Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Empir3 (feat. Pit Bailay) – "Ride Like the Wind" (2016)

Gonna ride like the wind
Before I get old

(Oops . . . TOO LATE!)

In 2015, two women who like to bike started the Cap Trail Bike Shuttle, which enables Virginia Capital Trail riders like me to ride the trail one way rather than having to turn around and ride back along the same route.

I arrived too late to use that shuttle service on the first day of my recent two-day ride on the Virginia Capital Trail (“VCT”).  So I rode from Charles City Courthouse to the Chickahominy River bridge, turned around, and rode back the way I had come.  

But on day two of my ride, I arranged for the shuttle service to pick me up at Charles City Courthouse – where I left my car – and drive me to the western end of the VCT in Richmond.  That way I could take a nice, long one-way ride rather than having to double back.

Cheyenne Burnham, one of the co-owners of the shuttle service, drove the 30 miles from Richmond to Charles City Courthouse in an empty van in order to pick me up and drive me back to Richmond – all for $24.

The Cap Trail Bike Shuttle van
Once she dropped me off in Richmond, she was picking up a group of four riders going the other direction.  If I had been her, I might have told me that I could either ride with that group or go pound sand.

But she didn’t do that.  I wanted to begin riding a little earlier than the gang of four, and I wanted to ride east to west rather than west to east – and she accommodated me without complaint.

*     *     *     *    *

The Richmond trailhead of the VCT – which was near milepost 51 of the trail – was just a stone’s throw from Tobacco Row, a group of cigarette factories and tobacco warehouses that have been converted into apartments, condominiums, and offices.

The smokestack of the power plant that ran the machinery at the Lucky Strike factory has been preserved by the developers of that building:

The figure who appears to be hiding behind the building’s parapet is “Connecticut,” a larger-than-lifesize fiberglass sculpture of a Native American that was originally installed at the stadium where the Richmond AAA baseball team plays:

That team – which was called the Braves – was an Atlanta Braves affiliate for many years.  But when the team became a San Francisco Giants affiliate and changed its name to the Flying Squirrels, the statue was moved to the Lucky Strike building.

*     *     *     *     *

I had a nice view of a three-mile-long trestle owned by the CSX railroad from the VCT trailhead.

The elevated railroad that once ran along the Lower West Side of Manhattan has been converted to an elevated park known as the “High Line.”

The “Low Line” trestle
The Richmond trestle is still being used by trains, but the ground-level space below the trestle is being converted into an long urban garden and hiking/biking trail called the “Low Line.”

*     *     *     *     *

Once the VCT leaves Richmond and its suburbs behind, there are almost no places to get food or drink until you get to Charles City Courthouse – which is over 30 miles from the Richmond trailhead.  

So I stopped after only six miles to grab a sandwich at Ronnie’s BBQ, a no-frills barbecue joint that’s just off the trail.

I was tempted by Ronnie’s ribs, but I didn’t want to eat too much – after all, I had almost 25 miles left to ride – so instead I ordered a small pulled pork sandwich without side orders.  

Just I was about to leave Ronnie’s, I saw this delightful little work of art:

*     *     *     *     *

My map indicated that there was a convenience store at the halfway point of my ride, but it turned out that an antiques-and-art store had taken over the convenience store’s space.  

Fortunately, that store did sell a variety of cold drinks, so I was able to sit down with some orange juice and a few art books and gave my rear end a break:

*     *     *     *     *

The final hour of my trip took me through woods and past farms – including a couple of cotton fields:

After I reached Charles City Courthouse, I once again headed for Cul’s Courthouse Grille for a post-ride beer.

Here's the tale of the tape for my second day on the VCT: 33.6 miles covered at an average speed of 12.8 mph.

*     *     *     *     *

My next stop was Final Gravity Brewing, a microbrewery located in the Lakeside neighborhood of Richmond.

Final Gravity shares space with a home-brew supply store called Original Gravity.  (Original gravity is a measurement taken before fermentation begins, while final gravity is a measurement taken after the brewing process is complete – so the different names for the brewery and the homebrew supply store make sense.)

The Original Gravity side of the building stocks every piece of equipment a home brewer needs, plus a variety of grains, yeasts, and hops:

I prefer to cut out the middleman, so I went to the Final Gravity side of the building and ordered a flight of four beers:

The next stop was home on the Maryland side of the Potomac.  I-95 between Richmond and D.C. is often jammed with traffic, and the American Legion Bridge into Maryland is stop and go at almost any time.

But the traffic gods smiled on me that night, and I cruised home with nary a slowdown.

*     *     *     *     *

Christopher Cross’s 1980 hit, “Ride Like the Wind,” has been covered by a number of artists.

The video for the EDM cover version I chose to feature today has hot babes in bikinis riding skateboards.  ‘NUFF SAID!

Click below to order the song from Amazon:

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