Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 1

Distance biked: 15 miles
Eastern Virginia Beach, VA - western Virginia Beach, VA

Lane left for Bates College early in the morning and two friendly men named Scott and John came to pick us up only moments after in two pick-up trucks with smiling faces. We drove from Maryland to Virginia Beach and had some groovy times along the way. We dunked our tires in the Atlantic Ocean, could not believe the weight of our bikes (Jason struggled a lot). In the first ten miles of our journey, we proved our noobness with some more Jason struggles. One of Jason's front panniers (a bag that you attatch to your bike) was not properly fastened, and smashed into his front wheel. Fat Frogs Bike Shop saved the day, however, and lifted our spirits by reminding us of how gnarly we are for even trying this trip. They gave us free water bottles, stickers, pens, and rags and fixed Jason's tire in ten minutes. They didn't want to charge us for it, but Jason insisted because he sucks.

We continued and struggled a lot with Google Maps navigation, but from that got the chance to ask tons of people for directions, which was great. One lady that we asked had a lot of armpit hair. We made our way through a big chunk of Virginia Beach, and when night fell we started asking churches for a patch of grass to pitch our tent. The first one declined, one man at the church wanted to give us his backyard but his wife was too freaked out, but then we made our way to Rock Church. No one was around with enough authority to let us in yet, so we decided to cook Ramen bombs on the cement outside. Holy moly. Jackson rocked the cooking (see photographic evidence below).

After dinner was finished, we found out that we could stay there. The amount of love that this place showed us was simply incredible. We were graciously let in by a churchgoer named Bobby, who let us sleep indoors inside a Prayer Room. The conversation we had with Bobby was brief, but the trust, connection, and kindness that he showed us was amazing. We cannot properly say how grateful we are for the shelter that we found there. The Prayer Room operates as a 24 hour place for people to come and worship, so Bobby was not the only member of the Rock Church community that we met. Four others came in (one at 3 a.m.), and they shared some incredible stories about faith and life in general. They were all very religious, and it was nothing short of inspiring to interact with every single one of them. As we got into our sleeping bags on the floor of the Prayer Room, Jackson stopped us all with the crazy realization that this entire experience was only the first night of our trip. We slept for five hours.

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