The Last Great Day Of Summer?

As the calendar moves deeper into October, there are fewer Summer-like days.  Today, Summer made a mid-Autumn appearance with a cloudless sky, low humidity, gentle breezes, and a temperature hovering around 80 degrees.  We may not get many more days like today for some time and I took advantage of it.

I tried to take some pics of the bike from different angles while I was riding.  Here are some of the better ones:

This is the bike path on Rte 234.  Hard to believe you can hit someone on this path at night while using a light, but I’ve almost done it twice!  Walkers, please note that black jackets and jeans are a bad combination at night.

I tried to get creative with a shadow pic.

Self-portraits while mounted (and clipped in) are a bit challenging.  I don’t like my expression, but I thought the image of my arm, the road, and my shadow in my sunglasses was pretty cool.

It took more than a few shots to get this angle lined up properly!

I took these pics over the first seven miles of the ride.  After passing the Lake Jackson Dam on Rte 234, I turned onto the Prince William Parkway and made my way over to Yates Ford Road.  On my way, I ate my first Power Bar and was very pleased.  It is more moist than my Clif Bars and required far less water to wash it down.  I have no idea which has more nutritional value.  I guess I should read the label and figure that out!

After a short while on Yates Ford Road, I turned onto Davis Ford Road and took full advantage of the big descent leading down to the Occoquan River.  I managed to break the 40 mph barrier – barely.  I hit 40.2 mph but I believe I could have squeezed 2-3 more mph out of it had I not been so worried about the car that was following me.  Traveling 40 mph on  a bike in traffic definitely keeps you focused!

A couple of miles later, I came to the Bacon Race Cemetery.  Since there were historical markers, I had no choice but to stop and take some pics.

Bacon Race Church was the first Baptist Church built in Prince William County (c. 1774).  Two more churches were built on this site, the most recent one collapsing in rather ominous fashion on Christmas Eve, 1987.     Below are all the details:

During the Civil War, a South Carolina brigade under the command of Colonel Wade Hampton used the church for its winter headquarters.   Yet another marker for a Confederate happening.  It’s quite remarkable that these historical markers dot the landscape but I have yet to find one which commemorates some aspect of Union activity.  This is especially odd as the area was under Federal control for most of the war.  I can’t imagine why this oversight has occurred!

The church is gone but the cemetery remains.  I hopped off my bike for a moment to take a drink and snap this picture:

The rest of my ride was uneventful.  The horses were out as I passed the farm on Hoadly road and I had a pleasant chat with a 20-something Burger King manager who was pedaling to work on his Schwinn.  He bikes 10 miles to work each way, five days a week.  Not bad!  I pulled into the drive and tried to remember the feeling of cycling on a hot day.  I don’t think I’ll have many more of those for the next six months!

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8 thoughts on “The Last Great Day Of Summer?

  1. Nice idea, shooting self and bike, while riding. You need some sort of mount that will let you set the timer and shoot you crankin’ it out;0)
    Your self portrait is good.

    • My camera has a 10 second timer on it, but I’m afraid that’s not nearly enough for me to run to my bike, clip in, and get up to speed for the super cool action shot! 🙂

  2. I’ve never been able to take a self-portrait while riding that’s worth keeping. As a Civil War buff myself, I’m jealous of the area you get to ride in. I’d also be stopping at every historical marker.

    • It is a great locale for history. I’ve pedaled through the Manassas and Fredericksburg battlefields and The Wilderness is on my short list. I also hope to do the Civil War Century next September, which takes you through Gettysburg, Antietam, and South Mountain. However, that one has 6,000 feet of climbing and I’ll need to be on my game if I decide to take it on.

    • The roads are definitely wider than in England, Brian, but don’t let my idyllic shots fool you as to the traffic density. I share the county roads with 380,000 inhabitants and try to choose my routes to avoid as many of them as possible. Even so, I managed to have a car on my rear wheel as I plummeted downhill at 40 mph. That was a little distressing for me!

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