Hiding from the cold rain in Fredericksburg

This morning I awoke in the tent, huddled at the bottom (we had pitched it on a slight hill so the rain wouldn’t pool overnight), by Phil’s feet.  I hadn’t slept very well, since my sleeping bag was awfully tight so I couldn’t stretch out my legs, and I kept waking up, either with numb arms, hearing strange sounds outside in the direction of where our bikes were hidden, or finding myself sliding down, off of my sleeping pad entirely with my feet pressing up against the outer wall of the tent so I could actually feel the rain pattering down on them.  Nevertheless, I did not want to emerge from my warm sleeping bag when the time came to pack up and leave the church grounds.  We managed to gather all of our stuff together and get back on our bikes before 9am, but not before our hands and feet were numb.
It was less than a mile to the cafe I had picked out for breakfast, and after locking up the bikes, while walking through the entrance, I confided to Phil that I didn’t think I could ride in this.  He readily agreed, as both of our gloves and shoes were soaked, and our hands and feet were frozen.  It looked like it was going to be cold and rainy all day – not the kind of weather amenable to a 50-60 mile bike ride.  After reading what Phil wrote about how he occupies his mind during our long (and mostly silent) rides, I admitted that I spent the latter half of yesterday talking to my feet, convincing them not to freeze on me and trying to both mentally and verbally coerce my heartburn into shifting the heat to where it was lacking in my extremities.  Needless to say, I’m glad we chose to stay in Fredericksburg.

Betsy's bathroom was painted by a local artist and depicts Fredericksburg's skyline in brilliant colors

In the Hyperion Espresso cafe, we ate muffins and drank coffee and tea while using their free wifi to find couchsurfing hosts for the next few days.  We were very grateful to hear back from a few people, including Betsy, who lives less than a mile from the cafe in Fredericksburg.  We stayed at the cafe nearly all day, talking to other customers, reading, blogging, and avoiding the miserable weather outside.

When we finally left Hyperion around 3pm, Betsy welcomed us into her home and let us shower before offering us more coffee and tea and then taking us on a driving tour of historic Fredericksburg, with Chay narrating.  After the tour, we all had a relaxing evening at the house, enjoying homemade chili with brown rice and tortilla chips, plenty of drinks, and cake, while watching the movie “Shutter Island” to go with the season.

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About Sarah

Sarah grew up in Cranston - just south of Providence, Rhode Island - and developed a love for travel, music, and outdoor sports at an early age. She had started bicycling long distances at age 12, as a participant of the MS150 bike tours to raise money for the MS Society. She didn't use her bike regularly until she built her own while studying in Montreal and found it an excellent way to get around the city. After graduating from McGill and moving back to Providence, Sarah started working at Brown University's office of Environmental Health & Safety as the Biological Safety Specialist. She was living 4 miles away at the time, and for the first few weeks was driving to work. She made the switch from driving to bicycling when she realized that she could get to work faster, avoid parking tickets, and integrate a few miles of training into her day. Bicycling was better for the environment and better for her own health and mood. She found that she had more energy and felt much happier once she started biking to work. When her car broke down several months later, she never bothered replacing it. After 4 years of working in Biosafety (and on her master's in Environmental Studies), Sarah left her job to pursue her passion. She has been working various jobs in the bicycle industry since June of 2011, including pedicab driver, bicycle tour guide, bike mechanic and traveling bicycle advocate. In between seasonal jobs, she has done a few long-distance bike tours, which is the main reason for this blog. Her dream is to eventually ride around the world and sail across the oceans.

Posted on 30 October 2011, in Bicycle Touring, Providence to New Orleans. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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