Monday, May 07, 2012

Training ride #3

Since I skipped the group ride from Leesburg to Purcellville on Saturday, I made Sunday a training ride day. Scott agreed to meet me in Leesburg and ride to Purcellville and back so I had the first and last legs to myself. The ride out was pretty easy and, due to the gloomy skies, the W&OD wasn't too crowded. I found myself amongst a group of the lycra set and kept up with them through the downhills, eventually losing them before we got to Ashburn.

I made the twelve mile trip to Raflo Park -- middle of Leesburg -- in 49 minutes and waited for Scott to arrive. A couple with two young boys stopped in the gazebo where I waited and asked for suggestions on bikes for them and a carrier for the boys. I may have overwhelmed them with answers, but I stressed the importance of finding a good bike shop and asking lots of questions.

Raflo Park.

Scott finally joined me and, after chatting with the family for another 30 minutes or so, we hit the trail westward. That climb to Clarks Gap is a bugger and the downhill side is a welcome respite. I started to bonk around mile 20 as we made the final climb into Purcellville, but again the slight decline as we hit the town limits revived me enough for us to pedal slowly through town and find a restaurant for a well-deserved lunch.

The highest point is Clarks Gap.

I feared that heading back out on full stomachs might not be the best idea. Scott may have had the same thought and suggested that we stop and browse Trails End Cycling. He may have regretted that decision as I found a pair of white shoes at a significant discount off MSRP. A girl does want a choice in footwear... Of course the problem became how to get them home. We were both on road bikes with no baskets or racks. Scott volunteered to play his usual role of porter and crammed the shoes into his jersey pockets. Bless.

He promised he was comfortable.
The downhill ride home was a breeze and Scott was pleased to note all the recumbents out on the trail. He's developed a fascination with tadpole recumbents and I see a trip to bikes@vienna in our future. Anyway, I still felt great when we hit Leesburg and continued home alone as he loaded his bike onto the truck and drove home.

My final leg was pretty easy and I'm happy to say that I avoided any crashes with the ground, or anything else for that matter. I was able to play good Samaritan to another cyclist whom I noticed bleeding and limping along the side of the trail just east of route 15 by giving her some wet wipes and a band-aid. She said she didn't need any other assistance and I continued on my way. I even had enough energy to race a guy up the route 20-hate bridge (Scott's clever moniker) and not let him pass me until about half a mile from my neighborhood. I wound up with 46.99 miles in 3h 29m, a mile farther and 21 minutes faster than my last time riding this route. Color me very pleased.

Western end of the W&OD.

We ended the day with an hour at Scott's gym where I enjoyed feeling weightless in the pool and getting pounded by the waterfall in the spa. Now I just need to work up adding another 21 miles for the Tour de Cure in four weeks.


  1. It's always nice to beat a personal best when out on a ride...