Thursday, September 20, 2012

Williamsburg Virginia - WWR 6 Five and Dime Ride

We slept in until 8:00 AM and then had the continental breakfast here at the motel. The group ride, billed as the Five and Dime ride because it would travel Highways 5 and 10, was scheduled to leave at 9:00 AM with a local rider named Bryan in the lead on his beautiful custom painted Vulcan. We actually got away shortly after the posted hour.

On the way out through Williamsburg, the group got split at a traffic light but managed to get back together as we headed for Richmond on Highway 5. Sherm and I had the only functioning CB radios but Bass Man was also able to listen in although he could not transmit.

Rolling north on Highway 5

A fine looking group

The James River

A ways up the road, we stopped at a Vulcan sign alongside the road. Southern Draw told me he was low on fuel so I suggested to Brian that a fuel stop would be in order. Unfortunately, the next (and only) gas station between Williamsburg and Richmond is at Richmond.

First stop  at a Vulcan sign

We all got to the gas station, including Southern Draw. After a pit stop, fuel for the Vulcans and the arrival of the late running Moosquatch, we headed out on our way again, following I-295 over to Highway 10.

Biker and Julie at the gas stop

Taking a break


Ramp onto I-295

Looking good on the slab

One guy working and the rest watching

Varina Bridge over the James River on I-295

Highway 10 was another two lane stretch. We reached Hopewell where there was what appeared to be a chemical plant. This seemed quite out of place in what was otherwise lush pristine countryside. There were also courteous drivers as well. At one traffic light, we were in the left lane but would need to move to the right in a  short space. A local dump truck driver in the right lane told Bryan to go ahead and he would hold back blocking the traffic so we could stay together.

Southern Comfort/Southern Draw

The garbage truck in the right lane blocked for us

Chemical plant in Hopewell

More kudzu amidst the lush greenery

It stayed green all the way (note the flatbed/excavator in the distance)

Leaving Hopewell, a flatbed hauling a large excavator got ahead of us. It rolled along just fine except on the hills where it slowed us all down. Finally, we got a good stretch with a passing lane and the front of the group started to go by him. But they didn't rush and, as the extra lane ran out, there were still a few of us who weren't clear. As the last bike, I was determined not to get hung out and kept on coming, all the while exhorting my fellow riders ahead not to slow down. I made the last pass on the narrow strip of pavement to the  left of the fog line just before the road came back together as two lanes. From there, we had a clear run to Surry, although the Oversize Load banner on the front of the big truck was never completely out of view the rest of the way.

He tried to dog us all the way to Surry

Good formation

Bubba's Chikin & Thangs

View from the back

The trees seem odd

Not sure if the clouds or the single live oak was the target

An immaculate looking church in Surry

Prime Virginia real estate

Another nice fixer upper

In Surry, we proceeded to the Jamestown Ferry dock and lined up. The ferryboat Surry was just arriving and we mingled on the dock until the westbound traffic had debarked. Then it was onto the bikes and onto the ferry. A security team was selecting vehicles at random for closer examination but they waved us through, stopping the Cadillac right behind us. The bikes fit perfectly into one of the outside lanes on the boat.

The ride across the James River took about 15 minutes and was free. We were allowed to wander to the bow where we had a good look at the Jamestown Settlement that we visited yesterday. Almost before we started, we were docking at Jamestown and riding back onto Terra firma.

The Jamestown Ferry

This went on a later boat

Waiting to board

We just fit in one lane

Our crew

Never trust parking brakes

Julie recording the moment

These are the life rafts (some assembly required)

The bridge

Trent and leader Bryan

I haven't seen elevator shoes in years

The westbound ferry (they sure have a lot of them)

Southern Comfort/Southern Draw

Old Jamestown Settlement

Why are the tops  of all the pilings white?


Bryan led us back to Williamsburg with a few peeling off to see the Jamestown ships.  The rest of us made it almost all the way back together but we got a bit separated as we passed the William and Mary campus. If I were younger, I could just sit there and watch coeds all day. Fortunately, I am now sixty and should not carry on like that any more. I held back with Gateway Al, who was having an idling problem with his Yamaha. Almost back, a Mean Streak on a side street honked at me. Who? The rider caught us a traffic light and we found it was T-Bone. I didn't know he was coming but it sure was a nice surprise to see him.

I need to complement Bryan on a fine job of leading. Good pace and we never got lost once. He said he didn't have a lot of experience at the front but you would never have known it. Thank you for a great ride.

The Jamestown ships

One of several speed traps

I never thought skeeters were controllable

Back at the Kaw Pasture, Biker took Julie, Trucker, Sandy and I in his new GM Acadia to Richmond Road where we cruised restaurants before deciding on Arby's for lunch. Sandy tried their new sliced turkey sandwich while I had something with beef and bacon, food of the gods. OK, fast food of the gods.

Back at the motel, we wandered the lot and mingled. The infamous Toj, Keeper of the Numbers, arrived from Pennsylvania. I tried to get some blogging done but didn't get past sorting and loading some photos. My goal is to keep the photos going up even if there are no captions or text so that those who couldn't be here can have a flavour of what is  going on. As the afternoon wore on, the surprise arrival of Wrong Turn and KT pleased the assembled multitudes. I knew from the look on KT's face the other day that they would probably make the trip.

Julie photographing a bug

The Georgia gang

Nickles and (I think) Dirt Diver

Rainman checks his (Drakside) tire pressure

The GLVROC crew brought a cornhole set (Killbuck Brad tossing)

Chuckster and April

The peanut gallery

Wrong Turn and KT's surprise arrival

Is it 3:10 yet?

As the shadows got long, Sherm, Sandy and I took the short rode over to the Fort Magruder Hotel and Conference Center where a whole passel of Packard owners were gathering. There were cars from all eras they were in production, most in mint condition. I was a tad too young to have the marque etched in my soul but Sherm sure remembered them. The owners looked like older fellows with more than average cash, but they also looked like they were having fun.

A nice facility full of Packards

Recent ones (relatively speaking)

Not so recent ones

Still older

And older

And even older

Packard meat wagon

This one is very old

I don't think the woody is original

Historic plaques everywhere

A group set off under Talon's leadership to a pub in old Williamsburg. Instead, a group of us tracked down the Five Guys burger shop on Richmond Road. Although I have never heard of it, this chain originated in Virginia in 1986 and is growing very quickly. I was told they now have 1,700 locations and later investigation showed a number of them here in Canada. They seem like the east coast answer to In-N-Out Burger. My burger was excellent and the fries were great, too.

I think Mal likes his burger

The Five Guys gang

Back at ranch, we sat around the fire and talked about the good old days and, as Rawlins Cross said, hoisted a glass to future memories. Kopperhed was sharing some fine tequila as we talked about the economics of hauling large RV's across the country for a weekend gathering. There is no economic argument that makes sense for this behaviour.

Before bed, I caught up two days of blogging but I fear this is a hopeless task while at a rally. Then it was time to turn in since Sandy and Sherm were both already sawing logs.

Today's Route (102 motorcycle miles):

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