Sunday, October 30, 2005

Bike Ride Report - Fall Foliage Populaire

Yesterday I rode the DC Randonneurs' 161k Fall Foliage Populaire. 6900' of climb. Several 15% grades according to DeLorme. Temps in the 30s and 40s. Headwinds. It was great!

When the sun rose over the Super 8 in Middletown VA, it was pretty darn cold, but no frost.

I slept in the Big OE, around the corner in the parking lot of some sort of educational facility. Despite the cold, I was pretty cozy in the Element. In fact, I overslept, and didn't wake up until 7:10. I had to get dressed and over to the Super 8 before check-in ended at 7:30. I just made it, but I was 20 minutes late getting on the road.

This was a great route. It went up Fort Valley, then over Edinburg Gap (a brutal climb). Then it goes in a loop south in the Shenandoah valley to Mount Jackson and back north again. You climb over Little North Mountain through Fetzer Gap (brutal climb) and then down the other side to the microscopic town of Zepp. This is in some very obscure valley in the west side of the top of Virginia. The terrain is pretty rough, with lots of short, steep climbs. Here is the control in the valley of obscurity, the Star Market in the town of Star Tannery, VA.

The fall colors were not so great around here, but were pretty nice in Fort Valley, when I was on a mission and not taking any pictures.

Here's the map, plotted with my Garmin GPS and uploaded into DeLorme Topo USA. Click to make it bigger. The Garmin reported 7800' of climb vs. 6900' for the heart rate monitor. This took 7:30 pedaling, and was 101 miles. Way cool. Way hard.

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