Fort Story


Atlantic Avenue

Atlantic Avenue



Three rides.

61 miles.

281 feet of climbing.

One broken iPhone.

That pretty summarizes this year’s trip to Fort Story.  If you’d like a little more detail, please continue reading.

The broken iPhone had nothing to do with cycling.  It had everything to do with attempting to walk with my dog on the beach at high tide (made worse by the rising of the Super Moon) and attempting to skirt some knee deep water as it crashed amongst some very large rocks.  A wave hit us and the dog slipped.  Then I slipped, and thus my phone found itself in a very bad place for a phone – underneath the water.

A replacement phone is on order, but readers of my Facebook Page will be denied regular witticisms from the field until then.  My apologies.

New bike lane!

New bike lane!

On to cycling, where I am happy to report all is well in Virginia Beach and it remains as flat as a pancake.  Tuesday’s ride was my annual time trial around the base.  I completed three laps of the 6.8 mile course with an average speed of 18.8 mph – my fastest pace of the year and in the Top 5 of all-time for me.  Of course, with a four year track record, “all-time” is a rather small amount of rides.  Still, it was a fast pace.  The weather was humid and the wind calm.  That and the flat road gave the ride the feel of training on a stationary bike.  I even dripped sweat off my nose and arms like I do when in the gym.  I was very happy to see a new cycling lane was prepared since last year to match the existing one on the other side of the highway.  This is a VERY handsome lane, smooth as glass and complete with rumble strips to alert errant drivers who stray off the road a tick.

Click for details

Click for details

Day 2 featured my annual foray into town and points southward.  Little has changed in the immediate area of Virginia Beach is challenging due to very poor roads and very dense traffic near the military bases south of town.  I believe the roads even further south are quite nice, but they are just out of my range from Ft. Story in the north.  Perhaps one year I’ll load up my bike and drive further south to start things off…

Pacific Ave - That is NOT a bike lane.  It's reserved for parking, but was empty at the early hour of the ride.

Pacific Ave – That is NOT a bike lane. It’s reserved for parking, but was empty at the early hour of the ride.

A brief diversion onto a cycle bridge south of town.

A brief diversion onto a cycle bridge south of town.

Day 3 was my first-ever “brick workout” at Ft. Story, which went very well.  I stayed on base and pedaled for 10 miles before hopping off the bike and knocking out a three mile run.  My chronic calf problem caught up with me during the run, much to my annoyance.  Fortunately, I am becoming quite good and recognizing the onset of a strained calf and dialed back my pace to avoid a major injury.  I’ll need to avoid running for a couple of weeks, but all looks good for my first triathlon in August.

That pretty much sums up the cycling portion of my vacation, except to report that I saw MANY more road cyclists this year than in any of my previous visits.  Cruiser bicycles (many with scantily clad people heading to/from the beach) are quite common, but roadies were few and far between until this year, when they seemed to be taking over the roadways.  I must have seen over 50 lycra-clad roadies during my travels, or about 49 more than usual.  I can’t explain it, I’m just reporting it.

And here’s a photo of the site where my iPhone met its end.  This is low tide and the rocks to the right are where I slipped.



13 thoughts on “Fort Story

    • There’s probably a lot that can be done if I only saw a doctor about the issue…

      A bigger concern is the inflamed nerve under a toe on my right foot which makes running and cycling difficult after about 30 minutes and two hours, respectively. I suspect the proper treatment will be rest, which I am prepared to do after my marathon in October. Until then, my schedule is to busy to accomodate that sort of thing.

    • My problem was ankle and knee injuries. The calf issue cropped up in the last few years. Very strange. My theory is that after cycling for quite a bit, I now actually HAVE calves to strain, whereas before that wasn’t an issue.

  1. I love my Lifeproof iPhone case. It is completely submersible and still slim enough to fit in my front pocket.

    • That certainly gives me something to think about, doesn’t it? 🙂

      I use a ruggedized case made by Griffin, which is outstanding in preventing breakage in a crash. I’ve used it for two years and the phone was without a scratch despite several mishaps on the bike. I generally don’t plunge into water so a waterproof case wasn’t very high on my list of priorities. Maybe it should have been.

  2. Are you familiar with the trick of covering an immersed device in a bowl of uncooked rice for a couple of days? Probably not convenient to do on vacation, though.

    Personally, I might rather see scantily clad beach goers on bikes than roadies…

    • We tried the rice trick to no avail. The device was officially pronounced dead at an Apple Store on Sunday. A brief but tasteful memorial service was then conducted.

      I agree that the beach goers tend to provide a better view, although occasionally people who should know better dress WAY beyond what their physique calls for.

  3. Well done on the rides. Sorry to hear about the phone. I’m with Fizzhog on this one – stay on the bike! Of course this doesn’t help with the triathlon training. 🙂

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