Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Horse Country Circuit

"Wow," I exclaimed as I plunged down the descent of Leeds Manor Road.

I quickly glanced at my Garmin computer and saw: 45 MPH!

The road contorted and twisted as Stacy and I flew towards the village of Hume. Wow indeed I thought. It took only a few seconds to reach 45 MPH and the crooks and turns took all my attention.

Thankfully, there was little traffic as we finished the descent and slowed to 25 MPH. I pulled even with Stacy, "That was quite a ride. Too bad the road is so rough." We were forced to navigate through a series of potholes on the plunge and my bike took a beating. Huge trees shaded most of the road and I knew that winter freezing and thawing played havoc with the pavement.

We were doing a 60-80 mile ride in Horse Country - Virginia - in Fauquier and Rappahannock Counties.

We turned right at the village of Hume and headed for US Route 522 several miles to the west. Our loop took us past The Marriot Ranch, an eastern dude ranch of 4,000 acres. We spun past Oasis Vinyard and later Rappahannock Vinyards as the grapes were being cut from the vines.

On US 522 Stacy pulled me at speeds exceeding 30 MPH to Flint Hill. (Ah, to be young.) Traffic was nasty as cars and trucks zoomed past us.

I pulled into our regular rest stop- a Mom and Pop service station. We watched folks as they prepared for the Labor Day weekend. The pumps were busy with locals chatting.

I drank a Raspberry Snapple, ate a cookie and a pack of toasties. My water bottles were empty. It was 43 miles into the ride and I usually stop at mile 30 or so to refill bottles and eat.

Our return took Crest Hill Road and its numeous short, but steep hills. The accumulated rollers took a toll on my legs. The headwind pushed against us while we tried to maintain our brisk pace.

"We'll finish with around 70 miles," Stacy informed me on a rare section of flat road.

"Good, that's about what I wanted today." I was still recovering from the 107 miles in the heat of last week's Reston Century.

We blazed the last mile at 30 MPH since it was on a slight downhill.

"Good ride," I shouted when we stopped.

No comments: