If you love cycling when you travel, here are a few ways to incorporate biking into your next vacation.
Wine country bike tours
On a bike tour through wine country, you’ll enjoy sampling the local vino while exploring picturesque vineyards and countryside vistas.
Tours can be arranged in just about any wine region: California, Okanogan Country, Argentina, Chile and Western Europe, to name a few.
Some bike tours are also ideal for sightseeing. For instance, tours in Italy, France and Spain often include visits to historic churches, castles and villages.
If roughing it is more your style, look for a campground that caters to cyclists. You’ll want a place that’s surrounded by bike trails and that offers the following services and amenities:
* Secure lock-up areas for bikes
* Cycling information, including route maps
* Bicycle repair toolsets
* Staff who are knowledgeable about local cycling routes and can supply weather information
* Healthy food and beverage options
Some campgrounds provide bike rental facilities on-site. Alternatively, there may be a bike rental shop in the vicinity.
If you’re looking for a creative way to explore a new city with a large group, consider touring around on a party bike. Also known as a fietscafé, bierfiets, pedal crawler, pedal pub, beer bike or bierbike, a party bike is a vehicle resembling a trolley car that is powered by up to sixteen pedaling passengers. It’s a sort of pub-on-wheels and is always hired with a trained driver.
These are just a few of the ways that cycling and traveling happily combine, and there are bike tours suited to fans of gastronomy, shopping, visiting museums and more. Whatever your interests or budget, there’s a biking adventure that’s just right for your next vacation.
A history of roads in Virginia: “The Most Convenient Wayes”
The Virginia settlers, who arrived at Jamestown Island aboard three small ships on May 13, 1607, had little need for a road system. Barely more than 100 in number, their first concerns were disease, hunger, shelter, and protection from the often hostile Indians who had lived on the land for generations. In those first rigorous years, survival demanded the full energy of the colonists in the wilderness. The waterways were there for transportation—the great rivers that emptied into the Chesapeake Bay and that were to become known as the James, the York, the Rappahannock, and the Potomac.
As the colonists hunted for food and cautiously began exploring the forest, they discovered a crude network of paths made long before by Indians and wild animals. The colonists used these, and many of the paths were to shape the Virginia road pattern for years to come.
The settlers also found roughly built bridges made of tree trunks and limbs, which they at first believed to be Indian-planted traps rather than bridges. By 1610, with new arrivals from England, the colony numbered 210. The road along the River Bank, probably a former Indian path, was used to haul supplies from the ships to the Jamestown Fort.
The Greate Road appears to have been Jamestown’s main street, and it was of early commercial importance. It crossed the isthmus connecting the island with the mainland at Glass House Point, where in 1608 glass was manufactured for export. Faint traces of the road are evident today at Glass House Point.
Eventually, the Greate Road extended on the mainland to Middle Plantation, a settlement to become known as Williamsburg and destined to be the capital of the Virginia colony and the hub of the colonial road system.
The first bridge recorded as having been built by the English settlers was constructed in 1611 at Jamestown Island. It wasn’t really a bridge, but a wharf about 200 feet long from the bank of the James to the river channel, where the settlers docked their ships. The colony’s first agricultural crops raised for export were rolled to these ships.
John Rolfe had begun experimenting with the cultivation of tobacco in 1612 and two years later exported a shipment to England. In less than 20 years, tobacco exports had reached 500,000 pounds annually; tobacco would remain the foundation for the Virginia economy throughout the colonial period. Inevitably, the success of the tobacco crop was to influence the colony’s transportation needs as well.
The tobacco fields spread on the mainland, and a number of the old Indian paths became tobacco rolling roads. The name came from the practice of packing the harvested tobacco in barrels called hogsheads and rolling them to the wharves, frequently a distance of miles. The rollers ordinarily tried to follow the high ground and avoid the fords, or shallow stream crossings, because water leaking through the barrels would damage the tobacco.
The practice of following the old paths and branching off from time to time on higher ground accounts for many of the early meandering country roads. After two decades, the colony’s population was near 5,000 and growing. The frontier had been pushed well beyond its original boundaries, and while much of the settlers’ travel was still by boat, an increasing proportion was on land.
Next up: America’s First Road Law
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Virginia Department of Transportation
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1401 E. Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Truckers and the transport industry: the backbone of America
Trucking is the most common method of transport in America and is responsible for moving 70 percent of all freight within the country. There are currently just under four million long-haul truckers employed in the United States.
Truck drivers have a rigorous schedule and spend up to 300 days per year on the road. Many work up to 70 hours a week, although they’re only allowed to drive for 11 hours a day.
Some truckers are paid hourly, but most are paid by the number of miles driven. This means that traffic, adverse weather conditions and mechanical breakdowns all have a financial cost for truck drivers.
Drivers travel roughly 125,000 miles per year, which amounts to almost 350 miles per day. When it comes to schedules and seeing their families, drivers with seniority may have a regional route that allows them to return home weekly. Newer drivers, however, may be away from home for up to three weeks.
Truck drivers and other transport workers do important work that keeps our communities running. About 75 percent of American communities are entirely reliant on trucks for transporting food, clothes and supplies. So, the next time you see a trucker, thank them for the important role they play in keeping our country running smoothly.
How often should you cut your hair?
The ideal frequency with which you should cut your hair depends on its length, the chemical processes it’s been through and whether or not you’re growing it out.
Structured styles like pixies and bobs need to be cut every four to six weeks to maintain their shape. Medium to long hair that’s in good condition can be trimmed every 12 weeks.
If you’re growing your hair, have it trimmed every eight weeks. While this may seem counter-intuitive, frequent cutting keeps your hair strong and prevents it from breaking.
Hair that’s been dyed, heat damaged or undergone other chemical processes should be cut often to restore it to health. If your ends are dry or broken, get a trim every six to eight weeks until the damage has been removed.
Keep in mind that everyone’s hair grows at a different rate. You may find that your own strands need a trim sooner than is suggested here. Talk to your stylist to determine the right haircut frequency for your particular strands.
Bike tours: discovering the city by bicycle
Bike tours are an increasingly popular alternative to more traditional types of sightseeing excursions like bus and walking tours. Whether you want to explore your own town or a foreign metropolis, cycling tours are a great way to discover a city.
See all the best sights
Most cities are bike-friendly and getting around them on two wheels is reasonably safe and straightforward. Plus, you’ll avoid getting stuck in traffic and be able to log more miles than you would if you set out on foot.
On a bike tour, accessing all the best a town has to offer is easy. Many restaurants, museums, theaters and shops provide secure lock-up facilities for bicycles. Additionally, you can visit off-the-beaten-track gems that buses can’t access such as parks, alleyways and outdoor markets.
A healthy way to get around
Cycling is a great way to exercise and has many health benefits. What’s more, biking can be adapted to a range of fitness levels, so regardless of your current health status, you’re likely to find a bike tour suited to your needs and capacity.
Biking is also a great way to burn calories — no need to feel guilty about chowing down on the local cuisine!
Additionally, engaging in physical activity helps to curb jet lag, so hopping on a bike is a great way to start a vacation in another time zone.
Types of tours
If you’re ready to explore the city by bicycle, then the next step is to decide which type of bike tour is right for you.
• Guided bike tours. If you’d like to have an expert guide show you around, you can schedule a trip with a bike tour company.
• Self-guided bike tours. If you’re looking for more independence, opt for a self-guided tour. You’ll ride on your own but with an itinerary created by someone else. Sometimes these can be downloaded online.
• DIY bike tours. If you’re keen on blazing your own trail, you can create your own itinerary. Unless you’re familiar with the city, research will be required.
Whichever type of tour you choose, discovering the city by bicycle is bound to be a memorable experience.
Lifejackets versus personal flotation devices: is there a difference?
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy our country’s beautiful lakes and waterways. But when boarding a boat, stepping into a canoe or doing any other activity in the water, safety needs to be at the forefront of your mind.
National Safe Boating Week aims to spread this message. In particular, one of the central objectives of the campaign is to publicize the importance of wearing a properly fitted and fastened lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) when on the water.
Though both lifejackets and PFDs make their wearers more buoyant, the devices fit and function differently. Before choosing which one to wear on the water, you need to assess which is more suitable.
If an unconscious person wearing a lifejacket lies facedown in the water, he or she will be rotated so that they face upwards.
Lifejackets come in two standard sizes, one for children (or people under 90 pounds) and one for adults. They’re generally the best option for young children and weak swimmers.
Personal flotation devices
A PFD is less buoyant than a lifejacket, and the bulk of the buoyancy is placed at the back of the vest.
PFDs are more comfortable and allow for greater mobility than lifejackets (making them ideal for water sports). However, in certain contexts, they’re not as safe — PFDs are designed to keep a conscious person afloat only in calm conditions. A person should therefore feel confident in the water before opting for a PFD in place of a lifejacket.
Wearing a lifejacket or PFD when you’re on the water is hugely important. But it’s only one part of boating safety. For more information on how to stay safe on the water, visit safeboatingcampaign.com.
Using the internet: top tips to get you started
Do you know how to use the internet? Accessing the digital world allows you read up on current events, connect with friends and family members, play games, watch videos, pay bills and shop from the comfort of your own home. As a senior, you have a lot to gain by being internet-savvy. If you’re keen to get started, here are some tips that will help.
1. Consider a tablet
Research shows that seniors find tablets easier to use than computers, as touch-screens are simpler to navigate. While typing on a touch-screen can be tedious, you can purchase an external keyboard to make writing easier.
2. Customize your settings
3. Use passwords wisely
Use sufficiently complex passwords that include at least one number and one symbol. Also, be sure to use different passwords for different sites. By doing these things, you’ll keep your information secure. Write down all your passwords and keep them some¬where out of sight.
4. Use educational resources
There are a number of ways to learn about using the internet. You can sign up for local classes in your community, borrow or buy books on the subject or consult educational materials online. One great resource is provided via the Goodwill Community Foundation at gcfllearnfree.org. However, there are countless other online learning materials available, including an array of instructional videos found on youtube.com.
One last tip: be patient with yourself. Learning a new skill takes time and practice, but if you persevere, you will succeed.