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24 Hours & 186 Miles without even a Century. Ride Report(44 posts)

24 Hours & 186 Miles without even a Century. Ride ReportMB1
Apr 21, 2003 9:20 AM
Miss M was going to do an all woman's Fleche (a 240 mile 24 hour randonneur ride) this weekend so I was on my own.

What I hoped and planned to do was ride a Double Century on the C&O Canal tow-path. I really love riding on the tow-path, the views of the canal and river never cease to please me and I think the surface is fine. I set up my Gunnar Street Dog with a rear rack and Avocet 38 cross tires but to run the tires I had to take the fenders off. On Tuesday I took a test ride on the dry tow-path and held 15-16mph without a problem so I figured a Double Century was going to be very doable if the weather held.

The weather didn't hold, it started raining Friday night and when I woke about 3:30am Saturday Morning it was still raining. Rats.I hung around the house until 5:30 or so and set off to see what I would see.

Georgetown sure was quiet at 6 am on a rainy Saturday.
Key Bridge and the Potomac River in the rain.MB1
Apr 17, 2003 9:50 AM
Actually it was more of a drizzle than a rain but still it was wet. One good thing was that considering how many miles I ended up riding and the popularity of the trails I was going to be on I hardly saw anyone else out all day (and night).

I love the view of the Potomac and the Key Bridge and as often as we go by there is always something new to see. Today it was the reflections on the river and the water on the path.
Are mud baths good for the complexion?MB1
Apr 21, 2003 9:26 AM
If so I was in for a real treat on Saturday. The conditions on the tow-path slowly deteriorated as I got farther from town with the mud building up and the puddles getting bigger. Then it started raining harder-a nice cold rain. There was so much rolling resistance riding in the mud that at least I had no problems staying warm (I was wondering how Miss M and the ladies were doing-more on that later).

Sure was pretty though.
kickstand? nmJS Haiku Shop
Apr 21, 2003 11:06 AM
Big ol' stick wedged between the tire & frame.MB1
Apr 21, 2003 11:22 AM
"tennessee kickstand" LOL! nmJS Haiku Shop
Apr 21, 2003 11:28 AM
I was in Maryland at the time. nmMB1
Apr 21, 2003 11:31 AM
as i suspected: TN technology works all over the country! nmJS Haiku Shop
Apr 21, 2003 11:33 AM
I bail at Whites Ferry.MB1
Apr 21, 2003 9:30 AM
It didn't take long before I figured that riding on the tow-path was just not going to work today. Still I was really enjoying myself and feeling great-time to come up with a plan "B".

At mile 35 there is a ferry across the Potomac. I rinsed my bike, shoes and clothes in the river to get as much mud off as I could and took the ferry over to Virginia and the W&OD trail. Guess I'll see how Miss M is doing.
where's the scuba gear? :-) nmDougSloan
Apr 21, 2003 9:39 AM
The W&OD Trail.MB1
Apr 21, 2003 9:33 AM
On a normal spring Saturday the trails around here are packed. On a rainy day like this there was hardly a soul out. It was a nice easy ride home.
The W&OD Trail.333928ien
Apr 22, 2003 3:54 AM
It must have been rough getting from White's Ferry to W&OD Trail in the rain w/poor visibility. I understand there are lots of high speed traffic there.
15 is much wider now-no problem at all.MB1
Apr 22, 2003 4:05 AM
VDOT improved the intersection at Whites Ferry Road & 15 with a traffic light and a nice wide shoulder all the way to the turnoff to Business 15 that takes cyclists to Leesburg and the W&OD.

It has changed what used to be an uncomfortable section into a nice safe ride.
Mile 95 with 1 mile to go.MB1
Apr 21, 2003 9:36 AM
By the time I crossed Key Bridge back into Georgetown the sun had come out and so had the hordes in their dino burners. Even the bike path was starting to get crowded.
It is 9 p.m., mom do you know where your kids are?MB1
Apr 21, 2003 9:40 AM
If they are in Washington D.C. on a Saturday night they are likely sitting in traffic in Georgetown.

I had managed to track down Miss M, when I talked to her the team was running behind schedule. Over the last few weeks Miss M had asked me several times to meet the team somewhere on their route from Lexington to D.C. Since my ride was a wash I figured to ride on out and meet them coming in on the W&OD trail.

They had started at 6am Saturday and had to be at the Key Bridge at 6am Sunday. When I got home after aborting my dirt ride I cleaned the bike, washed my clothes, ate and took a short nap.

At 9 pm I headed out for more adventure.
I’ve always liked riding late at night.MB1
Apr 21, 2003 9:44 AM
There is just something special about it that I enjoy. Everything seems cleaner, the roads are empty and still. It is a bit spooky and it is hard to tell how fast you are actually riding but the miles seem to just roll by.

I've never managed to take a picture of how nice it is, this is the Custis trail heading out of town.
love itstinkfoot247
Apr 22, 2003 3:27 AM
Riding at night is great. tranquil. sigh.
night riding in traffic can be very dangerous333928ien
Apr 22, 2003 4:25 AM
Since you live in the area, you may have read the news a few years back about a young female cyclist who was killed by a drunk driver on Rockville Pike. It appeared that she suffered from anxiety attacks and would go out riding in the middle of the night during an attack. The newspaper accounts went into gory details about how she came in through the windshield and the drunk drove for a few miles with her in the car, then disposed the body under some bushes on the grounds of NIH.

Whenever someone mentions riding at night, I think about this story. I avoid riding at night for safety reasons.
It is rare to see a car on the MUTs around here.MB1
Apr 22, 2003 4:54 AM
We commute so we ride at night a lot and haven taken steps to be very safe. It is likely that we are more visiable at night with all our lights and reflectors than we are during the day.

None the less it is true that riding at night can be dangerous. I am always amazed at the cyclists we see riding at night without lights and/or reflectors. We keep blinkies, reflectors and a small headlight on our bikes year round so if we are ever running late we will still be lit up.

Darwinism at work.
Smiths Switch Station.MB1
Apr 21, 2003 9:49 AM
I was riding well and feeling good after 27 miles when I stopped at Smiths Switch Station on the W&OD to eat a snack and fill a water bottle. The only lights I had seen for miles were the vending machines at the rest stop.

After being cold all morning it was odd to be warm and taking clothes off at 11 pm. I had only come across one other rider since I started and doesn't it figure that he/she wasn't even running lights.
I meet the ladies.MB1
Apr 21, 2003 9:54 AM
After about 45 miles of riding alone in the dark it was good to finally see three brightly lit riders coming at me on the trail. Yup, it was Miss M and the ladies.

Now I had figured that from Miss M's report of how their ride was going that it was to be another 10-15 miles before I saw them. Something must have happened-and it had.

The way I got the story as we rode in together was that they had rain and wind for the first few hours and were running way behind. One of the riders got sick and had to drop out putting the team even further behind schedule.

When their weather finally cleared up Miss M got to the front and stayed there for a few hours till they were back on and slightly ahead of schedule. (I've seen her do that before and I believe it now-a few years ago she towed Humma and I for about 95 miles without even breaking a sweat (after crashing hard the week before)).

If you look closely you can see all three of them on the trail somewhere near Leesburg.
Towed us 95 miles with a bandaged knee ...Humma Hah
Apr 21, 2003 10:16 AM
... with a world-class case of week-old gravel rash, before peeling off for a little REAL exercise.

That poor knee must have been about ready to set up solid at my slow pace.

I need to see if I can keep up with you two on the Paramount.
The glamour of long distance rides.MB1
Apr 21, 2003 9:58 AM
The French make the rules for Randonneuring. I don't think much of rules for riding and after seeing what the ladies went through my feelings were reinforced.

The ladies got to their last check at a 7/11 with 40 minutes to spare. Because of the rules they had to stay at their last control untill 4am so we had time to kill.

What to do at a 7/11 at 3 in the morning after riding 220 miles?

"I know, lets take a nap!"
Fleche rules revisions...Dale Brigham
Apr 21, 2003 10:58 AM
...One more reason to invade France! (Just kidding.)

Seriously, RUSA has this year issued a re-interpretation of the Fleche Velocio rules, which now stipulate that breaks in the ride cannot exceed two (2) hours. That means no real sleeping break in the 24 hour period. From what I hear, this ruling came down from the Audux Club Parisien, the organization that sanctions the Fleche awards.

I guess this ruling was made to prevent pansies like me from riding all but the last 40 km or so as quickly as possible, bedding down in a nice, dry motel room, and then doing the remaining distance in the last two hours before the 24 hours expired (that was what I and the rest of my team did a few years ago). Now, the new rules make that impossible.

In protest of this nefarious and capricious ruling, when in France in August for PBP, I intend to personally empty several bottles of their best vin rouge into my crass American gullet. Take that, Pierre!

Make up our own rules, call it a Freedom Ride ...Humma Hah
Apr 21, 2003 11:08 AM
... with graduations instead of brevets?

Honestly, if brevets didn't have tradition, what would they have except distance?
of course, i'll sayJS Haiku Shop
Apr 21, 2003 11:17 AM
the best-tasting chili-dogs in some small town of population 1200 at 7:30 PM. where else can you sample such cuisine while wearing shoes stuffed with plastic grocery bags? oh, how i love the Illinois french.
The "best vin rouge" may leave your wallet empty....PeterRider
Apr 21, 2003 11:46 AM
... when you see bottles selling for 1500$ you may hesitate. But if it's more reasonably priced (and if I survive to next week's 600km brevet), I'm up for drinking some with you !

OK, I'll have the rotgut red (the Euro is killing the Dollar!).Dale Brigham
Apr 21, 2003 12:02 PM
BTW, Pierre, I did not mean the "Take that, Pierre!" as a slur pointed towards you. Just meant it as a lighthearted jest to all the French, for whom I have great affection. Not that I have (or don't have) affection for you, Pierre...

I'd better stop before I cause an international incident.

Bonne route pendant votre brevet de 600 kilomètres!

Good for me that the euro is high :-)PeterRider
Apr 21, 2003 12:25 PM
... gave me the occasion to transfer money from my french account and to buy a new bike (more on this one later)

Pierre (in favor of a fixed one-to-one euro/dollar)
Looks like a mob hit: "They cut him to pieces, Lou..."Dale Brigham
Apr 21, 2003 12:41 PM
"...and stuffed him into a suitcase." Seriously, nice folder/coupler bike. What is it?

here it isPeterRider
Apr 21, 2003 3:54 PM

I'll post some ride report with it soon :-)

And here is Kent Peterson with his Bike friday at PBP 1999

Do you intend to ride your Bike Friday at PBP?ms
Apr 21, 2003 5:06 PM
The owner of my LBS is encouraging me to buy a Bike Friday because I always am complaining that I cannot ride when I am away from home on business travel. How does it compare to a "normal" bike?

BTW: Did you have any success with the PBP fundraising attempt for which you solicited sample letters about a month ago?
Hopefully yes for PBP..PeterRider
Apr 21, 2003 8:49 PM
How it compares to a "normal" bike ? It's about the same. Equivalent geometry. I'm not used to steel frames, I'm not used to campy stuff, so I'm just learning about that. And I still have to do a couple centuries on it to make my own opinion. So far it climbs good, rolls good and feels good. I plan to take it everywhere everytime I travel !
It was very easy to put together (about 15 minutes), and the packaging/protections are incredible. I'll take pictures of the bike a bit later and post them here.

If you drop by LA, you're welcome to try it :-)

About the money... we didn't get any answer yet. We submitted the request 3 weeks ago now.

Bike Fridaytarwheel
Apr 22, 2003 4:40 AM
My brother has a Bike Friday, actually his second one. He takes with him on business trips all over the country. No extra charges from the airlines. Takes him about 30 minutes to assemble or pack up. It's not the sort of bike you would race on but it is great for training rides. Although I haven't ridden his bike (not my size), I have ridden with my brother a lot while on his Friday and he has no trouble rding close to his normal pace. He says it rides very comfortably. His only complaint is the headsets tend to come loose for some reason, so he always carries a spare wrench. The gearing is a little tricky to work out as it is much different than a standard bike due to the small wheels. He got a new model recently when Bike Friday had a trade-in sale.
If I'm buying, for six bucks a bottle ...Humma Hah
Apr 21, 2003 12:07 PM
... I can find some pretty decent wine, including French. Even before all the recent stink, they were not drawing particularly high prices compared to US wines.
What a difference a day makesMB1
Apr 21, 2003 10:02 AM
The ladies finished strong and looking good at 6 am Sunday just as the Easter sun was starting to rise. I had ridden another 91 miles before crossing the Key Bridge one last time and heading home for a well deserved nap.

Looks like it is going to be a beautiful sunny, clear day.
so basically you were stalking the ladies? nmDougSloan
Apr 21, 2003 10:09 AM
Well that is not how I would put it but yes actually. nmMB1
Apr 21, 2003 10:15 AM
but MB1, you don't look like a stalker...JS Haiku Shop
Apr 21, 2003 11:14 AM
ok, maybe i should qualify that statement.

at least you weren't sporting a kilt.
"Yes Officer, He was in Black & Blue Body tights,.....Scot_Gore
Apr 21, 2003 11:20 AM
.....walked like a duck, and wore a ski mask with the face part cut out.

Officer: "Lady, that could be anyone !!!!!"
What exactly is the point of ...Humma Hah
Apr 21, 2003 12:09 PM
... meeting up with a bunch of chicks if your wife is one of 'em?

I've been stuck with the role of lone husband at a "Girls Night Out", and a solo century is definitely more fun.
They weren't very chatty at 1am after riding 200 miles.MB1
Apr 22, 2003 4:09 AM
After riding 140+ solo miles I was happy to be around other riders and reassured to see how well they were riding.
Nice report, thanks!noveread
Apr 21, 2003 10:38 AM
See you had some great weather this weekend too? Gotta love the weather so far this year. Sheesh...

Great pictures (like always).PeterRider
Apr 21, 2003 11:50 AM