We’re back home after the DC Randonneurs first ACP brevet of the year, the Wilderness Campaign 200K from Bristow, Va. What a day!
This gentle course through four Civil War battlefields south of Manassas features flat sections through farmlands and lovely rolling roads through historic battlefield forests. This was our first brevet on our new Co-Motion tandem and everything went quite well on the bike today.
The front group got off to a fast start on the flat initial 15-mile segment and we hung in there until about mile 25, when rollers and their strong legs left us behind. The group included our neighbor Jeff Miller who hitched a ride with us over to the start.
After a first control around mile 50 we toodled over to Spotsylvania under unseasonably warm, bright sunshine to a sit-down lunch at the Courthouse Cafe with Lane. No one else walked in, apparently deciding to use the nearby 7-11 as their control stop.
You missed it folks — service was friendly and fast, and our omelettes and ice tea hit the spot. None of us bonked in the afternoon.
Bennett rolled up as we remounted and the four of us took off on the 57 miles back to Bristow.
They and us took turns rolling ahead on the short hills that stood in our way until we saw Justin Antos, riding his first brevet, who was stopped on the side of the road with chainsuck.
His front derailleur needed some tweaking. We got it adjusted enough to get him back out on the road. Justin your good cheer in the face of a balky bike was inspiring to this old rando horse.
After our second information control stop we swooped past the cushy Inn at Kelly’s Ford and descended to the final road control at the Elk Run Store near Bristerburg. Snacks and drinks were consumed in bright sun as more riders arrived.
Lane decided to wait for Bennett and we joined with Carol, Paul and Chris for the last 20 miles. A gentle headwind kept our speed in check, which let us joke around and talk as we pedaled along.
Our legs were getting tired from the day — this was our longest ride of 2013 — and we counted the miles down.
The finish came around 4:30 pm and we were met with the traditional pizza and soda by organizers John and Cindy. Thanks to them for putting on a flawless event. Thanks also to our fellow riders for your good company.
As always, I must also express my gratitude to my fearless and strong tandem stoker MG. You were a champ today, honey!
One personal historical footnote: today’s successful ride marked the 18th consecutive year that I’ve completed at least one ACP brevet and the ninth consecutive year that MG and I have completed an ACP brevet on tandem. We’ve had a good run and are looking forward to more rides with the DC Randonneurs in the months and years ahead.