Old School Houses and New Personal Bests

I don’t often chat about my weeknight rides as they tend to be rather dull affairs when compared to my weekend jaunts.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

Click here for details of this historic ride

This week was an exception to that general rule.  On Thursday, I managed to break the (for me) mythical 20 mph barrier which has taunted me for exactly nine months since I finished a ride at Virginia Beach with an average pace of 19.9 mph.  I reached the 20.0 mph mark on a 16.8 mile circuit that I often ride when pressed for time.  I didn’t set out to break the mark but the conditions were perfect and everything lined up nicely.  The weather was sublime, I hit all eleven traffic lights green (a first), I was riding the fancy-pants Madone, and I was about ten pounds lighter than last June.  It will be a long time before all of those conditions repeat themselves and I can make another run at the record, but the countdown to 21 mph has begun.

On Friday night, I took a 27-mile trek to the outer portion of Manassas and came across this site:

It is the restored Prince William County Public School #8, a one room elementary school that served African American children in a community of former slaves called Lucasville (I traveled Lucasville Road en route to here).  The school was built in 1889 about half a mile from its current location.  It was closed in 1929 and sold at auction to a farmer, who moved it to the present location and used it as a shed.  Today, it is in a small park on the edge of a subdivision, with historical markers explaining its significance.

You never know what you’ll find when out and about on your bicycle.

The weather for the weekend promises to be miserable, with steady rains and thunderstorms throughout both days.  I got three good weeknight rides in, but that may be it for a while.  This is unfortunate as the Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom and the wife and I were hoping to pedal amongst them this weekend.  Neither of us care to do so while drenched.

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16 thoughts on “Old School Houses and New Personal Bests

    • I think most serious cyclists who train for speed would raise an eyebrow that I was proud of such a low number over such a short course, but all things are relative and for me this was relatively hard!

    • Thanks for stopping by! There are all sorts of things that can’t be seen by a car which I bike allows you to discover. Check out my historical markers section to see many stories posted on signs which cars whiz by every day without ever reading. I’ve never figured out the Historical Dept’s penchant for putting short stories next to high ways, but that is the norm around here!

  1. Great work on breaking your previous record, Steve. If you need any work during July I’d be happy to pay for you to draft me in the valleys between climbs at the Etapes…oh and on the descents, too. Payment in Belgian beer, after proper re-hydration, of obviously.

    • A determined man would have found a window today to ride. There were bands of rain with periods of gloom. My problem is I live an hour’s drive south of the city, so my timing would have needed to be perfect to avoid a drenching.

  2. Congrats on your new personal best. That Madone is really earning it’s keep, huh? Hope you get out to see the cherry blossoms while they are still in bloom.

    • No names yet, other than “The Madone.” We have high winds forecasted for Monday, which should literally take the bloom off the cherry trees. This seems to happen every year – we get great weekday weather for the blossoms but the weekend weather is poor and a wind storm takes care of things prematurely.

  3. Well done on the new PB Steve, I don’t think many serious cyclists would turn their nose up at a 20mph average, especially solo. It looks to me like you should be entering some trials, over any distance you feel capable of, they usually start at 10 miles here in the UK then on and to 25 and 50 and further… I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised when you compare results with your peers.

    • Thanks, Brian. The Virginia Cycling Association lists a series of races and I think if I wait two more years I can race in something called the Masters category, for gentlemen over the age of 50. Otherwise, I am thrown into the Cat 5 lot and manage against boys half my age. I realize you are accustomed to such things and have much sympathy for me!

  4. The blossoms were gorgeous on Friday. They were definitely worse for wear today, but still worth seeing. Depending if we actually freeze tonight and the rain mid-week, they might still be worth a trip this weekend. I’ll report back on Friday.

    Congrats on the new speed record!

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