? As we slogged on, the yards got smaller and the houses increased in frequency. We could tell that we were in the metro Richmond area, but it was frustrating because we expected a quick 40 mile ride into the city center, and then a half day rest enjoying and exploring the city. Now we were spending all our time going the wrong way and back again and staring at maps and directions that didn’t make sense. We put away our bad map and asked for directions. The quickest way to the city center from the place we’d gotten lost to was to follow Hull Street Road 10 miles into town. As we rode down it, Hull street turned out to be south Richmond’s main drag. Every chain restaurant and store imaginable dotted its 6 lanes. Hull street got smaller and rougher as we continued into town. We pulled over at trusty mcdonalds to use their wifi for directions and heard a man talking about getting his guns out and decided to leave. Google maps told us to cross the James River over a big bridge. We did, but it turned out to be a highway. It wasn’t actually that busy with traffic, but we walked in the median just to be safe. After hours of being lost, we were determined to get to downtown Richmond. When we got there, we were somewhat stunned by the bigness of the city and it’s big tall buildings and street vendors And noise and people, after all our time out in the country. We headed to Africanne on Main, a west African restaurant we had found online when researching Richmond before we left home. Most of the food was vegetarian, and all was super healthy. They advertised that every dish was prepared with healing herbs and spices. We ate, and it was good. Next we went to a bike shop to find Hillary another pair of bike shorts, since her other pair was lost somewhere on the side of the road. This bike shop was real swaggy and huge but they turned out to have NO stock of women’s bike shorts in size small or medium, which is a classic example of how the cycling world is really not attentive to women. It’s true. Anyway, that led us to another bike shop, but again no luck, and by that time we needed to meet up with the Morriseys at their house in the Fan District. We know them through WarmShowers, a cycling social network. “Hello bikers,” Emily greeted us as we rode up. She was very nice, showed us around the house, and zipped away again to pick up her kids from school. And after that she was going to synchronized swimming practice! So cool!! Anyway. Once she left we took all our stuff out of our paniers to air out and dry out. After a few nights of sleeping outside the tent, sleeping bag, towels, etc were getting a little musty. Leaving all that strewn on the patio, we set back out to try one last bike shop for a pair of shorts, enjoying the feeling of riding a zippy few miles without the weight of our paniers or other bike bags. After trying many pairs of shorts, Hillary found the right ones, just as the clouds that had been threatening rain began with a few scattered drops. We raced back to beat the rain and happily made it, gathering all of our things safely inside. In the Morrisey’s still-empty house, we made dinner in their stove, ate, showered, and admired their beautiful 1900s home. It had been renovated and had a two story kitchen with skylights. As we finished dinner, Mr. Morrisey, or Joel, or Rene (we never figured out which to say) rushed in, and introduced himself as a flood of children followed. There were Otis and Jannelle, who seemed to be in kindergarten, and Anna, who seemed to be in 3rd grade maybe. We talked to Emily, and found that she divides her time working at a radio station, a radical library, volunteering a a jail, synchronized swimming, like we said, and raising 3 kids, of course. We chatted for. Little more, and retired to the play room, our Guest Suite. David blogged while I wrote Marge a letter. Emily offered us a movie, and we watched it, but turned it off as we fell asleep.


Stan’s house




James river