Sometimes the big hurdle on a brevet is simply getting on the bike. MG and I have been feeling some year-after-PBP blahs this season (anyone else too?) and our excitement over Saturday’s D.C. Randonneurs 300K was fairly muted. The forecast didn’t help — showers and cool temperatures in the 50s were predicted.
We got out to Warrenton on Friday night, managed to stumble over to the starting line at just before 5 a.m., and are sure glad we did. We had a quite pleasant ride, in no small part due to the company of our fellow randonneurs, particularly Christian M. and Rick R. We rode as a foursome through the middle section of this rolling route through central Virginia farmlands. We also spent some time with George W. and Jim L. on his recumbent., and saw fellow tandemers Cindy and John, John’s brother Andrew, and Chris M. at the afternoon food stop in Orange, Va.
The quick summary of our ride: we started with the fast guys in our usual role as the unofficial brevet pace car, before letting them go after a couple hours. Over Old Rag Mountain I overshifted and put the chain behind the cogset, but we got it out and on we went. The sun came out for awhile and we met up with a lot of folks at Syria Mercantile, mile 64, along with local runners on a 5K event.
We rolled out with Jim, George, Christian and Rick, and the latter two stayed with us through the darkening clouds and finally a cold rain shower into Gordonsville, mile 100.
After lunch at Subway, the sun came out a little, then went away again, as we trundled to the Dairy Korner in Orange for Lunch No. 2 at mile 132. The descending terrain from Orange separated us and we rode the final segment mostly solo to the finish, under threatening skies and a few stray sprinkles, without stopping. We caught George at Remington and the three of us traversed the last 20 miles in relatively close proximity.
Many thanks to organizer Maile Neel and her volunteers for another successful DCR brevet. As our own stint as organizers approaches at the club’s Frederick 400K next month, we’re taking note of all the little things that make it easy for the riders to enjoy themselves and get a warm welcome at the finish.