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Richmond Roundabout-Ride Report.(17 posts)

Richmond Roundabout-Ride Report.MB1
Apr 7, 2003 7:48 AM
Last year one of the local Randonneurs laid out a 175 circle route around Richmond that we planned to use as our last prep ride before the riding season heats up in a couple of weeks. Miss M and I were hoping to stretch it out to a 300Kif the weather cooperated-a big if.

Friday afternoon Miss M and I drove 90 miles south to Ashland Virginia and Saturday morning we met the usual suspects outside our hotel at 5am. We were on the road by 5:30.
I see that.MB1
Apr 7, 2003 7:52 AM
This is a bunch of experienced riders. No way is a driver going to miss these folks in the dark. That is Miss M glowing as usual on the far right.
Looks like one usual suspect did the 508 !PeterRider
Apr 7, 2003 9:43 AM
So much for a nice sunrise.MB1
Apr 7, 2003 7:54 AM
The sun didn't really rise, everything just gradually got lighter. It was overcast and foggy in the morning with a fairly large storm front forecast for the afternoon and clearing sky's by the evening. The temperature swing for the day was going to be 30-35 degrees so we were dressed in several light layers. For the first time in months it might actually get up to 80 degrees-after the winter we have been through that is going to feel really warm.

We were carrying rain gear in addition to all the usual things we would need for an unsupported 300K.
Good Company.MB1
Apr 7, 2003 7:57 AM
About an hour into it there was a local who knew about the ride waiting along the side of the road for our group to come along. As we passed by he hopped on and was great company for the next 20 miles or so. He lived in the area all his life and had a cool Southern Accent and a fine sense of humor-he kept us entertained with all sorts of stories and jokes until he turned back (he had to get his potatoes planted before the storms blew in).

Check out the sweet Surley he is riding.
nice surly. looks like a way small frame size! nmJS Haiku Shop
Apr 7, 2003 8:32 AM
Chickahominy, Goochland and Skinquarter Creek.MB1
Apr 7, 2003 8:00 AM
As the ride went on we crossed river after river. We would find ourselves flying down one side of a gully and crawling back up the other-for a fairly flat ride we sure climbed a lot.

Most of the rivers are fairly well known from the Civil War battles named for them-we rode through battlefields and passed by battle markers all day long. BTW Scot, we passed right by one of the 3 Petersburg National Battlefields but the one with the "Big Hole" was a 20 mile roundtrip out of our way (I'll get there with my camera some day).

As I recall this is the Chickahominy River, we also crossed the James River (entering Goochland County), Appomattox River, Skinquarter Creek and lots of others (love those crazy names).
Up and over.MB1
Apr 7, 2003 8:04 AM
Most of the roads we were on were quiet and rural but on a ride like this sometimes there was no option but to be on a busy road for a while.

Here we are crossing the James River (for the first time) on the Benjamin Harrison Memorial Bridge. The center span is a draw bridge and it was pretty spooky looking down through the metal grid to the river a hundred feet below. We zipped right through there with fortunately very light traffic.
Up and over.txcross
Apr 7, 2003 11:30 AM
I haven't seen that bridge in years!!!! I grew up about 5 miles from there. You just brought back some great childhood memories going over that bridge on the way to Williamsburg and Jamestown.

Actually, I also remember taking a ferry across the James when the original bridge was hit by a boat.

Thanks for posting the pic.
Oh, oh.MB1
Apr 7, 2003 8:07 AM
Now you may have noticed that in the previous photos that the sky had gotten gradually clearer and that Miss M had taken her jacket and vest off. It had really warmed up through the morning then right around noon the sky got ominously dark, temps dropped and the winds started really picking up (swirling around us and blowing dust and leaves big time).

Time to break out the rain gear.
Spring MixMB1
Apr 7, 2003 8:10 AM
For about and hour we rode into a nasty wind with occasional rain showers and a few drops of hail. We were going north and the storm was coming south.
The Door into Summer.MB1
Apr 7, 2003 8:14 AM
After we cleared the storm it was like we were on another planet. The sky cleared up, the sun was shining and birds were chirping. It was glorious and best of all, can you say "Tailwind?"

We sure could, for 3 or 4 hours we had the nicest tailwind blowing us northwards along beautiful empty roads in summer-like conditions. By the end of the day I had taken all my layers off and was riding in a thin short sleeve jersey and shorts.
A nice treat.MB1
Apr 7, 2003 8:18 AM
There was a 40 mile section on the route where there were no stores and we were getting low on water. As we crossed another river we noticed a sign on the side of the road "Deli & Sandwiches." We took a break, enjoyed some ice cold water and a snack while sitting outside in the nice warm sunshine-about the first time this year we were able to do that.
Ride all day, ride a little longer.MB1
Apr 7, 2003 8:22 AM
There is very little that we like more than to ride all day and still be going strong as the shadows start to lengthen in the evening. We were feeling good and even the headwinds as we made the turn for home were no problem.
Good Night Miss M.MB1
Apr 7, 2003 8:26 AM
I shot this silhouette of Miss M (you know, I think I like her) against the setting sun a few minutes from the end of the ride.

Oh, we just may be going to have a very good year.
interesting: FC508 and Cal Triple Crown jerseys on VA ride nmJS Haiku Shop
Apr 7, 2003 8:37 AM
There were some strong folks out on Saturday.MB1
Apr 7, 2003 8:45 AM
Keith who had done RAAM several times blew by us after starting late (he of course finished early). A lot of the local Randonneurs have done Paris-Brest-Paris and such.

It is a pretty amazing group of riders.