A Sunday Morning Ride Through the Hills of Virginia
On Sunday morning, July 17th, I had the pleasure of riding with friends Kanch A., Vicki K, and Shari S. I have ridden with these ladies before and they are strong!! In matter of fact, two of them are competing in a half ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run) later this season. On this day, we started from Shari S.’s place in Mclean VA, a home where a teenage daughter at 7 am on a Sunday morning tells you that you are talking too loud and a dog with a cone around his head (surgery on his leg) licks sunscreen off your legs.
We rode our cars out to Loudoun County High School, a common place, for riders to begin their rides off Dry Mill Road in Leesburg, VA. Our route consisted of lots of rolling hills out Route 9, portions of the W and OD trail, and country roads in Loudoun County, VA. 51 miles was our total mileage on this day. On our way back, Shari’s bike had a mechanical failure (rear derailler cable snapped) and she basically had two gears the last 15 miles on our way back to Trails End Cycling Company in Purcellville, VA. When I tell you this is difficult, this is an understatement. Shari basically could not switch gears at any point on any of the climbs on the way to the bike shop. We were averaging around 16 to 17 mph for the first part of the ride, and now we were rolling along at maybe an average of 8 to 9 mph. Good job Shari!! A quick 20 minute stop at the bike shop for a fix and we were back on our way back to the high school.
Once returning to the high school, Kanch and Shari decided to take a 50 minute run and I decided to come home, eat a quick lunch, and then meet friends to cheer on the USA as they were playing Japan for the Woman’s World Cup Finals.
Tip of the day: Take a basic bike mechanic’s class. This would be an almost impossible fix on the road, but it doesn’t hurt to have some basic bike knowledge and skills when you are out there rolling along with friends.