Richardson: Recalling a Sunday afternoon bike ride

I am thinking of the summer of 1954 on a Sunday afternoon, after church and eating dinner at my grandparents’ house, five first cousins decided to take a bicycle ride. We didn’t know where we were going to go. We just started riding there were five of us, Waymon, Frank, Gene, Austin and myself.

My grandparents lived at that time on Battley Dairy Road (now Loch Haven Road) about a half-mile from where Hammer Mill Road crossed we road down Battley Dairy Road turned right onto Hammer Mill and stayed on Hammer Mill crossed Sand hills Road, passed the Big Robert Hammer House on to where Hammer Mill entered into U.S. Highway 1 about three miles south of Rockingham.

By Howard Richardson My Life Retold

By Howard Richardson
My Life Retold

We turned right onto U.S. #1 going North we went on up U.S. #1 into Rockingham to where it crossed U.S. Highway 74. There we turned left going west we went on to where U.S. Highway 220 joined U.S. 74. There we turned right going North on U.S. 220 going toward Ellerbe.

We went on to Ellerbe and on north passed the roadside rest area, past Ellerbe Springs and on north until we reached DeWett Junction, where Mr. L.G DeWitt had a peach pack house, a trucking company and a store. That is where we stopped and got a RC Cola and a candy bar.

Then we started back south on U.S. 220 to Ellerbe. We stopped at the roadside rest area and rested some. Then on into Ellerbe. At this time there were two big tobacco markets (warehouses) we stopped at them and looked around and got a drink of water, then we went on down U.S. 220 to Rockingham, turned right on U.S. 74, we had to pass right by the DQ ice cream place. We stopped there and got a 10-cent ice cream cone eat it then onto U.S. #1 South turned left unto Hammer Mill Road, on over to Battley Road and back to our grandparents’ house.

Now that was a bike ride for a group of 13- and 14-year-old boys.

We knew we had to be back in time to go to church and Baptist Training Union that night.

Those five cousins did some more bike rides but not like this one again.

But that was just our way our way to spend a nice summer Sunday afternoon.

Richmond County native Howard Richardson is author of “My Life Retold,” available on

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