Today definitely had it’s own challenges. The biggest one was crossing the Chesapeake Bridge/Tunnel. I had found out I am NOT allowed to drive it. With a positive mindset, I set off toward the bridge. It is a really really long way around if I can’t get passage.
I had previously set up meeting with my cousin Emily after the bridge as she was staying in Virginia Beach, and I was hoping to get there before too late in the day. As far as the landscapes go on my drive, 113 south from Berlin area to 13 South there wasn’t anything that popped out that I have to include pictures for you readers. There was a pretty big fake shark with an open mouth toward a small rowboat, but it wasn’t groundbreaking or striking enough that I thought it was “have to include material.”
Route 113 and 13 were pretty major roads at 55 mph and it was another day of living on the shoulder. As I got closer, I stopped at a few gas stations along the way and hollered at the pickup drivers asking if they were crossing the bridge, but none where going across. One gentleman recommended trying the rest stop right before the bridge, and mentioned that years ago they would drive bicyclists across. My first stop would be the administration building. If I don’t look too homeless or unkempt I can’t imagine I wouldn’t be able to pay another truck some money to get a ride if the bridge workers aren’t transporting people anymore.
I passed a few cops riding on the shoulder and my blood pressure spiked. One of them right near the bridge even pulled out from facing me and drove past in the left lane. I saw him then pull around to face me again. “Oh please don’t pull me over. Please don’t pull me over”kept running through my head. It would be an interesting conversation that I really don’t want to have. I turned off the road just in case. Maybe that way it could have just been a crazy local hopping on a major road for just a second, and he would have less cause to address the “problem.”
I skirted down the side road that thankfully connected back to the main road, and saw the officer pull over another car that must have been speeding. Here is my chance. I pull out and pass them both in the left lane with a silly grin. *Note: The guy from the moped shop in Ocean City that fixed my moped was surprised I haven’t been pulled over. He mentioned that they are not supposed to be on 55mph roads. Some areas I am not able to avoid this, and I have been passing through so many different states with different rules.*
His apparent dismissal of me gave me hope that I was either allowed to ride the shoulder like a bicycle or maybe he thought my bike was more than a 50cc? I don’t know, but either works for me.
I pulled up to the administration building and walked inside. Pulling around back I felt like I was doing something illegal. It was all officially labeled cars among quite a few squad cars. Walking around to the front entrance I walked in and nervously explained that I drove a moped here and am looking at my options to cross. The police officer behind the glass pane seemed busy and slightly frustrated, and told me it would be awhile; around an hour. To which I replied, “awesome, thank you so much!!!”
And so I waited. I saw some interesting trucks drive through and the vending machines were SUPER cheap!
The cokes and other drinks are 30 to 40 CENTS! What is this magical place!? The other snacks were at incredible prices too. Pro tip from traveling Josh. *If you want a cheap drink stop at the admin building at the Chesapeake bay bridge* BUT seriously be discreet because this is where the toll booth workers have lockers and police officers too. (With key-less entry doors and more.)
I personally got the ginger ale and it was delicious. I asked one of the gentleman and he said they just sell it for what they get it for. Cool! They MUST not get too many people walking in. Haha.
About an hour passed and the police officer who seemed busy said I could come outside with him and it should be just another minute. He asked some questions and I got to telling him about the trip. He turned into the nicest guy and even mentioned how he thinks sections of the trip would be incredible! Everyone also loves hearing that it gets 100mpg. I found out that they still will transport vehicles that can’t safely cross like pedestrians, bicyclists etc! (And you only have to pay the regular toll fee! No extra for gas or anything else!) The police man once even put a actual motorcycle in the back once with the dangerous wind conditions on the bridge.
My driver was the nicest older gentlemen who told me fascinating and sad stories about people running out of gas on the bridge, other drivers not mentally being able to drive through the tunnel, and other insane accidents that happened. (Head on collisions, semi’s going off the side and much more.) I learned how he rotates from taking tolls, to transporting people, and more! They work 12 hour shifts now which used to be 8, and he doesn’t like the 12 hours with being an older guy. There was a lot of really interesting information on when the bridge was built, how deep the water is in varying spots, how it has changed, and plans they have for it.
And after a good bit of driving (It is a BIG bridge!) we arrived to the other side. I thanked him and set off for my cousins.
Route 13 was my route and this was the most traffic and the most lanes I have ever wanted to drive my moped on. SO MANY LANES!
*And this was the calm moment when I had the opportunity to safely take a picture. I was in traffic like the oncoming lane, in the picture, apologizing profusely under my breath as I held up everyone behind me with my slow acceleration.
I made it to Emily’s and was given the grand tour of Virginia Beach! Mount trash-more, the city, the beach, and king Neptune of course! I have a very comfortable couch for tonight at my cousins. Until tomorrow then!
Thanks again Emily! So good to see you and be able to catch up. : )