The Last Day Of Winter

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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.

The major industry of Catlett, VA

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

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.

Just in case you haven't seen enough farm pictures, here is one which shows one of the more grand farms I passed today.


17 thoughts on “The Last Day Of Winter

  1. I love the way your Garmin lets you do circular rides with more downhill than uphill in them. I would like some of that. I hope summer is as good as you are expecting.

    • The Garmin is outstanding at pointing out my place on the Earth’s surface. It struggles a bit with extreme temperatures and altitude. The altitude is computed using barometric pressure, which evidently is an inexact science.

      • I notice that your Edge 500 records temps better than mine does, for sure. Today I was riding in 38 degree air, and the unit was saying it was over 60, even in the shade. Fortunately it’s one of the least important stats for me.

        Winter was sweet, but it’s good to see it go!

  2. Great ride. Absolutely enjoy the unique scenery on your bike trips. I, too, am glad no one hears me when I yell out loud at my legs at times on a particularly steep uphill. 😉 Good bye winter!!!!

    • I get around – Canberra, Tampa, London, DC, and Virginia Beach have notches on my belt. I’m hoping to add at least one more major city this year, but the plans haven’t been finalized yet!

  3. Your picture clarity is excellent. As always, I love the rural pictures and it was nice to be back in Catlett for a brief moment via your blog.

  4. Hurrah! The end of winter. Love it that you speed-tested a border collie. Our English springer spaniel used to flag at about 14mph while mountainbiking but for some reason, he was always quicker on the uphills..?!

  5. Steve – fully support the official ‘end of winter’! You get my vote for Pres any day with verdicts like that one. We’re also heading into a week of well above normal temperatures, so I’ll be back to commuting to the office once again! Wahoo!

  6. What a coincidence, I have “officially” declared Spring here as well!
    As most of my riding is urban it has been a while since I was chased by a dog. When I was a teen there was a farm dog that would always chase me as I toiled up a steep hill.

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