New Town Cycles
Posted on October 1, 2019 9:00 AM by Lucy Painter
New Town residents are busy people with work and families, yet many find time for a hobby. Now that the weather is cooling off, maybe it's time to get out the bicycle that has been sitting in your garage and join some of your neighbors in a hobby that many enjoy.
One avid biker is Bill Haas of Charlotte Park. Bill road bikes recreationally with his family but also seriously with groups organized by Conte's Bike Shop located here in New Town. Conte's publishes ride schedules online, and its employees are always willing to talk with you whether you are a long-time biker or new. The shop also organizes mountain bike rides, some along a trail with access across from Opus/Panera that opens onto a vast system for mountain bike riding. It is at Panera on Saturday mornings that as many as 11 bikers meet at the end of their ride, neighbors who are happy to talk with you about their experiences.
We are fortunate to live in James City County with its many trails for bikers of all levels. Rider Tom Carter, a mountain biker, uses trails at Freedom Park at the end of Centerville Road and York River State Park. Both have wider, flatter trails good for beginners as well as single track (narrow) mountain biking trails. These are more challenging with changes in slope, twisty turns, root obstacles, and narrow gaps between trees. Riding here requires that you have the right bike for the terrain.
Area bikers also have access to Virginia's Capital Trail, a favorite ride of Tom's. It begins next to the parking lot at Jamestown Settlement and ends about 50 miles later at Shockoe Bottom in Richmond although no rider has to go the entire distance. The trail is wide, flat, and off road to avoid cars. Benches along the way offer rest.
No matter whether you tackle the Capital Trail or enjoy our neighborhood streets, the object, as Tom says, is to "have fun."