Manassas Airport

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.

Observation Road

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.

Broad Run 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.

The Terminal

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.

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12 thoughts on “Manassas Airport

  1. I am never keen on starting out on a ride in the rain, in fact I seldom do (change that seldom for never!). But on the occasion it has started to rain while I am out I haven’t really minded at all and think to myself this riding in the rain isnt so bad and I should do it more often, but i dont seem to have done so. But once you are already warm and it rains its OK so long as you keep moving and warm, and you have the thought of stepping out of the wet clothes and into the welcoming warm bath/shower at the end. Thats my theory anyway, but seldom practised.. 🙂

    • I’ve started a ride in the rain only once – the Vasaloppet Ride in March. Since it was an organized event, I was going to complete it as scheduled. Otherwise, I would have stayed indoors. I’ve been caught in the rain a few times and you’re right, it’s really not that bad. I guess the saying is true: both the rider and bicycle are water proof.

  2. I think trains are pretty cool, myself. I grew up in a house next to train tracks and will always have a soft spot for them.

    Also, mentioning your cycling bibs may obligate you to model them.

    • I’d like to think we took the idea from the Brits’ double-decker buses. Now, there’s an item where the English version is larger than the Yankee’s!

  3. If I never rode in the rain round here in a normal year, I would have to miss a lot of riding. The last two months have made us forget what rain looks like.

    • Your pictures remind me of the summer I arrived in England. It was 1995 and the country was in the midst of one of the biggest heat waves on record. I was fascinated at the site of water being trucked from France to Scotland. Things soon returned to normal, however, and the rest of my three years were characterized by attempts to stay dry.

  4. Just discovered your blog and know I’m going to enjoy catching up with the older posts and staying tuned in. One of my first long rides was on the W&OD trail when I was interning in DC during the summer of 1994. Some great riding down there and your blog will let me experience it vicariously.

    • Thanks for stopping by! I am nowhere near as accomplished as you are, but hopefully my misadventures remind you of a few things you experienced in NoVA! 🙂

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