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30 degrees, 40mph winds. Time for rollers? NOT!(34 posts)

30 degrees, 40mph winds. Time for rollers? NOT!MB1
Nov 30, 2003 6:33 PM
Friday it rained cats and dogs in DC. Behind the storm Saturdays forecast called for temperatures just above freezing and 20mph west winds with gusts to 45mph.

What to do, what to do?

"I know," says Miss M. "Lets ride!"

Sounds good to me.

We drove straight west into the winds for a while.
Antietam Battlefield.MB1
Nov 30, 2003 6:36 PM
We parked just outside of the Antietam National Battlefield. The winds were blowing clouds across the sky at amazing speeds.

It was pretty cold indeed so we bundled up and headed east for home-about 80 miles away.
Don’t let the good looks fool you.MB1
Nov 30, 2003 6:40 PM
The good thing about what we were doing was that we were pretty much going to avoid the really nasty winds (not completely but mostly). The bad thing about what we were doing was that the mountains around here mostly run north south and we were riding straight east. We are going to have to cross a bunch of mountains on a cold windy day.

Straight out of the battlefield we kissed the edge of the Blue Ridge. After just a few miles of this we stopped and took a whole lot of clothes off.

Don't let this pretty picture fool you; this is right about where it started to snow. Only flurries true, but we were in and out of snow for the first 30 miles.
Nov 30, 2003 6:47 PM
We climbed South Mountain via Thompson Road. We topped out at the War Correspondents Memorial.

It was cold and windy at the top with a bit of snow in the air. We weren't about to stop to enjoy the view.
Marlu Ridge.MB1
Nov 30, 2003 6:52 PM
With the winds pushing us across the valley it was no time at all before we were climbing again.

Marlu Ridge was wide open; the winds were pushing us all over the road. Good thing there wasn't much traffic.
Nov 30, 2003 6:55 PM
Riding across the valleys we could really feel the wind. A couple of times we were cruising along at close to 30 mph without working at all.

The problem was that the wind was cutting right through us. The heat generated by climbing kept us plenty warm going up, we even unzipped a lot on the climbs. The downhills were short (and fast) enough that all we had to do was zip up and the residual heat from climbing kept us nice and warm.

We had to stop and put on some of the clothes we took off at the start of the ride.
The home stretch-sort of.MB1
Nov 30, 2003 6:58 PM
Well that wasn't a bad 85 miles at all. We got home just as the sun was setting.

Now all we have to do is ride back and get our car tomorrow.
Sunday Sunrise.MB1
Nov 30, 2003 7:02 PM
The main factor that made this whole weekend possible was the good forecast for Sunday. It was going to start out pretty cold but the winds were supposed to die down and change direction. That is not to say we didn't have a second option, if the weather sucked we would just leave our car in Antietam and pick it up next week (or the week after next, what the heck we don't drive much).

Plus the day was supposed to be sunny and warming up to the high 40's.

We left the house and cut through Georgetown University on our way to Virginia just as the sun was rising.
Sun, what sun?MB1
Nov 30, 2003 7:05 PM
The sky to the west was clear as could be. To the east were lots of clouds. We rode 30 miles on the W&OD trail before the sun broke through and started warming things up.

One nice thing about colder weather is that most folks just stay home. We pretty much had the trail to ourselves.
Miss M you dirty girl.MB1
Nov 30, 2003 7:09 PM
Miss M was feeling great and was pushing the pace pretty hard: I was having a fairly hard time keeping up with her.

We stopped for a little snack some fun and a change of pace.
Now this is more like it.MB1
Nov 30, 2003 7:12 PM
As much as we appreciate the W&OD trail (about the only way to get west out of DC on the Virginia side of the river) after a while it gets pretty boring.

We exited the trail and headed north to the Potomac River with lots of sunshine and a nice gentle tailwind.
Crossing and re-crossing the Potomac.MB1
Nov 30, 2003 7:15 PM
Keeping to a different route than Saturday we crossed the Potomac 4 times on Sunday. We started out in DC, crossed into Virginia, back into Maryland then over to West Virginia before finally getting to the car in Antietam.

Not bad, we rode through 3 states and the District of Columbia in one ride.
MB1 on rollers.NEVER!!! (nm)PEDDLFOOT
Nov 30, 2003 7:18 PM
Well, not often anyway. nmMB1
Nov 30, 2003 7:35 PM
Harpers Ferry.MB1
Nov 30, 2003 7:18 PM
We walked over a railroad trestle from Maryland into West Virginia and Harpers Ferry. Normally Harpers Ferry is full of people. I guess Thanksgiving weekend isn't a big time for visiting National Parks.

We were able to ride right up the cobblestone road without having to dodge anyone.
Winter sky.MB1
Nov 30, 2003 7:21 PM
The good thing about crossing at Harpers Ferry is that you avoid a lot of traffic. The bad thing is that there is no way out without climbing a pretty good hill.

The sky was pretty spectacular all weekend; I took this shot of Miss M on our way out of Harpers Ferry.
Ohh nice pic! Like that one! And thanks for the report! nmAsiago
Nov 30, 2003 7:31 PM
Back in Antietam.MB1
Nov 30, 2003 7:23 PM
We hit Antietam just as the sun was starting to set. We needed just a few more miles for a century so we cruised around the battlefield.

As you can see it was beautiful.
Nov 30, 2003 7:28 PM
Well that worked out pretty well. We started November with a century on the west coast and finished with a century on the east coast. We started and finished the weekend's rides at the Antietam Battlefield.

Best of all we figured out a way to get a great weekend of riding in while dodging some pretty nasty weather. We are already talking about doing it again-we liked it so much we would do it even if the weather is good.

I caught this view of the sunset over one of the monuments just before we drove home.
try this route sometimeaaroncvc
Nov 30, 2003 7:52 PM
...i did this alone few weeks ago, worked out to be a little over 100 miles, as i took a pretty ridiculous route back through arlington... probably 95 mile loop if you take a more-direct route off of the wo&d. it was zone 2, low zone 3 the entire time, except for going up sugarloaf. i think i spent 6'50" or something in the saddle including coffee/food/seeing two different sets of friends in the middle of nowhere...

it's rolling till you cross the potomac, then it's dead flat on the way back in. of course, going up sugarloaf is more than "rolling". i don't think you're more than 35 miles away from dc, at your furthest point...

start at dean and deluca, georgetown
left on m, turns into canal road
right on arizona (steep, short)
left on maccarthur
right on persimmon tree (rolling)
left on river (rolling)
right on seneca rd/route 112
left on berryville (rolling, some "steep" parts)
left on darnestown/route 28 (lots of traffic)
keep going on 28. follow the signs through dickerson.
stop at the dickerson store for food/water/etc
right on mt ephraim
climb sugarloaf
descend sugarloaf
head back out mt ephraim
left on 28
right on beallsville rd
right on whites ferry rd/route 107
eventually you get to the ferry crossing ($1 for bikes)
cross river, continue on whites ferry rd.
left on route 15.
this hits leesburg. coffee shop to warm up if you want.
left on wo&d trail... take the custis, 4 mile run, or whatever set of arlington roads you want to get back to georgetown.

alternative route for the first part, could follow the 10am route... beach dr to grovesnor/tuckerman, out tuckerman to glen... left on querry mill, right on esworthy (or left to hit river), left on seneca/112 (then you'd go right on berryville instead of left)... probably adds a few miles...

consult a map of course, as im doing this completely off of memory... but it's a nice route if you can tolerate the traffic on 28 and 15. unfortunately you spend quite a bit of time on 28, but there's a reasonable shoulder the entire time. ride sensibly to the right on rt 15, as there isn't much of a shoulder. it's only a few miles anyway.
Ride all over those roads all the time.MB1
Dec 1, 2003 6:48 PM
All of those roads are part of our regular weekend rides.
Great shot!!!.....tks for the report!...[nm]bent_spoke
Dec 1, 2003 7:09 AM
I went out on Friday to ride.....................Len J
Dec 1, 2003 11:05 AM
about three miles from home, got hit broadside with about a 50mph gust that blew me7 feet out from the shoulder into the main traffic lane. Thankfully, no cars were on that road. Decided that maybe my wife was right when she looked at me as I was leaving and gave me the universal wife look that say's "You're an idiot!". Turned around and went home (once my heartbeat recovered.

Great idea on the car & two day ride.

Nice report.

looks good....george_da_trog
Nov 30, 2003 9:01 PM
I just pulled a quick 50 miles in the rain and cold today. I'm wearing shoe covers next time. My feed were wet and cold. At one point my hands got so cold they would lock up and I found it hard to use the brakes.

Great idea, why not ride with the wind.bigrider
Dec 1, 2003 5:10 AM
That was a seriously windy day. I can't imagine trying to fight into the wind so it sounds like you used a creative way to make a perfect ride in miserable conditions. I am trying to talk a friend into commuting to work the way you did your weekend ride. The only drawback is the car stays at work half the time.
So...You DO own a car...biknben
Dec 1, 2003 6:37 AM
I sometimes wondered if you had a vehicle. I assumed you did but it had never come up. With the area that you live in and your proximity to work, I thought you might be able to do without one. I never wanted to ask for fear of sparking a anti-car, Bush, Oil, and Iraq flame war.

I too was dealing with the cold and wind on Saturday. I decided to take it off-road both Sat. and Sun. I needed a change anyway.

BTW: Is it wierd that I'm recognizing some of Ms. M's clothing? I remember those Icebike tights from years past.
re: So...You DO own a car...cyclopathic
Dec 1, 2003 9:50 AM
MB1 (and MB2 ;) own Subaru Outback station wagon, with top bike carrier rack big enough to strap on tandem. Now I don't know if it sees enough miles to keep battery charged.
According to MB1's own word, they use it...PeterRider
Dec 1, 2003 5:09 PM
... mostly when they are invited to friends' :-)

My car also doesn't see lots of miles. I fill the tank every 3-4 weeks.

We were trying to remember the last time we bought gas.MB1
Dec 1, 2003 6:52 PM
We figured it has been a couple of months. Since I started riding again in September we have barely driven at all.
so you are fair weather riders, huh?DougSloan
Dec 1, 2003 7:33 AM
Actually rode 4 hours in the 45 degree rain two weeks ago and 4 hours that began at 35 degrees and lots of wind, too. You are right, it is completely doable with proper clothing. Makes you feel toughened, too.

But, there is something to be said for jumping on the trainer in my shorts and no shirt and getting a quick hour workout in. I can get that sort of workout done before I'd even get dressed to go outside sometimes. ;-)
I admire your determinationcyclopathic
Dec 1, 2003 9:57 AM

I got up on saturday, looked outside and went back to bed. However I did ride MTB on sunday. If it keeps blowing like that you won't see me out of woods.
Ever substitute Amtrak for the car?The Walrus
Dec 1, 2003 7:10 PM
I was wondering what sort of accommodations they make in your part of the country for bikes--here on the Left Coast, the Surfliners can carry up to 3 bikes per coach, but that's only between San Diego and San Luis Obispo (although that's far enough to present some great opportunities).
We have tried the local subway.MB1
Dec 1, 2003 7:16 PM
The DC metro lets bikes on except during rush hour and a few holidays. The problem was that it only makes for a 45 mile ride or so. We like to ride 100 miles or so on weekends.
We have tried the local subway.aliensporebomb
Dec 2, 2003 4:00 AM
Wow. Amazing pictures.

Maybe you can tell us a little bit about the cold weather cycling clothes
you two wear to prevent freezing and the like.

I'm good to about 30 degrees here in the Twin Cities but once it gets
colder than that I'm reluctant.