Signal Hill

I wasn’t going to ride today because rain was forecasted and I wasn’t interested in all the muss attendant to a ride in the rain the day before heading to Virginia Beach.  However, the skies cleared in the morning and by early afternoon the sun was out.  It was time to investigate Signal Hill.

Located in the southeastern portion of Manassas, Signal Hill is not a terribly impressive piece of topography.  Once upon a time, it was probably a gentle hill from which signals could be given (radio or semaphore, depending on the age).  Today, it is a suburb, but the road which bears its name encouragingly leads toward some rural areas.  Perhaps I had found a pleasant bypass to the Prince William Parkway.  It was time to find out.

These Canadians have not yet decided to move north.

Before reaching Signal Hill, I decided to double my pleasure by venturing down Buckhall Road.  This required a brief portage of my bike from Lake Jackson road to the end of Burkhall Road – a distance of about 50 feet through some waist-high cat tails and over a guard rail.  This sort of road design is quite common around here.  It is an obvious attempt to keep traffic on the main roads and away from the housing areas.  It is very frustrating when trying to find new and interesting ways to get about.

Buckhall Road

Buckhall Road was a pleasant, if short, country lane.  If it was three or four miles long instead of barely one, it would have been fantastic.  As it was, I contented myself with several pleasant views and pondering the existence of a Sikh Community Center in such a place.  Before I had time to settle in, I had reached the Prince William Parkway, which I needed to cross to get on with my ride.

This is the view shortly before the end of Buckhall Road:

In short order, I was pedalling through suburbia and in no time I was at Signal Hill Road, which turned out to be quite hilly (which was expected, given the name of the place) and quite busy (which was a disappointment).  My failure was complete when the road gave way to one of the interminable gravel roads that seem to pop up in the most inconvenient of places around here.  I doubled back and eventually found my way to the parkway and onward to Davis Ford Road, a route which I regularly take.

Signal Hill Road

Ten miles later I was home.  With each attempt to find new routes around my area, I have greater empathy with the explorers who searched for the Northwest Passage.  I took stock of my year-to-date progress and was pleasantly surprised to find myself 185 miles further with eight additional rides compared to the quarter-point of last year.  Here’s hoping I can keep up the pace for the next nine months.  For now, though, it’s off to the beach and some of the flattest cycling routes you will ever find!


5 thoughts on “Signal Hill

    • If it does show the gravel roads, that feature has alluded me thus far. I’ll just have to embrace the uncertainty and treat these excursions as adventures.

    • The thought has occurred to me. I definitely felt like a cyclocross rider when I was carrying my bike over my right shoulder.

      Those geese need to get moving, or they’ll have to turn around the moment they get home!

  1. The geese have thinned out at their encampment on the Mt. Vernon Trail, but there is a resident group that doesn’t migrate. They also aren’t too keen on sharing the trail. They are more likely to waddle away when I approach on my bike, but sometimes when I’m walking the trail they win the game of chicken. They’re vicious! I’ve seen them charge people. Enjoy the beach!

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