We’re setting the clocks forward tonight and the weather forecast for tomorrow and the next week is fantastic. I have therefore officially declared today to be the last day of winter. To commemorate the event, I set off for Fauquier County in the hopes of finding a route connecting Catlett to Nokesville without using the very busy Route 28.
After last weekend’s ride in DC and Thursday’s ride on the congested W&OD Trail, it was a joy to be out amongst the livestock. The 40 degree temperature and a stiff headwind were less enjoyable, but the sun was shining and I knew this was the end of Winter. “Do your worst!” I said to no one in particular, and fortunately no one heard me. That would have been embarrassing.
After 23 miles, I pedaled through the town of Catlett (population: 296) and crossed the infamous Route 28. This is a major road which connects many of the southerly routes I like to take with Nokesville. I was hoping to find a bypass to avoid cars traveling at 60 mph on a road with no shoulder and the map indicated Bruwell Road should suffice.
Bruwell Road did quite well. It was lined with farms and almost no traffic to speak of. A border collie gave me a pleasant chase (Fun Fact: border collies can run 17 mph over brief stretches) and the ride was enjoyable. At least it was nice until the asphalt gave way to yet another dirt/gravel road.
Fortunately, this stretch was only about 1/2 mile long. I apologized in advance to my tires and they came through brilliantly for me. After that, it was a simple matter of turning my back to the wind and sailing home to complete a 50-mile circuit.
Good bye, Winter of 2011-2012. You were exceptionally mild with almost no snow. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity.