Warrenton 200K done, Fleche ahead!

We absolutely reveled in the perfect sunny weather this past weekend at the D.C. Randonneurs 200K ACP brevet and a follow-up informal century on Sunday.

I will allow that these early season back-to-backs can be a little tiring. Notice that I’m writing this on Tuesday?

Saturday 40 riders went out on the classic Old Rag 200k route from Warrenton, Va. It was my first brevet back when ‘Windows 95’ was all the rage. We hung around the front group for about 25 miles or so until the longer steeps toward the first control in Madison got the better of us. From there we settled into our usual no-man’s-land between the speedy riders and the bulk of the field.

Mark B. with his Burley tandem at the start

Michael, Joe & Matt at Syria Mercantile store

Matt and Joe passing by the dogwood

Bernd rolled up with just 10 miles to go

MG and I managed to keep our stops relatively short and ended up with a new team best for a 200K, coming in with a time of 8:45.

We’d like to break eight hours one of these days, but with the relatively few miles we have in our legs this year, it was a good result. Congratulations to all the riders and thanks to George Moore for organizing. See the rest of our photos at my Flickr page. RBA Bill Beck’s summary with links to results can be found below.

On Sunday we woke up tired and thirsty, which could only be addressed by a little hair of the dog. Lucky for us, Crista Borras scheduled her Sunday century at 8:30 a.m., an hour later than usual, and picked a relatively flat route from Frederick, Md. We got ourselves up there in time and were rewarded with a nice group and another spectacular sunny day.

Four of us were wearing our Swobo wool jerseys this day. Swobo, please sponsor us!

Lane and MG. Half of our fleche team.

Another lovely barn in north-central Maryland

These fellows hoped for a little treat

A fun day on the road

We had a little tailwind out to lunch in McSherrysville, Md. and a manageable crosswind on the way back. We took a lot of photos of the big, old barns in that part of the region. We also stopped to say hello to a bunch of curious goats.

See the rest of my photos at my Flickr page and more at MG’s page.

We’re now feeling fully ready for the DCR fleche this coming weekend. This will be only my second fleche and first on tandem with MG. We’re very excited about it.

I missed out on fleches for years when they were held on Easter weekend, and generally did not like that they were scheduled so early in the season at times. This year, no excuses! The club moved it to mid-April this year and we’ve had time to get our legs in order. More to come about our route and squad, Team VEG, later this week.

Here is Bill Beck’s re-cap of Saturday’s brevet:

40 riders turned out to Warrenton on a beautiful spring day for the Old Rag ACP 200K brevet, and 36 finished. Everyone got to enjoy nearly ideal temperatures and blooming redbud and dogwood along the entire route. The first two thirds of this ride are fairly mellow, but then the intensity increases with the climb over Old Rag, followed by steep inclines on the Three Kings, Three Meanies, Piney (Pukin) Mountain Rd, and finally the last gradual, but long, grade back to Warrenton. But the hard work was rewarded by yummy pizza and other recovery food back in the Howard Johnsons.

Thanks to George Moore, who did an excellent job of organizing the ride and doing the final checkout. And also to Keith Krombel and Cliff Hopkins who drove out to register riders at the start and also ran the secret control.

Special congratulations to Michael O’Hara who completed hist first brevet and longest ever ride, and to Barry Phillips who also completed his first brevet. Jim Lehman just missed getting in under 10 hours, but still set a new personal record for 200 km. And this week’s bonus points go to Nick and Jan Bull who first hit the pavement when the rear wheel of their tandem came loose. Then their chain snapped while climbing a steep section of Piney Mountain Rd! But they still finished with the only obvious sign of trouble being Nick’s bloody knee and black, greasy hands.

Preliminary results are now posted (except for three new members, whose results will be added shortly). A GPS track of the route is at Garmin Connect. My photos are at Flickr.

The fleche is next weekend (April 15-18), followed by the Mother of All 300Ks on April 24. Riders who do Old Rag and then these two over three consecutive weeks should be in great shape for the 400 and 600! (Or totally exhausted.)

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