CWA Norfolk/VA Beach Ride Across America Blog

CWA

Good by Wyoming, hello Montana!

Wyoming will be remembered for my unique lodging, ghost towns, taxidermy, friendly hosts, wildlife, beautiful national parks, Indian reservations, and continental divide crossings. My first city in Wyoming was Saratoga where I soaked in the beautiful Hot Springs and stayed in a retro camper. Next off was Jefferson City, a ghost town that was 6000 people strong in the 70s with a big Uranium mine. Now only 50 people remain to carry-on the history of the abandoned town and buildings. The charming western town of Lander was my next stop where I stayed in a sheep wagon and my host took me paddle boarding and hiking in Sink Hole Canyon and I got to spend a few hours learning the art of taxidermy. Leaving Lander, I crossed the continental divide for the fourth time and had a long decent with a kaleidoscope of changing landscapes around every bend. After Lander, I rode through the Wind River Indian reservation and learned about Indian culture before spending two days camping at Jenny lake in Grand Teton and celebrating July 4 with a great hometown parade in Jackson Hole. I also spent two days in Yellowstone with highlights being Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic, and Yellowstone Grand Canyon where I got to see the most glorious sunrise. Montana has a tough act to follow!

Considering a tax deductible donation to Cycling Without Age Norfolk – Virginia Beach?

Click to Donate

If you prefer to write a check please make check out to Bike Norfolk and write CWA in memo line of your check and mail to:
Diane Haupt
2254A Maple St
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

CWA

Goodbye Colorado, hello Montana

Colorado will be remembered for the halfway point of my journey, Rocky Mountains, welcoming fire stations, colorful murals and neon alley and Riverwalk of Pueblo, breathtaking gorges and mountain passes, mountain goats, moose, rocky mountain oysters, forest fires, snow capped mountains, hail storms, quirky town of Guffey, Breckenridge breweries, and small-town parades and rodeos. The first major town I entered in Colorado was Pueblo where I sought refuge camping behind a fire station that took me under their wing. Pueblo is a beautiful town with a hip neon alley, interesting architecture, clean and artsy river walk, and colorful murals around every bend. I could have spent days there. After Pueblo, I took a side trip to Royal Gorge Bridge and state park which didn’t disappoint. The bridge is the highest suspension bridge in America at 1053 feet above the Arkansas River and providing breathtaking views of the gorge below. Next up was the quirky little town of Guffey where all the buildings are old cabins and the town dotted with antique cars and other remnants wherever the eye could see. I stayed in one of the small cabins with the door open to gaze and the brilliant strawberry moon that night. After Guffey I rode through Alma, the highest incorporated town in North America, before crossing the Continental Divide at Hoosier Pass, the highest point on the trans american trail at 11542 feet. After Hoosier Pass, it was a fast 12 mile descent into the town of Breckenridge where I took a rest day to catch up with friends. While there I went to the top of snow capped Bald mountain at 13,000 feet and took the Breckenridge gondola to the bases of peaks 7 and 8. From Breckenridge on, it was a constant battle trying to outrun hail and rain storms. Some I won, and some I lost. I rode through 25 miles of the Arapaho National Forest, all of which had been destroyed by recent forest fires. It was surreal and like being in an apocalyptic movie with tears in my eyes both from the devastation and fire smell that remained. The last town in Colorado that I stayed in was Walden. It happened to be their annual Rodeo weekend so I took an unplanned rest day to take part in the parade, go to a Rocky Mountain Oyster roast (fried bull testicles) and attend the rodeo. Thank you Colorado for so many wonderful memories!

Considering a tax deductible donation to Cycling Without Age Norfolk – Virginia Beach?

Click to Donate

If you prefer to write a check please make check out to Bike Norfolk and write CWA in memo line of your check and mail to:
Diane Haupt
2254A Maple St
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

CWA

Goodby Kansas, hello Colorado

Kansas will be remembered for it’s vast prairies, horseflies, golden wheat fields, wind turbines, cattle, strong headwinds, record breaking heat, Brahm’s ice cream, and welcoming churches. I should’ve known it was going to be a challenging state when I crossed the border and there was no “welcome to Kansas” sign but in the reverse there was a “leaving Kansas, come again” sign. Kansas was experiencing record breaking heat in the triple digits while I was there, leading to challenging days due to the long distance between towns and lack of water and shade as well as brutal headwinds. The first half of the state continued with rolling hills and beautiful green pastures and golden wheat fields as far as the eye could see. I was blessed to be welcomed into many churches along the way to get away from heat at night versus camping outside. When I did camp outside, it was usually at city parks which have pools attached to them that cyclists are allowed to use for free and are welcomed after a long, hot ride. Midway through the state I entered Flint Hills, one of the worlds greatest beef cattle eating grounds covering 4 1/2 million acres and providing nutritious grasses for over 1 million head of cattle. I’ve never seen such vast prairies and cattle as far as the eye can see. 3/4 of the way across the state I crossed into mountain time and had fun biking back-and-forth and watching the time change on my phone. When I finally reached Colorado, I turned around and finally got that “welcome to Kansas sign”. Looking forward to Colorado and the Rockies!

Considering a tax deductible donation to Cycling Without Age Norfolk – Virginia Beach?

Click to Donate

If you prefer to write a check please make check out to Bike Norfolk and write CWA in memo line of your check and mail to:
Diane Haupt
2254A Maple St
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

CWA

Goodbye Illinois and Missouri

My first day in Illinois was spent going off my regular route to Garden of the Gods which had breathtaking views and rock formations created by millions of years of nature’s weathering forces. It was well worth the extra 15 miles to go off course. Unfortunately, the next two days in Illinois I spent in on and off torrential downpours. Despite the rain, highlights included riding along the Mississippi River Levee Road with all of the coal terminals and flour mills. And who could forget a visit to Chester, Illinois, home of the creator of Popeye, where I sought out all 18 statues of the Popeye characters. After leaving Chester, I crossed the Mississippi River to Missouri. Unfortunately, upon my arrival in Missouri the first night, I realized my bike had failed at the attachment point of the carrier on both sides with holes in the bike frame. I spent a day looking for a replacement bike and parts with no luck due to Covid. I ended up going to a radiator shop where I had the bike welded and repaired. My travels through Missouri took me through Mark Twain national forest and the Ozarks Riverfront trail with it’s endless state parks. One of the state parks I visited was Elephant Rocks, giant boulders formed from 1 1/2 billion year old granite. Another favorite was Johnson’s Shut-In’s State Park with beautiful rock formations and rapids. One of my favorite towns was Eminemce, a small town full of river activities on the Jack’s Fork River where it happened to be the 52nd annual horse trail event with over 2000 horses along the river. The heat was brutal for several days in Missouri and I was rescued from the heat on one occasion by a perfect stranger I met in a convenience store who offered me up their missionary apartment in their church which I attended the following day and was blessed with prayers and the warmest welcome from the entire congregation. Missouri will be remembered for it’s beautiful state parks, Popeye, welcoming people, and rolling hills of the Ozarks.

Considering a tax deductible donation to Cycling Without Age Norfolk – Virginia Beach?

Click to Donate

If you prefer to write a check please make check out to Bike Norfolk and write CWA in memo line of your check and mail to:
Diane Haupt
2254A Maple St
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

CWA

Goodbye Kentucky

Crossing into Kentucky 7 days ago

As I sit on the banks of the Ohio River in Illinois reflecting on my travels through Kentucky, many wonderful memories come to mind. First and foremost are the wonderful people of Kentucky. I have never met such a transparent and welcoming group of people, telling their stories of hardship in one breath while expressing their pride in their community and state in the next. From the grocery store cashier telling her story of lost love ones to Covid when I asked about her still wearing a mask, to Angie in Elkhorn city who welcomed a perfect stranger into her home and introduced me to half the city, to Trisha who rescued me from a storm and fed me the most wonderful meal, just to name a few. When I first crossed into Kentucky I had to contend with the relentless hills, rain, and dogs of the region but was rewarded with many breathtaking views of mountains and forests. The end of the appellations brought me to Berea, a beautiful college town where tuition is free in return for work on the campus. After leaving Berea The landscape changed to rolling hills and beautiful horse pastures passing through small towns including Bardstown, the bourbon capital, Hodgenville, birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, Rough River and Sebree. Yesterday I took the ferry at Cave in Rock and crossed into Illinois where I had a beautiful cliff side campsite on the banks of the Ohio River.

Thank you for your donations today. As of today, total donation stand at $8,600, over half of my goal. Time to get back to pedaling to see what adventures await in Illinois and reach that $15,000 goal. Thanks for your ongoing support!

Considering a tax deductible donation to Cycling Without Age Norfolk – Virginia Beach?

Click to Donate

If you prefer to write a check please make check out to Bike Norfolk and write CWA in memo line of your check and mail to:
Diane Haupt
2254A Maple St
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

CWA

LET THE ADVENTURES BEGIN

Dipping my wheel in the Chesapeake Bay

First off, thank you for all of your donations and words of support over the last two weeks. With your generosity, over $8,000 has already been raised for CWA. After dipping my wheel in the Chesapeake Bay, I was on my way to Jamestown. The best part of the day was the beautiful Elizabeth River Trail, 10.5 miles through Norfolk, showcasing many sites including the Hermitage Museum on the shores of the Lafayette River, Old Dominion University, Fort Norfolk, the Pagoda and Oriental Gardens, Battleship Wisconsin, Nauticus, and Town Point Park to name a few. I was able to pay a visit to the treasurer of Bike Norfolk along the way to hand off donations made by check. At the end of the Elizabeth River Trail, a short Ferry Ride transported me across the Elizabeth River to Portsmouth to continue my journey to Smithfield and Surrey for another ferry ride across the James River to Williamsburg, home to a chapter of Cycling Without Age http://cwa-williamsburg.org.

Giving a trishaw ride in Williamsburg

After taking the ferry across to Jamestown, it was 50 beautiful miles along The Cap to Cap Trail to Richmond. If you’ve never ridden the trail before, make time to do so. From Richmond it was on to Afton mountain, passing many vineyards and beautiful farms along the way with rolling hills. From Afton, the hills changed into mountains as I traversed the Blue Ridge Parkway with beautiful vistas of the valley below and descended into Vesuvius. The trail then followed railroad tracks and a stream into Lexington, home to VMI and Washington and Lee University. The next towns would be Roanoke and Radford, continuing with mountain climbs and views. My last day of riding for the week took me through the beautiful Jefferson National Forest, by Mount Rogers and Grayson Highlands with many ponies, Christmas tree farms, and farmland along the way. One final descent into Damascus followed a stream with endless waterfalls and I also sidetracked for a few beautiful miles along the Virginia Creeper Trail. As I sit hear writing today, I am in Abingdon, plotting my crossing and path through Kentucky and full of gratitude for your ongoing prayers and support. I can’t wait to see what adventures await in Kentucky 😊🚴

Considering a tax deductible donation to Cycling Without Age Norfolk – Virginia Beach?

Click to Donate

If you prefer to write a check please make check out to Bike Norfolk and write CWA in memo line of your check and mail to:
Diane Haupt
2254A Maple St
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

CWA

ABOUT DIANE HAUPT

Practice ride fully loaded on Elizabeth River Trail

WHO – Recently retired Physical Therapist of 30 years and owner of Dynamic Health Services. Previously competitive triathlete and runner. Loves traveling and insatiably curious about other countries and cultures and has a heart for serving others.

WHAT – Unsupported bicycle ride across country to raise funds for a local chapter of Cycling Without Age.

WHERE – 4,300 miles following the TransAmerican Bicycle Trail https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/transamerica-trail/ starting with a wheel dip in the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia Beach, VA and ending with a wheel dip in the Pacific Ocean in Oregon. The local Cycling Without Age chapter will serve the communities of Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

WHEN – Departing Virginia Beach on May 24th with plans to arrive in Oregon mid August.

WHY – Just as it has been for everyone, this last year during COVID has been difficult in many ways. Watching people struggle mentally from being so isolated, especially the elderly, has been heartbreaking. Not being able to pursue my favorite pastime of traveling was also a struggle. Biking across country was always on my bucket list and now seems like the perfect time to do it. In doing so, I will be able to slow down and connect with people that have also struggled over the last year, see the country from a new perspective, and raise money to help start a local Cycling Without Age chapter to serve those that have been impacted the most by COVID.

GOALS OF RIDE – My goal is to raise $15,000 during the ride to have enough funds to get a local chapter of Cycling Without Age chapter up and running with one trishaw and then to raise another $15,000 upon my return to have a second trishaw and be able to serve more people.

Going for a ride on a Trishaw

THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY AND JOINING ME ON MY JOURNEY ACROSS THE UNITED STATES IN SUPPORT OF CYCLING WITHOUT AGE – VIRGINIA BEACH/NORFOLK.

IF YOU ARE INCLINED TO MAKE A DONATION OR INTERESTED IN HELPING WITH THE PROGRAM OR KNOW INDIVIDUALS WHO MAY BENEFIT FROM BEING PARTICIPANTS, PLEASE CLICK HERE

Click to Donate
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Official Northside Park Trail Opening

The City of Norfolk and Bike Norfolk are happy to announce the date for the official (and virtual) grand opening of the Northside Park Trails.

Join us September 12th at 10am. You can check it out on Facebook LIVE on the Northside Park Mountain Bike Trails Norfolk Facebook page. Included in the opening will be remarks by stakeholders, unveiling of the two trailhead signs/ wayfinding, and ribbon cutting with Vice Mayor Martin Thomas. The event is limited to invited guests and press. Trail and bicycle enthusiasts are encouraged to participate by watching on Facebook Live on the Northside Park Mountain Bike Trails Facebook page.

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Riders preview the trails

Northside Park is a 62-acre park located in Norfolk, Virginia.  The park has tennis courts, a skate park, ball fields and an indoor pool.  For years, there has been an unofficial and overgrown network of trails in the wooded section of the park. Over the past two years, Bike Norfolk volunteers have worked in partnership with Norfolk Recreation, Parks and Open Space, Keep Norfolk Beautiful, and REI to cut new trail, clean/ mulch the existing ones, and connect the trails to create uninterrupted flow. As a result, three trails have been developed: Hide and Seek, Trae’s Trail, and David’s Sprint, for a total of 2.2 miles of single track.  The suggested bike for these trails is a mountain bike, and helmets are required.  Visitors may also walk or run the trails.

🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️

featured, Uncategorized

Illuminate Norfolk

Every year Bike Norfolk gets out in the community when daylight savings time ends and hands out bike lights to those who are riding ”ninja style”; without lights in the dark. We will be out there again on Monday November 4th to illuminate those who have neglected their own safety, be it because they couldn’t afford it, didn’t think about it, or just didn’t know any better. You can participate by joining us or by contributing towards the lights. Email us at bikeorf@gmail.com if you want to be part of the volunteer cadre and/or go to this link to donate and provide lights and safety to riders on Norfolk streets:

http://gf.me/u/vwam4z

 

Uncategorized

Northside Park Trails

Northside Park is a 62-acre multi use area located in Norfolk, Virginia, that includes tennis courts, a skate park, ball fields, an indoor pool, and more.  There is also an unofficial network of trails in a wooded section in the back of the park. Over the past year and a half, Bike Norfolk has been working with the City of Norfolk and Keep Norfolk Beautiful to open these trails officially to mountain bikers, runners, and hikers. The effort was started when Michael Seek came to a Norfolk bike/ped commission meeting to pitch the idea. Soon after, he and his wife Melissa became active in Bike Norfolk and official trail designation for Northside Park became one of our long term goals. In conjunction with other groups, we have been cleaning & clearing the trails and connecting dead ends to create a continuous network.  Having the trail officially recognized by the city would mean regular maintenance, trail signage, listing the trails as a park amenity, and having rides and events that incorporate the trail.

In June 2019 we got a huge boost towards meeting our goal when Bike Norfolk was awarded a $4000 grant for trailhead signage and wayfinding by Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI). Additionally, Bike Norfolk has been working with the City of Norfolk to craft a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) so that we can adopt the trails. Once we have the MOU in place, we can move forward with the design and installation of a trailhead kiosk, the sign will show the start of the trail network, describe the rules of use, and show a basic map. We also hope to provide way-finding signage. Other priorities are tools, gravel, fill dirt, and pavers that we may need to purchase to support the project.

Our goal is to have the MOU take affect in the summer of 2019, and have an official trail opening before the end of the year.

 

We hope to see you on the trails!

Community Partners:  REI, Keep Norfolk Beautiful, Crossroads Civic League, Siren Skate Shop, East Coast Bicycles

Bike Norfolk Contacts:

Mike and Melissa Seek, project managers, 423-220-7205, melissapresnell36@yahoo.com