The western Virginia mountains stand ready to devour randonneurs at any time, as Mike Dayton of North Carolina discovered this last weekend riding the infamous Gappity Gap permanent from Sperryville, VA. Read all about it at his blog, Research Trailer Park. He rode with our own randonneurs Nick Bull and Tom Reeder. Also along for the slogfest was Texas randonneur Edward Robinson, who somehow thought this permanent was a good way to burn off the Thanksgiving calories.
GG is hard enough, it sounds. Add in temperatures that barely got into the 40s and November’s short days, and a confrontation with the The Dark Monster — nightfall, plus plunging temperatures — was inevitable. Mike was the only one of the four to complete the ride. Well done, Mike! (Truth Squad: I’ve yet to ride GG. One of these days.)
An excerpt: “As the ride date neared, we picked up another rider, Nick. The route was also announced: Gappity Gap. I looked it up on RUSA’s Web site. 11,000 feet of climbing. Yikes! That’s Parkway Painful. A friendly ride? Were these guys trying to kill me? I couldn’t be sure, but just in case I decided to pack the Kevlar wind vest.”