I headed out today in some of the best weather of the young year. I was looking to do some LSD (Long Slow Distance, of course) so I chose to travel a 51 mile course which included Aquia Road on the far eastern edge of Fauquier County. I had not traveled this road yet and was looking for some adventure and a longer distance to get my mileage up a tick.
It was great riding in 60 degree sunshine. Some of the cyclists I passed were wearing shorts. I stuck with my leggings, but one day soon I believe I will be ready to make the leap and expose some of my legs. That will be a glorious day, at least for me if not for passersby. I traveled the 23 miles to Aquia Road without event and spied an interesting sign (pictured at right) which identified the road I was traveling as U.S. Bike Route 1. This route traverses the entire Eastern Seaboard from Maine to Florida. I’ve always known that this portion of the county was Route 1, but I’ve never seen anything identifying it as such. Until now. Truth be told, it was a rather inauspicious marker. I can’t imagine how any cyclist could find himself in this part of the state hoping to find Bike Route 1 and not know where it is. “Oh my, where on Earth is Bike Route 1? I’m out in the middle of Nowhere, next to the Quantico Marine Corps reservation and I cannot find where I want to go. Oh wait – there’s a sign. Thank goodness!”
The road itself is on the edge of encroaching suburbia and provides an interesting juxtaposition of newly-built “McMansions,” cow pastures, and junk yards. I toyed with posting a pic of a forest that had been cleared for a subdivision, but decided to share this pic with you instead. Enjoy.
I’m looking forward to Spring. Photos for the past three months have featured snow, ice, and/or the color brown.
Oddly enough, when I reached the end of Aquia Road, there were no markers telling me whether to turn left or right on Bristersburg Road to stay on Bike Route 1. I guess any travelers must once again resort to their map packs to stay on course. Myself, I knew where I was heading and that was the Handymart on Courthouse Road. I had stopped there in November during my one and only paceline ride and was hoping to see some of the same cycling activity I saw that day. Several different groups of cyclists wandered into the store during my brief stop that day. I was looking forward to some casual conversation during that unique cycling ritual: the Rest Stop.
Sadly, I found the Handymart free of other cyclists. I purchased a Gatorade and a $1 hot dog (which tasted like it cost $1) and sat alone on a picnic bench outside the store. After a few minutes, I had finished my meal and shoved off for home. I returned in fine form but sobered by the prospect that next week’s Vasaloppet ride will be about eight miles longer in colder and rainier weather and I’ll be riding Old Ironsides, not the Trek. Something tells me my average moving speed will not exceed 16 mph like it did today.