A New Departure Point, MapMyRide, and Lost Cyclists

I tried something new today.  I wanted to head further west than my legs would comfortably take me, so I simply shifted my starting point.  Rather than begin in my driveway, I loaded the bike onto the truck rack and drove six miles to a parking lot on Independent Hill and set out toward Lake Brittle.

Hay Bales on Fitzwater Road, on the way to Lake Brittle

Lake Brittle is a man-made lake near Warrenton.  I was hoping to catch some nice views of the lake and pass some lovely pics to you, Dear Reader.  Sadly, the roads offered only an occasional glimpse of the lake through forests and back yards.  After circumnavigating the lake, I gave up my search for a quality picture and started my return journey.

It was at this point that I became lost.

Once again, I was undone by MapMyRide.  This program’s map data confidently informed me that Lake Drive would get me back on the route I came in on.  Apparently, the cartographer at MapMyRide didn’t get the word that a massive new housing development has shot up in this area and Lake Drive is now cut in half.  I wandered suburbia for several minutes before I came across a nice lady walking her dog, who told me how to find my way out of the maze I was in.  I am in her debt as there was no telling how much longer it would have taken me!

Almost ready for harvesting

I was not the only lost cyclist on the roads of Fauquier County today.  On my way back, I came across a female cyclist who was standing next to her bike at a crossroads.  She had a brand new carbon-framed Felt and was quite tired.  She was looking for Alden Road, a place I have never heard of.  After a few minutes of questioning, I was able to figure out she wanted to find ADEN Road, which was only three miles away.  I asked her if she would like me to ride with her and she declined.  She then sat on the road in the shade and said she would be on her way shortly.  This troubled me, but it also occurred to me that a lost woman on a lonely country road may not like the company of an unknown man (no matter how witty he may be).  She wasn’t exhibiting signs of heat stroke and she had plenty of fluids, so I bid her good day and set off.

About a mile down the road, I came across another female cyclist and learned she was looking for the first one.  I told her where she was and she sped off in that direction.  That made me feel much better.

As I arrived at my truck, the temperature was approaching 90 degrees.  The sun had stayed behind clouds for most of the ride and it was much more tolerable than yesterday’s jaunt in 100+ temps.  After computing my mileage totals for the year, I see that I am one mile short of 2,000.  Bummer!

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14 thoughts on “A New Departure Point, MapMyRide, and Lost Cyclists

  1. I got lost in a housing estate once, being too clever and trying to find a short-cut but failing dismally. I found the only thing is to ride around randomly until you see another cyclist, then follow him!

    I think if I’d met a tired woman with a nice Felt road bike, I might have snatched it and ridden off. I would have returned it, in time, obviously! 🙂

    • Well, of course you would have returned it, but only after you had a chance to ride a few hundred miles to see if it was working properly. I forgot to mention it had nifty aerobars on it, so perhaps it would have taken a little bit longer!

    • Around here, they design these things so car drivers are discouraged from using them as short cuts. The result is dozens of meandering streets with only one or two ways out. There’s no telling if you’re getting closer to the exit. You have to know your way or you’ll just wander forever.

  2. Not that many suburbs here, but when I do hit them I am always crossing my fingers that the road I chose actually goes someplace. Housing developments are just endless loops that always seem to end where you started.

    I envy you with that truck, Steve. Although it’s certainly less green, I’d love to have some wheels to get me to a further-out starting point sometimes. Good luck with that last mile, by the way!

  3. A sad indictment of the world we live in now. Any stranger offering help is now looked on with suspicion. It wasn’t like that when I was a kid. Or was it?

    Did you go around the block for 1 mile when you spotted the 1999?

    • Welcome to America in the 21st Century,Clive. 99.99% of us are friendly and honest folk, but because 0.01% of us are stone cold criminals, we tend to be on our guard.

  4. What? You’re within one mile of 2k and you didn’t ride around the block to finish it off?

    My wife makes me do that if we’re even close to a 50 mile ride. She seems to have an aversion to stopping on anything but an even number!

  5. I’ve ridden with strangers on more than one occasion with no ill affect. Hmm. You must look shifty. 😉
    I have gotten lost too. I have this bad habit of saying, “Hey. Ket’s see what’s down this road.”

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