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Georgetown 200K ride report (or “You should have been there”)(21 posts)

Georgetown 200K ride report (or “You should have been there”)MB1
Oct 7, 2002 7:21 AM
We belong to several bike clubs; I've always believed that you ought to support the organizations that support your sport. The Potomac Pedalers is the local touring club with somewhere around 2,500 members. They put out a fairly nice monthly newsletter and have lots of scheduled rides every weekend.

From our point of view they have very few rides we want to do mostly because the rides are too short, start too late and require driving to the start of the ride. Well if you don't like something-change it!

I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone by offering a 200K starting in Georgetown as both a Potomac Pedalers ride and as a RBR ride. It took a lot more work to write down one of our favorite routes into a cue sheet than I wanted it to; check, re-check, "Oh need to make it shorter/longer/hillier/safer/dirtier", then Miss M starts adding her two cents into the mix. Then there were the maps, alternate routes to avoid dirt (for wimps or in case it rained) and a couple of shortcuts. Aaaarggggg..

Sunrise at the Francis Scott Key Park where the ride started and the C&O Canal. After all can't start a ride report without a nice sunrise.
Where did all these people come from?MB1
Oct 7, 2002 7:26 AM
In addition to the usual homeless there were all these cyclists in the park this morning.

Don't they know I lead bizarre rides (I like to use every gear on my bike and I normally run a 30/42/52 with a 12-32, for this ride I put on the 12-34)? Trust me; I included the steepest hills I could find, dirt roads with nasty climbs, hills till the last 3 miles and a bit of single track just for the heck of it. Not to mention starting and finishing in Georgetown home of the exploding manhole covers where the steel plates have been on the ground so long they could be in the National Register of Historic Places.

Turned out over half of the riders rode to the start, just like we did. One of the homeless provided the music while everyone got ready to ride.

Can you pick out Miss M and I in the crowd?
Let’s ride in Georgetown!MB1
Oct 7, 2002 7:29 AM
A change from our normal farm country ride starts.
Randonneurs are an odd but tough bunch.MB1
Oct 7, 2002 7:33 AM
We do about 20 rides a year with the local Randonneurs. The DC group led by Crista and Chuck offer a century ride every Saturday, Sunday and holiday of the year. They have a pretty neat website well worth exploring

I told them about the Georgetown 200K and they were pleased to participate. Most of the folks on this ride were from the Randonneurs.

This is Rudy, one of the strongest riders I know and a heck of a nice guy. He does carry a lot of stuff though and has been known to wear a kilt. But you know, sooner or later he will use all that stuff he carries with him (over the years we too find ourselves carrying more and more stuff-although we don't bring our dolls with us (yet)).
Don’t look back.MB1
Oct 7, 2002 7:36 AM
The group started out way faster than Miss M and I normally go so I'm thinking to myself "Don't they know about the hills?" Here is the lead group on the first steep hill-only one rider got off and walked here but there are a lot more hills to come.

I did get some amused comments when they realized I was leading on a climb while taking pictures (it is good to have low gears and know the route).
Why am I not surprised? Miss M at the front.MB1
Oct 7, 2002 7:39 AM
Miss M and I are used to riding the some pace and effort for the entire distance. Not real fast but never real slow. Whenever the pace slowed down Miss M went to the front and kept the speed to something she was comfortable with. When someone would pick up the pace she would just sit in until the group slowed for a bit of a rest and back to the front she would go.

After the bakery at 55 miles or so everyone that had been riding with us needed a longer rest than we did so we were on our own for the rest of the ride. We did turn around and ride back a couple of times to see how everyone was doing. Everyone seemed fine and we got in an extra 15 miles.
What a nice day for a bike ride! (They are all nice).MB1
Oct 7, 2002 7:45 AM
For an October day it sure was warm-for a summer day it was really nice. It started out a little cloudy but about 10 miles before we hit the turn around the sky was clear and the winds started blowing right into our face.

Great! Tailwinds for the last 50 miles!

Miss M falling off the ends of the earth. Sure I threw in a few (or even a lot) of steep climbs-but what goes up must come down. Plus the views are always better from the top of the hill.
Oct 7, 2002 7:48 AM
Me, I don't understand how anyone could not love riding on dirt. You rarely have to deal with cars and trucks, dirt roads take you way back into the boonies and everything smells so clean. Miss M always moans and groans about how I always take the dirt and says how she doesn't like riding on the dirt. She sure didn't have any problem riding away from me on the dirt today-left me in her dust big time.

We had done a check rode over most of the route (and all of the dirt) 2 weeks ago. Everything was fine although some of the climbs were pretty tough on a road bike. Don't you know the county graveled parts of the hardest dirt climb the week before the ride? Quite a surprise and a challenge to ride. I had to really use all my skills and low gears to clean the section. Several riders walked, Miss M rode away from us on her 26" wheel Rivendell with the ultra low gears and was riding in circles when we finally made it to the top, "What took you so long?"
C&O Canal Tow Path.MB1
Oct 7, 2002 7:53 AM
I like to take the tow path coming back into town to miss some of the traffic in the burbs. Plus it sure is pretty this time of the year. Another bonus-it was flat (one of the riders with an altimeter reported that we did about 7,500 feet of climbing).
One of my favorite rides when I lived in Gaithersburb...Lon Norder
Oct 7, 2002 10:09 AM
actually it was a combined ride/hike, was to ride to Swain's Lock or Five Penny(?)Lock, ride down the tow path towards Great Falls Park, hike the Billy Goat Trail, and then ride back. The Billy Goat Trail is more of an obstacle course than a trail - lots of fun.

Nice pics and ride report. I wish I'd known about you guys when I lived back there ('89 to '93).
Pennyfield Lock. nmMB1
Oct 7, 2002 10:11 AM
Another rider.MB1
Oct 7, 2002 7:56 AM
We exited the C&O Canal at Great Falls where we met up with this rider. They were pretty cool.
Why we ride.MB1
Oct 7, 2002 8:00 AM
Miss M picked one of her favorite Italian Restaurants for dinner. I was a little concerned that some of the group would be a little put out over how hard the ride was but everyone seemed to love the ride-and dinner too.

We sat around drinking and swapping stories about the days ride for quite a while. The last comment, "It is going to be an annual ride, isn't it?"
Looks like a great time.Len J
Oct 7, 2002 10:15 AM
Sorry I missed it. Next year I'll try to stay healthy enough to ride.

Was thinking about renaming it the "LenJ Memorial 200K"MB1
Oct 7, 2002 10:40 AM
You rode a good bit of the ride with us-just none of the dirt and none of the steepest hills.

Miss M wished you could make it. Get well soon.
Memorial, HUH?Len J
Oct 7, 2002 12:59 PM
I don't think I'll be this uncomfortable when I'm dead!

I am supposed to be able to get back on the bike around Thanksgiving, we'll see.

Thanks for the thoughts.

very nice, and...JS Haiku Shop
Oct 7, 2002 8:14 AM
thanks for the link, also. very nice site:

Carol does a good job with the site.MB1
Oct 7, 2002 8:38 AM
Some of the ride reports are amazing-where does she come up with this stuff?

Check back on Wednesday, she will have expanded the ride report with more pix and obscure refrences to odd things.
Hi, I was there....Aline
Oct 7, 2002 9:35 AM
Thanks MB1 for inviting the Potomac Pedalers to participate in your ride too. I was that lone PPTCer I think, you know, the ones you say do "too short" (but fast) PPTC rides that have to be driven to". I got tempted to try this one spur-of-the-moment looking at the newsletter just to see how I would like it. It was my first ride further than a century. Long and slow sure is hard in a different way than short and fast. Not sure which one I like better. The route was beautifully planned and I will save the cue sheet and map as the absolute best low-traffic way to ride out of town. Someone told me to look for a internet write-up of the ride so I did. Imagine my surprise to find my picture on the internet! (it's OK, I don't mind. is my riding position odd? to me it looks a bit off. I'm sort of a beginner after riding only a bit more than a year, so, any comments, anyone?)

Yes I was the wimp who walked up steep, dirt, and gravel-covered hills. Someday if I decide to get low gears and un-fragile dirt-worthy tires I'll try to ride up them like you all do. The main reason I hesitate to ride with the Randonneurs again is that I don't have enough experience to be totally self-sufficient (mechanically, and psychologically) alone on long rides like they are - and people didn't really commit to staying together. I didn't realize you two were leaving the rest stop permanently when you did, if I'd known, I would have tagged along if that had been OK with you. As it turned out I waited for Chuck and Christa to finish lunch and then stayed with them a while, only to split up when my derailleur broke on a big hill and I had to take the wimpy dirt-avoiding route (still hilly though) with no workable low gears left. That was hard. I'm sorry I missed the dinner too - I looked for everyone but must have gotten the time or place wrong because no one was there. Oh well.

I didn't feel as tired as I thought I would have been considering that was the furthest I've ever rode in a day. But then Sunday I rode with my normal group (or tried to) and got dropped twice! So I guess I was pretty worn out. But I had a good time. Thanks for planning the ride and inviting people to it, again!
Don't be fooled, you weren't the only one that walked.MB1
Oct 7, 2002 9:50 AM
And weren't those climbs steep?

Check with the DC century ride website mentioned a couple of times in this report-they have another report (you are mentioned, you impressed them with your strength and by the determined way you kept on riding after your derailleur broke). Trust me, you fit right in with the group. Sorry you missed dinner.

If you talk to Rudy, Carol or some of the other riders at the start of a ride you can always find someone who will stay with you for the whole ride. I always stay with Miss M and she just won't stop or wait (or speed up much).

As far as your position on the bike, yes it looks to me like you could a different stem (you ride with your arms locked, it is better to have slightly bent arms to absorb some of the road shock).

Stick around this website and you will pick up all sorts of advice about positioning.
If that's you in the 5th picture, relax your elbows. (nm)NJRoad
Oct 7, 2002 10:36 AM