Cycling Virginia’s Capital Trail

In hind sight was Sheltered Event’s maiden voyage, and provided an amazing experience and case study in our “how-to” get back out there during time that requires distancing and safety measures.

Having Spring weekend’s available, which is rare for an endurance event organizer – that is prime time, and the low gas prices, gave us the motivation to figure out a road trip that stayed aligned with the current social guidelines.  We all have been running and riding places, but to do the activity somewhere far far away (exaggerating some) requires overnight accommodations and some planning around food and bathrooms etc.  Cycling and camping made the most sense for this trip, and then targeted the Capital Trail in VA that runs from Richmond to Williamsburg.  The cycling plan was a 55 mile ride with a halfway turnaround and lunch break.  The camping location was the unknown factor, all state parks were still closed and we wanted to be close to Williamsburg for the lunch break…so a little mapping later we identified there was nothing that looked like a good target for setting up a campsite.  Just farms…but figured these folks would be pretty rooted to the area and could be a good resource, so I smiled and dialed.  Two calls later, the theory proved true, and also proved they are super hospitable too.  A primitive campsite, directly on the Capital Trail, on the private farm property.

We arrived on Friday evening, welcomed by the property being neatly manicured and were guided to perfect spot to setup camp behind the silos and overlooking a pasture. Camping is a natural distancing activity, just a couple key things…separate campsites, equipment, food, and maintain distance when hanging around the fire etc.   And just you case you didn’t already have it as a top-ten staple in your camping supplies, hand-sanitizer.  The next morning we launched the ride, with buffs on our necks for face mask use as appropriate, backpacks with sanitizer and ride snacks etc.  Maintained good distance from anyone we encountered to stay out of the droplet zone, the image that I can’t un-see from the Belgium-Dutch study on risk of spreading CV-19 during exercise.  Lunch was a curbside pick-up from a local Williamsburg spot with all the safety measures – that didn’t change how delicious a burger, fries and a packaged beer can be during a ride.  (not quite the same for a run, more of an afterwards recovery).  Nice picnic styled lunch and then back to the farm, just in time for another sunset and final overnight at the campsite.

Great time, and seemed easier to maintain the safety and social distancing with the outdoor living nature of camping and cycling as the activity.  Unique experience.