I ran eight miles on Saturday, which is a not insignificant distance for me.  I followed it up with 50 miles on the bike on Sunday.  That was less of a challenge but it still made me grateful to Dr. Stewart Adams (UK), the inventor of Motrin.  There was a steady drizzle on Saturday’s run and Sunday’s ride was no different, at least for the first 30 miles.  Click on the picture below and zoom in on the glasses/helmet to get a better appreciation for the wet.

Slightly damp while on Rte 29

The Store

I pedaled along Bristow Road and passed the rather rustic general store that has always intrigued me.  I’ve never stopped here, but it’s on my “bucket list.”  I generally pass it by because it is closed on Sundays and it is only 11 miles from home so there is little need to reprovision at that point.  Still, when it is open the elderly proprietor can usually be seen sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch with a dog.  A store like that really should be supported.

Along Old Church Road, I saw a large doe cross the road a few hundred feet in front of me.  She had a notion to double back and stood in some tall grass, staring at me.  When I closed within 50 feet, I was worried she might bolt in front of me.  The resulting collision would have been very unpleasant.  Fortunately for both of us (but mainly for me) she turned and bounded into the woodline – an amazing creature that I was not able to photograph due to my slowness in retrieving my camera from my jersey pocket.

Optimistic horses

I was hopeful that the drizzle would soon stop.  I passed some horses on Crockett Road and they were all standing.  Everybody knows that cows and horses lie down when it is about to rain, so this was an encouraging development.  However, my hopes were dashed a half mile later as I passed a dairy farm and noted well over 100 cows were all lying down in a field.  Already completely soaked and much too far along to turn back, I didn’t let such an omen turn me back.  I pressed on and was pleased to see the drizzle eventually lighten and stop completely around Mile 25.

As I neared the turn from Rte 29 onto Bristerburg Road, I had a pleasant surprise.  An approaching cyclist turned out to be my neighbor, Steve.  He also turned onto Bristerburg Road and we struck up a conversation.  He was curious to know who would be seen in public with a Couch Potato Cycling Team jersey and was pleased to see it was Yours Truly.


Steve is an exceptional athlete who regularly participates in Ironman Triathlons (two miles swimming, 112 miles on the bike, topped off with a marathon).  He had left on his ride an hour before I did and still had a few hours to go.  He’s a good cyclist, is what I am trying to say.  So I didn’t want to slow him down or embarrass myself, and therefore matched his cruising speed of 20 mph.  This is MUCH faster than I normally ride, but I was enjoying the conversation with Steve and resolved to keep going as long as I could.

At this point, a curious thing happened.  Steve asked me, “Is this your normal pace?” to which I sheepishly admitted it was not.  I normally cruise along at 16 mph and up my pace to about 18 mph when I wish to test the Law of Diminishing Returns (see previous post).  When I told Steve I was simply trying to keep up with him, he replied, “I was trying to keep up with you!”  It turns out Steve prefers a more relaxed speed of about 18 mph.  I was happy to oblige.  It’s interesting (to me at least) that we each were going faster than we wanted in an effort not to upset the other guy.

After eight miles, we parted company.  I was heading for home and Steve was off on another 20 mile loop, which would give him over 80 miles for the day, which is just another day in the saddle (or pool, or running shoes) for Steve.  Someday, I want to grow up to be like Steve.

The last 20 miles home were much drier than the first 30 miles.  An item of interest occurred near Crosby’s Crab Shack, a mere five miles from home, where I happened upon some sort of vulture convention on the roof of a nearby house.  I wouldn’t want to be the owner of that home – it was a very ominous site!


21 thoughts on “Drizzle

  1. Yay, vultures! My community gets taken over by a wake of vultures in winter. It’s creepy seeing them completely fill the tall pine trees around the pool deck when they roost at night. They make a terrible mess and smell awful, but I miss them after they are chased away every spring.

  2. Were you both going 2mph faster than usual because you trying not to upset each other or were you getting that auto-competitiveness that everyone seems to get when riding with someone else? Maybe this deserves a new series: Cycling and Psychology?

    • That thought occurred to me, although I make no pretenses about being “competitive” with Steve, perhaps I was simply trying to “impress” him and he wasn’t about to let a man who thinks 100 miles is a good days’ work blow him away!

  3. Happens to me alot too, usually there is a like a few neutral miles and then speeds start slowly creeping up usually I’m the one who’s out of breath or off the back shortly there after.

    • I spend a great deal of time being spit out the back of cycling groups. Should I ever find myself at the front for any length of time, I will wonder if I’ve missed a turn or if there has been a huge wreck behind me.

    • My training so far this year consists of wading knee deep in the Chesapeake Bay and throwing toys for my dog to fetch in the sea. Although very enjoyable, I have not noticed an improvement in my swimming endurance as yet.

  4. Those vultures make me wonder what is inside that house! You definitely need to stop at the general store. Those kind of places often have some real treasures. I used to go by one when I lived in FL that had the best homemade bread and peaches from their backyard.

    • Perhaps they were excited about the possibility of crab meet in the garbage cans of Crosby’s Crab Shack. That’s about the least morbid thing short of a super hero that comes to mind!

  5. Another great write-up. Please tell us (with photos) about the day you visit the general store. So few left in the country. Get there before it’s too late!

    I admire and applaud your rain riding. As I am now back in the Middle West, I am “hoping” to get more experienced in rain riding. Notice the quotes around hoping.

    • The key to riding in the rain is convincing yourself it won’t rain or at least not very much. Once you are out there and soaking wet, you can be frustrated you were wrong but you won’t go back. Why bother – you’re already wet!

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