Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tour de Valley - Waynesboro VA

Since the original blog post, the Tour De Valley organizers have posted some pictures they took of the riders on the web.
Here are a few of me and the other BJers. First up is BeerTruck

Then Fullylugged

Here's Dplex (On the right, in blue kit)

A couple of months ago, some folks on, where I log my riding stats, and occasionally peruse the forums, and even less occasionally post (my screen name there is "Fullylugged") announced a 2010 reunion in western Virgina. The idea was to add a group specific dinner to an existing local ride event. While the website has over 40,000 "members" and maybe a tenth of that many who are active, there have not been hordes attending the prior year gatherings. 40 or so is I think the current record. Additionally, none of the organizers are especially outre in any regard, politically galvanizing or otherwise likely to attract a crowd of gawkers. I decided that this event was geographically close enough to get to, and the online community was enough excuse for me to run the idea of me using a couple of vacation days up the flagpole with Sharon. To my surprise, she was good with my going to the ride, and added that we could take the ensuing week and risk the future of our lives as a couple by vacationing with just each other. It's been about 23 years since that last happened! Expert Googler and travel planner, she found us rooms in TN, VA and Washington DC, and signed us up for Montpelier, Mt Vernon, and other area things to see.

We drove 1/2 the way up on Friday, in no particular hurry, which is a good way to travel. We got to Waynesboro VA on Saturday several hours before the dinner and were able to relax and get ready. Dinner was at Scotto's, an italian restaurant owned by actual Italians. The food was very good. I laid off the carbs of course. No one else did. Here is the BikeJournal crowd:

We enjoyed meeting everyone but did not really learn a lot about them. Other than that they all ride faster than I do. After dinner, we returned to the hotel and I got my gear in order for Sunday. Not knowing anything about this ride, I packed enough food for the whole day, in case they had nothing that I could eat, as well as Nuun tablets and salt.
I lubed the chain and the shifters, pumped up the tires (just like MC Spandex in this classic: Not sue about the time zone change affecting me, I set the alarm for 5:00 AM.  No worries, I was up 5 mins before it went off.

I grabbed a bagel and coffee in the Residence Inn lobby, walked outside to test the temperature - 48F- and went back upstairs to get ready to ride. Short sleeve wool jersey with club arm warmers (took them off at the 2d - of two- rest stop), Ibex knee warmers and shorts, wool socks, sneakers, and a Rapha cap under the helmet and I was good to go. I put a blinky on the back and a headlight on the front and rolled the bike out the front door.

It was only 4 miles to the ride start, so I pedaled over. Got there in plenty of time and picked up my packet and T-shirt. It was still dark.

The Sun was up soon and the good turn out of riders had a beautiful, if nippy day to start riding in.

The ride start was at a park down at the bottom of the valley and so we started the day with a climb. I climbed faster than I should have and soon realized that I would burn out if I did not slow down some. Eventually I found a good pace, although this is a hillier route than I normally ride at home. Where our local rides go up and down 450 - 600' at a go, this ride goes up and down 1,000' in places. I saw a few online people out on the road, as they passed me. Mostly, I kept company with a very pleasant local fellow, a member for the hosting Milepost Zero Bike Club, named Paul. Here he is grinding up a grade that basically went from mile 30 to mile 40. I kid you not.

The ride was far lovelier than my pictures can show. The green was denser, the sun more golden, etc.  Here are a couple of typical pictures. We went up one side of the valley, rode the ridge, went down, up the other side, and rode the ridge back to just outside of town where we dropped down and came in on some flat and rollers mixed.

Overall, I had just at 70 miles and 4,300' of climbing. Avg pace was 14.9. My legs feel well worked!  The Pascenti Pari-Motos were super on the coarse rural roads, running at 65 psi. They handled fast descending esses confidently, and continue to be flat free. It was good to have brought a bike with a triple. This ride had many climbs in the 9% - 15% grade range. A new sports drink maker was supplying the free beverages, Vemma Brand Verve!  It did not impress me. The marketing guy was blah-blahing about how sugar free and healthy it is and a DOCTOR help concoct it (Duh!) but when I looked at it later on line, I saw the sugar in it and decided to stay with G2 or Propel.

It was a great ride, which we followed with a visit to the Charlottesville open air Mall and a great dinner at a local place we found using an iphone app called "Yelp!" Tomorrow: Monticello and Montpelier. Tuesday: ride with the Oxon Hill club in MD. Weds, ride in DC with my cousin Alan. Sounds great so far!

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