Some LSD

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. 

US Bike Route 1 in all its glory

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. 

The Trek at rest at the Handymart

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.

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8 thoughts on “Some LSD

  1. U.S. Bicycle Route 1 is very poorly documented. It’s being worked on. The map that you can get through VDOT is like a sketch! It doesn’t list road names at all, so is very useless to cyclists. I wanted to be a part of helping to map/document is, as I travel up to DC, but things haven’t yet been resolved for me to do that.
    Nice ride Steve. 50 is tough this time of year. If it’s really going to be wet and cold, I may re-think whether that’s what I want to do with my few remaining days at home.

    • I’ve seen that VDOT map. You know, for something with an important-sounding name, U.S. Bike Route 1 probably should be better documented. Hopefully, you’ll be cleared to help in that effort. As for Vasa, I can understand where you’re coming from. I suspect you’ll have your fair share of inclement weather cycling in the months ahead. Enjoy some quality time at home! 🙂

  2. I love your Garmin output. It certainly must encourage you to work hard when you you can see the results so clearly. It is interesting that it lets you have more descent than ascent in a loop ride though.

    We are only dreaming of 60º over here for as month or two yet.

    • Yes, my Garmin would have you believe I finished my ride 17 feet lower than where I started. I finished on a slight uphill road and since I did not stop at precisely the same place, this can account for some of the difference. The rest is simply a system error, which is annoying but tolerable, given the error is only about 10 feet for 1,600 feet climbed.

      You’re absolutely correct on your larger point. The Garmin is a great motivator and source of amusement while riding. It displays all sorts of data during the ride which I use to monitor my progress or idly entertain myself. The Garmin Connect website is a fantastic record of all my rides. My Garmin is the Edge 300. It is a bit pricey for a cheapskate like myself, but I really enjoy it and it has been extremely dependable for me.

  3. great ride Steve, I see your ride data and I thing the auto-lap function is quite useful. I had yesterday a 18mi ride, 41F (in ..shorts) and I can assure you my toes were dead frozen by the end of the ride.

    • 41F in shorts requires a better man than I! The auto-lap function is neat and can be adjusted to any desired interval. I’ve left it on the default setting of five miles. It gives me a friendly beep at each interval to let me know my split time – just another way to fill my time while in the saddle.

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