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.
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.
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…
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.