D.C. Randonneurs this Saturday holds its second RUSA brevet under new RBA Bill Beck, the Warrenton 200K, from Warrenton, Va. Yours truly is the organizer and it’s been fun and interesting to manage my first brevet after more than a decade of randonneuring.
As part of my solemn duties, I joined day-of-ride volunteers MG and Maile Neel for the official pre-ride on Saturday and we found the course in great shape and the controls all welcoming. We learned the Black Wolf Coffee in Warrenton, where we start, has changed its hours and no longer opens a 6 a.m. Rather, it opens at 7 a.m., when the ride starts. There is ample room to set up outside the cafe and register riders at the sidewalk tables, but we’re hoping word of our ride will entice the owner to open up early for us. I personally will make it worthwhile by buying multiple espressos and muffins!
Bill has posted the cue sheet and the GPS file at the D.C. Randonneurs site.
If you haven’t ridden this course before, the description is worth a read. It is accurate about the climbing, in that there are no long climbs, but there are a number of sawtooth sections, particularly in the second half of the ride. Given the heat expected this weekend, riders are advised to save something for sections along Round Hill and Scrabble roads, and an extra wee bit for Piney “Pukin” Mountain road near the end of the ride. This is one of those courses that seems pretty gentle if you don’t ride hard, but once you up the pace it can be a bear with few flat sections.
Food options are plentiful, with the best option for lunch coming at the control at Mile 55, Yoder’s Store, where they now have a deli counter and are making incredibly delicious sandwiches. There is outdoor seating under the BBQ shelter. Up ahead in Madison at mile 58 there are two sit down cafes on the route but the service can be slow. The food options are still pretty good at Syria Mercantile at mile 71.5. The control at Laurel Mills is mostly snack food, but there are many options available at the Orlean Store control at Mile 115.
We’re looking forward to working on the other side of the table this Saturday and seeing all your smiling faces! The Warrenton 200K is a DCR classic — it was my first brevet back in 1996 — and is always fun.