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We beat the heat (sort of) ride report.(34 posts)

We beat the heat (sort of) ride report.MB1
Aug 17, 2002 4:08 PM
Man it has been hot around DC lately. I'm getting tired of hearing the words "Code Red" and "Heat Advisory in Effect", very tired. The forecast for Saturday was for more heat and still no rain.

So what to do? After all we like to ride. 200K seems about right for this time of year. I can make up a pretty good route that is fairly shaded and avoids much traffic. "I know" says Miss M, "Let's start at 5:00". And that is what we did. Of course it is dark at 5 in the morning...gonna need lights.
It sure is dark and quiet…MB1
Aug 17, 2002 4:10 PM
Even at 5am there is still a bit of traffic as we cross the Key Bridge. The temps were in the high 70's and it was pretty humid and sticky. At least the sun wasn't beating down on us.

Looking back towards Georgetown.
Across the wide Potomac.MB1
Aug 17, 2002 4:11 PM
Pre Dawn across the Potomac looking at the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
Is that a UFO??? :-) nmjose_Tex_mex
Aug 18, 2002 9:14 AM
Aug 18, 2002 9:20 AM
Let's zoom some more...
OMG do you really think so???? nmMB1
Aug 18, 2002 9:37 AM
The Truth Is Out There... nmjose_Tex_mex
Aug 18, 2002 9:40 AM
Whoops - ignore the above nm in the truth is out there...jose_Tex_mex
Aug 18, 2002 8:25 PM
Must have been the Aliens trying to keep that Shimano Space Craft under cover...
LOL!! =) (nm)jtferraro
Aug 19, 2002 6:39 AM
Nice shot! (nm)jtferraro
Aug 19, 2002 6:34 AM
The Washington and Old Dominion Trail.MB1
Aug 17, 2002 4:13 PM
So we head out the W&OD trail in Virginia.

Normally we only ride on the W&OD in bad weather or late in the afternoon coming back into town. It is a great way to exit the city but it is normally very crowded. We started early enough to miss most of the large groups of runners, dog walkers and all. At about the 25 mile marker we started to see other cyclists. Never did see any roller bladders.

It was nice to have it to ourselves for so long.
In Herndon! I used to ride there all the time! Memories.....TheSandman
Aug 17, 2002 11:56 PM
You're crossing Rt 28, I ride the trail after work. (nm)Paul
Aug 19, 2002 5:36 AM
Virginia horse country.MB1
Aug 17, 2002 4:16 PM
We exited the W&OD at mile 46 or so and started riding on fairly quiet country roads in Northern Virginia heading towards Point of Rocks where there is a bridge crossing back to Maryland. Notice on our side of the road it is fairly shaded. Riders on the other side of the road got a lot more sun and heat.

Shortly after this we got on our first dirt road of the day (Furnace Mountain-great name for this weather). Dirt roads are usually pretty shaded and we planned to be on several today. Of course it has been very dry this year, we ended up getting covered with dust. Anything is better than staying in the sun though.

That is the Blue Ridge off in the distance. A little too far to go in this heat.
Baked Bikers.MB1
Aug 17, 2002 4:18 PM
Once we crossed into Maryland we had some open roads to clear before we got back into the shade. You can see Sugarloaf Mountain in the background where we will get back on the dirt and under trees.
Aug 17, 2002 4:21 PM
It was much nicer in the shade, still hot but very tolerable. Much cooler than being in the sun and there is almost no traffic on dirt roads. Good thing since it was so dusty.

Mount Ephraim Road just before the switchback climbs up Sugarloaf.
Would you share the Cue sheet?GK
Aug 17, 2002 4:22 PM
Or just supply a general idea of route?

I am particularly interested in a cyclist-tested route back from Point of Rocks.

LOVED the dawn shots of DC.

GK, Potomac
I've got a million of them.MB1
Aug 17, 2002 4:43 PM
Well maybe not quite that many miles can you handle?

E-mail me and I will get back to you during the week.
A Potomac Sunrise for you.MB1
Aug 17, 2002 4:52 PM
We have been getting an early start during the week too. Here is a nice sunrise from the Bellhaven Marina a week ago.
A Potomac Sunrise for you.aliensporebomb
Aug 18, 2002 10:54 AM
That is absolutely awesome. Gorgeous photos, especially this one and the early a.m. photos too.
Come out with Reston Bike Club, do these rides all thePaul
Aug 19, 2002 5:41 AM
time. Go to Planning a VA Hunt Country ride in Oct., and also out in Warrenton.
The Capital Crescent TrailMB1
Aug 17, 2002 4:25 PM
Our plan was working well. When we got near home it looked like we were only going to have 118 miles but we were still feeling fine so we headed up to Bethesda for a few more miles.

This is the Dalecarlia Tunnel; normally it provides a blast of cool damp air. Not today it has been too hot for too long but the tunnel was nice and shady.
Aug 17, 2002 4:27 PM
On hot days we just don't eat much while we ride. I had a brownie, a peanut butter cookie, perhaps a dozen pretzel bits, 2 pints of milk, 7 bottles of Gatorade and lots of water. Miss M eats less. Not much for 120+ miles.

What to do? Pizza of course. And perhaps a draft or two to help with the hydration.
The bikes.MB1
Aug 17, 2002 4:30 PM
We ended up with 123 miles perhaps 15 or so on dirt with lots of climbing. I really enjoy this sort of riding-the right equipment helps.

Both bikes are long wheelbase steel frames with steel forks. I ride a Bianchi Reparto Corsa Cycle crosser; Miss M has a custom Rivendell with 26" wheels.

We both run sturdy wheels, wide gear range triples, Paul canti brakes, tough road tires and comfy all day saddles. Brooks for her, Serfas for me (I'll switch to one of my Brooks when the Serfas dies). I have full STI (don't much care for the computer) Miss M has STI for rear shifting and a bar end shifter for the front (she finds it is much easier for her smaller hands). We use Vistalite Nightstick lights, blinkies on the rear and usually wear reflective leg bands.

My bike is getting pretty beat, Miss M's Rivendell still looks great. I'd get one but I just don't take all that much care of my bikes and I fit stock sizes just fine.
Thanks. Another fine documentary MB1! nmrwbadley
Aug 17, 2002 9:06 PM
Nice pics...Fez
Aug 17, 2002 7:35 PM
And a few questions.

When you crossed back into Maryland, did you go across Rt 15 or did you take the ferry?

Did one of you get hot with the long sleeves?

Nice ride. I think I only rode 200K for the entire week :)
Aug 18, 2002 9:31 AM
We crossed the Potomac bridge at Point of Rocks on Route 15.

The long sleeve jerseys are the most comfortable warm weather jerseys we have ever had. Terry makes them as a sunblock jersey out of a really light material and mesh under the sleeves. Unfortunately they are almost always backordered.
Very nice as usual! One question...................Justride
Aug 17, 2002 10:46 PM
What camera are you using?
Don't need one this good for these posts.MB1
Aug 18, 2002 9:35 AM
I use a Cannon PowerShot S300 Digital Elph. As Spirito pointed out a while back for posting on the net you can use almost anything and get good enough results.

My pictures have a lot more resolution and color than you see here.
Don't need one this good for these posts.peter in NVA
Aug 18, 2002 1:11 PM
Always wanted to ride up Sugarloaf. Will Mich Axial Pro 23 hold up on those dirt rodes and do you need a triple?
Is that Bianchi Alu or Steel and was it smooth on the dirt?
The climb up Sugarloaf is paved.MB1
Aug 18, 2002 1:23 PM
There are a lot of dirt roads in that area but no need to go off road to climb Sugarloaf. The dirt trails in the park are closed on weekends anyway. We stick to dirt roads mostly and skip the singletrack.

We rode steel frames and forks. We run triples but we don't find that Sugarloaf is all that steep. YMMV.

What makes a bike comfortable is the fit, wheels and tires. Our bikes are fine off road but we are fine off road. I ride all my bikes in the dirt, really enjoy the fixte off road.

I think being comfortable in the dirt is mostly the riders mindset. If you are relaxed it is pretty easy, if you are tense it can get pretty bad.

The climb up Sugarloaf is paved.peter in NVA
Aug 18, 2002 1:43 PM
Thanks, I'll give it a try. I have a Ritchey Cyclocross and Ritchey Road bike, but lately enjoy riding on dirt trails better.Always looking for a nice mix of on-off road. The cross tires (700x32) are fine off road but too slow for my tastes on the road. Because of the drought I've been riding the Mich Axial pros 700x23 off road - great speed even on gravel, but there seems to be a lot of those green threads coming off so at $50 each, I stopped!
Try some Conti Top Touring 700X28.MB1
Aug 18, 2002 2:43 PM
A pretty good all round tire for dirt and pavement.
"The road to Hell is paved."p chop
Aug 18, 2002 9:50 PM
sorry for the impertinent interjection; 'the climb up sugerloaf' just reminded me of one of my favorite bumper stickers.