Skies were threatening all day today and the occasional sprinkle had fallen. By 2:00 PM, my wife asked if I was going for a ride today. “I’m worried about rain,” I said. “The weather radar doesn’t look promising.”
“You should go anyway,” answered my sainted wife. “If it rains, it will be refreshing.” Right.
Having been properly shamed into action, I donned a new piece of kit – my first ever set of cycling bibs – and headed out to the Manassas Airport. I’ve pedaled past the airport many times, but I’ve never actually ridden the perimeter road. I made great time on the way out, passing through Brentsville and reaching the airport at Mile 18 at a 17 mph pace. The airport is ringed by Observation Road, an appropriate name for a route which allows people to watch the planes land and take off at the nearby runway. There wasn’t much activity at the moment, but I was surprised to see something I did not expect, namely a railroad station.
I pedaled across a vacant parking lot and discovered the terminus for the Virginia Railway Express’ Manassas Line – Broad Run Station. There were all sorts of rail cars lined up and ready for the Monday commuter traffic. I could hear the clanking of rail machinery and the occasional hiss as hydraulic pressure was released from unseen engines. It was pretty cool. I ate my Clif Bar and watched another gentleman cycle in laps around the parking lot. Then it started raining.
It was not refreshing.
I hurriedly pedaled southward, hoping to make it out of the sprinkles. I paused for a pic of the airport terminal (O’Hare has nothing to be concerned about) and quickly resumed my route. I had an option to lengthen my course by five miles and decided to pass on that. My goal was to get home before the deluge began. I am pleased to report I achieved my goal.
Despite pushing my pace (when not watching trains/airports/other cyclists), I arrived home feeling pretty good. It was only 35 miles, but I don’t normally feel this strong after a ride of that length. Once again I am forced to conclude that I may be getting in shape. The bibs worked nicely and they will be part of my outfit for next Saturday’s Cap2Cap Century ride.