Our little pre-fleche warmup ride + DCR Urbana 200K

Temperatures snapped back into the 50s this weekend, but that did not stop most everybody from getting out and putting in some serious miles this weekend.

Let’s start with MG and I with Lane G., three fourths of our current fleche team lineup. We decided to ride farther than the D.C. Randonneurs 200K this weekend in Urbana, Md. We chose a Virginia fleche tuneup ride from a few years ago that starts in Warrenton Va. and loops through Gordonsville over quiet, rolling hills.

Lane G., when he wasn’t waiting for us.

A great day to ride together.

The cold was piercing at the 6:20 a.m. start, but we gradually warmed as we climbed away from Warrenton and the sun came up, though MG’s feet were very slow to thaw.

MG Panda shot. She was the photographer today for team GersemaFelker.

It’s true. No more Dairy Korner.

Over the next 156 miles we saw few cars, many trees in bloom, and lovely clear blue skies. It was good for us to ride long and leisurely without the hard steep climbs of the Urbana brevet. We finished right at sunset, satisfied and tired.

The only down note came when we found the Dairy Korner in Orange, Va., a favorite control stop, had closed permanently. I really wanted one of their milkshakes.

See a photoset from MG here. See the full route at my Garmin Connect page.

(Stay tuned for a writeup from my Sunday solo ride tomorrow!)

Meanwhile, the D.C. Randonneurs kicked off the spring brevet season Saturday with the tough Urbana 200K from Urbana, Md. This one ranges over two major climbs to the Antietam Battlefield area before returning over another long climb and a series of sawtooth rollers.

Open roads in the March sun. (courtesy Bill Beck)

Here is RBA Bill Beck’s writeup:

Despite cold temperatures at the start, 43 riders showed up at the Waffle House in Urbana for Saturday’s ACP 200K brevet. Ride designer and organizer Lynn Kristianson was on hand with Gordon Meuse to register riders and send everyone off at 7 a.m. We were actually quite lucky with the weather since it rained on both Friday and Sunday, but Saturday was clear and sunny. We ran the ride in the original direction this year (it had been run in the opposite direction from 2006-2009) which meant crossing Catoctin Mountain on Mountville Road and South Mountain on MD77 in the harder direction.

Cindy and John on their first brevet (courtesy Bill Beck)

The 9,100 feet of climbing combined with afternoon headwinds to yield a challenging ride! Nevertheless, 40 riders finished successfully, including several for whom this was their first brevet! Everyone then enjoyed eating pizza and telling war stories at New York J&P.

Congratulations to Maile Neel, who completed her third R-12 (R-36) on the ride. This is especially impressive since I think Maile’s streak began with her very first brevet. Welcome and congratulations to tandem couple Cindy Piotrowski and John Mazur who completed their first brevet and longest-ever ride. They definitely earned it on this ride! George Moore also earned bonus points by completing the ride on a “3-speed” (front shifting only) after his Shimano 10-speed STI shifter for the rear derailleur jammed when the cable broke. (The same thing happened to Maile last year – Shiimano really needs to improve the design of their 10-speed shifters.)

Thanks to Lynn for a well-run and beautiful ride. It was nice to see it in the originally conceived direction.

Preliminary results are now posted at the DCR results page. A GPS track of the route is at Garmin Connect, and my photos are at Flickr.

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