Another Fantastic DCR 600K

D.C. Randonneurs finished the spring brevet season this last weekend with the new Many Rivers 600K from Warrenton, Va. Short summary: route designer Lynn Kristianson sent us out over some of the best back roads in central Virginia on Saturday and then a 130-mile, tree-lined loop to Middletown, Md. and back on Sunday. The route made for an exquisite and quite challenging brevet experience.

MG and I had our best result yet on a 600K brevet, 34:21. We were pleased with our finishing time, given that Saturday was very warm and humid, in the low 90s, which forced us to take more breaks during the afternoon. A passing shower rolled through in the early evening but it was over quickly.

On Sunday the route was made up of many short steep climbs which slowed our pace, though we enjoyed the screaming descents. Rain threatened as we neared the finish, but we got in just before a brief but intense downpour.

Most of the two days we spent with buddy Lane Giardina, our Pittsburgh acquaintance, recumbent ace Dan Blumenfeld (see his RanDanneuring blog here) and pal Joe Brown. Another accomplished and steady randonnuer, Chris Mento, joined us on Sunday for what we considered an all-star lineup. We were flattered to have such accomplished company all the way to the finish.

Lynn also introduced us to one of the best ride stops around, the friendly Batesville Store, featuring goumet coffee, deli sandwiches, a big variety of baked sweets and terrific country-store ambiance. A number of local riders came in while Al Pless joined MG and me for an early lunch on Saturday. It joins the Shepherdstown Sweet Shop and Beans in the Belfry (in Brunswick, Md.) on our list of fantastic coffee and lunch stops. We missed out on the charms of The Main Cup coffee & bakery in Middletown, Md. which had yet to open when we arrived Sunday, forcing us to control at the fire department.

Stand by for a complete story from MG. Below is RBA Bill Beck’s report and links to his and our photos. Thanks to everyone who made our spring series a terrific success. Now MG and I plan to re-set our program to peak again for the Pennsylvania Randonneurs 1000K at the end of August. It’s going to be a fun summer!

43 riders showed up in Warrenton for the start of the new Many Rivers 600K. They experienced stunning scenery, lots of rolling hills (some quite steep), temperatures in the 90s on Saturday, localized rain storms on Sunday, and of course many rivers. But that combination of hills and heat took their toll on the riders – 12 abandoned during or at the end of the first 245-mile loop.

This ride had many stories that others will hopefully tell more fully over the next few days. For example, Chuck and Crista finished despite a cut tire and 7 flats! The last one was close enough to the finish that they walked the rest of the way. Roger Hillas ended up riding 405 miles. He discovered that he hadn’t gotten his card signed at the Main Cup in Middletown only after he had ridden over 5 miles up and down the steep hills of Old Middletown Rd, so he had to ride those hills twice again to go back and get his card signed.

Many thanks to Lynn for designing and organizing the ride. It contained beautiful views of the mountains, long stretches along the rivers, low traffic, and even a long flat section near the end of the first loop. We will definitely want to do this one again. Lynn even rode her bike out to Warrenton to run the event! Thanks also to Dan Blumenfeld who volunteered to do bike inspection on Saturday morning.

Congratulations to Cheryl Grubbs, John Mazur, and Cindy Piotrowski, who all finished their first 600K! And although randonneuring is not racing, and we don’t usually highlight fast finishes, congratulations to Jeff Erickson who rode straight through and finished in 25:50. I saw Jeff at around 4AM riding the “wrong way” through Middleburg and spent hours wondering if he had left his card in Warrenton and had to ride back to retrieve it. Then it finally occured to me that he had already ridden the entire second loop and was heading to the finish as I and almost everyone else was just heading out.

Preliminary results are now posted at http://www.dcrand.org/dcr/results.php?page=display-results&year=2010. A GPS track of the the first day is at http://connect.garmin.com/activity/36056977 and of the second day is at http://connect.garmin.com/activity/36057008.

My photos are posted at http://www.flickr.com/photos/wabeck/sets/72157624224617144/. Mary Gersema’s pictures are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gersema/sets/72157624223155604/. And Ed Felker’s are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/8193389@N06/sets/72157624098964181/.

We will now take a break and resume with a reprise of the Old Rag 200K on August 14. Thanks again to all of the organizers and volunteers who made the spring season a success!

Bill

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