It's five o'clock on a Sunday. It's dark out. My legs are dead. I know, I'll jump in a car and drive 90 minutes to a bike ride. Yeah, that's the ticket.
|Cresting the Blue Ridge at Daybreak|
|Jeff Heads Out for 100 Miles|
|Carbon Faired Gold Rush|
|Leslie, A Friday Coffee Clubber|
|Another Faired Gold Rush|
|Kirsten (c) with the Hubz (r)|
|Looks like a splendid day for a ride |
|Bike Friday Tandem Traveller|
|I Could Ride This All Day, so I Did|
|Hay, Sky, Trees, Field|
|It Was Sooooo Nice|
|Say Neigh, Somebody|
|White Folks Rockin'|
Lisa, another Coffee Clubber, showed up. She was doing the metric century with her husband Robert and her friend Jane and her husband. They waited for me. I waited for Jody. At 8:10 they left. I waited 20 more minutes and checked my email. At around 8:30 I noticed Jody's phone number at the bottom of the email. I called her.
|Hellava Lot of Apples|
"At home. I'm coming later with Paul."
I was feeling like Cool Hand Luke. (What we have is failure to communicate.)
|They're Gaining on Me|
I rarely ride faster than 15 miles per hour. My bike is heavy and old and so am I. You'd think after riding the 50 States Ride the day before I'd have nothing in my legs. My legs, however, were ready to boogie. And so we did. The first rest stop was 12 miles away. No problem. You might say we hauled ass. (Sorry. It's the only mule joke I have.)
|Robert and Lisa|
|We Fanned Out a Bit|
|The Mule Pulled Them in|
|Just Like This for 65 Miles|
|Cool Rocks along the Road|
For every one of these difficult uphills, there was a scary fast descent. The scary part came mostly from the fact that the roads were chip seal, a surface just rough enough to put some fear in you. If I had more bike handling confidence, I could have easily broken 40 miles per hour. Instead of bike handling confidence I have fear. Fear is a good speed governor.
|Jane and Lisa at White Post|
The five of us rode in ever changing formations. Sometimes Jane's husband took the lead with Jane and I several hundred yards back and Lisa and Robert pulling up the rear. Then we'd reform and break off in another arrangement.
|You Pretty Much Can't Stop Taking Pix on a Day Like This|
At the final rest stop, Jane and her husband took off. We met up with Leslie, who was enjoying a ride she called Tour of the Rest Stops after volunteering at the start. Lisa was taking a long time so Robert told me to head out.
|Leslie at our Last Rest Stop|
Off I rode solo. 10 miles left. Some challenging hills remained but I was familiar with the course and nothing surprised me. That's not to say I was bored. Even after 60 miles the countryside of the northern Shenandoah Valley never loses its appeal.
The last two miles are on Route 7, the main drag through the town of Berryville. It's a big comedown from the previous 63 miles. The houses and shops are quaint but the trucks leave a lot to be desired.
When I finished I felt fine.I met up with Jeff and told him I could have done the century. He had 100 miles behind him to add to well over 70 the day before. He was cooked. I felt fine except for an achy left foot. I need to get stiffer shoes for these long rides.
|Rene Magritte Phone Home|
I filled my pie hole with it.
|Blurry Reward at Hill High Orchards|
Click on Lisa's and Kirsten's names above to read their accounts of the day. My full set of pix (yeah, I know about the smudge on my lens) is over on my Flickr site.