Category Archives: Biking

A 108 mile ride for Charity – Bike to the Beach –

Early morning, Friday July 29th, I along with approximately 350 others rode from Washington DC to Dewey Beach, Delaware for Bike to the Beach.   The Bike to the Beach is a fundraiser with donations given to Autism Speaks to aid in their tireless efforts to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders.   I thank everyone for donating to this cause on my personal fundraising page.    The fundraiser raised a total of $300,000 for this event and their New York ride that takes place annually as well.

The Ride:

We started at approximately 4:45 am and rode from Gonzaga HS to the World War II Memorial in Annapolis, MD for the first portion of the ride (33.8 miles).   A wave of riders took off, with lights shining, up North Capitol Street, pass New York Avenue, over Lincoln Road, and off to Bladensburg Road crossing the Anacostia River.    After arriving at the World War II Memorial, riders were greeted and welcomed with orange slices, drinks, and bagels with various spreads.   The bikes were placed in trucks and riders were taken across the Bay Bridge and Kent Narrows Bridge approximately 25 to 30 miles into Maryland and dropped off on Route 404.   An application of sunscreen and off we were on our way to Dewey Beach, only 73 more miles to go.

Aid stations were scattered throughout the course at approximate 10 to 15 mile intervals.  Each aid station had volunteer staff who cheered, gave ice bags, various gels, energy products, and water/gatorade/powerade to refill our water bottles.   Their also were cycling repair staff on site to fix any bike repairs needed on course (and apparently many needed this during their ride).

After 108 miles, I was ready to get off my bike and suck down any cold beverage I could get my hand on at North Beach!

I will do this ride again next year and encourage others too as well!

Tip of the day:

When riding a century, either during training, or for various charities, ride with friends!  Not only do they make great company, but you can use each other, to break the headwind, and maintain a pretty steady pace.  Ron B. and Courtney F. were my friends on this day!

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.