Tappahannock 200K report

About 31 of us undertook the DC Randonneurs Tappahannock 200K brevet on Saturday Feb. 3, from Ashland, Va. The start is just north of Richmond and we took a counterclockwise route, starting to the east with a helping crosswind. For Mary and me, it was our first brevet since last June’s Cascade 1200K. Thankfully we’ve done a bunch of centuries and shorter rides since then, but it was still a challenge!

The day was dry and cold, in the 30s mostly, with a gusty northwest wind. The route to the first two controls meandered to the southeast and we enjoyed a brisk tailwind and lots of downhills. We started with the bunch, then solo’d for a while before picking up Ben at the Sunnyside Grocery control at Kino. We boogied on to lunch at Java Jack’s in Tappahanock at mile 72. (Great food, great service, great coffee. It was hard to leave!)

From there we swung north and slogged hard for the next 15 miles into the wind, with more uphills than downhills. We joined Crista and Chuck, Chris Mento and Carol Bell, and caught up Gordon and Lynn along the way. We rode with gusto until we turned westward and then fell off the pace.

By the control at mile 95 we were completely out of gas with sore legs to boot. We shut down the engines and soft-pedaled in to the finish, riding solo. The ride in was rolling but not really hilly, and featured a five-mile segment on a hardpack road into Ashland with an information control — see below. We arrived just before 5 p.m. with about 131 miles on the odometer and a 15.6 rolling average speed.

I took a few photos!

Dave Gaudette and Mary at the start. I said smile…Dave heard something else.

Mary and Dave Gaudette at the Start

Here’s Mary and Ben at the Sunnyside Grocery. Ben is impervious to cold, it seems. The rest of us went with the standard winter getup with balaclavas and lobster gloves.

Mary and Ben at the Sunnyside Grocery

Here we are at the Grocery. Mary is trying to hide the mouthful of snacks!

Ed and Mary at the Sunnyside Grocery

Mary gets down the 411 at the Information Control — she had to note the year, my card asked for the type of animal!

Mary at the Secret Control

I was there too.

Ed at the Secret Control

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