Sunday, April 23, 2006

Bike Ride Report - Virginia 200k Brevet

Yesterday was the DC Randonneurs Virginia 200k Brevet. Here I am at the end in the pouring rain soaked to the skin.

I drove out the night before and slept in Debra's Element. It was quite cozy and I got a good night's sleep. I like to sleep in the car in the rain.

Another thing that is nice about the Element is it's easy to change out of your soggy, foul riding clothes and dry off and put on nice clean clothes out of the pouring rain. Unfortunately, I forgot and left the plastic bag of stinky bike clothes in the Big OE last night, and Debra's car is pretty odiferous today. I am in the dog house. Since Debra is pregnant, she has become hypersensitive to bad smells. I am in the dog house.

Here are all the brevet riders about to take off from the starting line in the drizzle.

Eventually the drizzle turned into steady rain, but after about three hours it stopped. Most of the ride was very nice.

The first control was at Yoder's Country Market in Pratts, VA. This place is fantastic. They have incredible sandwiches. This is a Mennonite place, or some similar deal where they all dress like Little House on the Prairie.

Anyway, all the food is incredibly wholesome, and it appears to be locally produced. Maybe not the Gatorade, but most of it looks that way.

Behind the store, they have some pens containing future sandwiches.

There are chickens, and ducks, and pheasants, and Guinea fowl.

There are also goats.

I took this picture especially for Debra as part of my campaign for us to move to the county so I can sit on the porch and play the banjo. I was making good headway with this picture ("Is that a BABY GOAT? It's soo cuuute.") But then I pushed my luck.

The next control was at the Syria Mercantile Company, which is in Syria, VA. This is the last stop before the big, steep climb to Etlan.

This is also the first restroom in quite awhile. The restroom is across the street in a big white barn.

It's dark and scary inside. You have to wander way in the back past the spiders and snakes and the Blair Witch to find the restroom. It smells like decaying apples.

The gourds drying from the ceiling are pretty cool, though.

This is what the scenery is like after the climb on Etlan Rd. It's pretty strenuous. You have to use the small ring a lot.

I took this picture to share the view with the other brevet riders, because they probably didn't get to see it. That's because I was supposed to turn a half-mile back. One thing that makes the picture nice is because the view is from the top of a big hill.

I had a big dilemma on where to make the last rest stop. There was a store with a fresh spring somewhere about 20 miles out. I figured I'd stop there, fill up my water in the spring, eat my last banana, and I'd be all set.

Crista and Chuck had a secret control set up at mile 100. They said it was the last control. I looked at the cue sheet, and it sure was. "But where is the control with the spring?" Crista said it wasn't a control, and it was at Laurel Mills, five miles back. I decided to push on to the next store, at Orlean, which was 13 miles away and only 10 miles from the end. Crista asked if I needed any water. I said I was OK. I set out.

As soon as I took the next pull on the water tube, I discovered I was out. Even though I was thirsty and hungry, I was still thinking about riding straight to the end, which was only 10 more miles, even though there were a couple climbs and one of them was really steep. But I stopped, and had a Gatorade and my banana. What's the hurry?

If only. As soon as I got to the big hill, the sky opened. It poured hard the last four miles. I was pretty sure it was just a sprinkle, so I didn't stop to put on my rain jacket. After a very short while, the jacked wouldn't have made any difference. So I rode the rest of the way in and got soaked. If only I had pressed on. I probably would have beat the rain.

Here's the map with the actual GPS track.

You can also look at the track on MotionBased.

1 comment:

Cham said...

Looks like fun!