A Preview Of Coming Attractions

handymart2Like a prospective home buyer measuring the windows for drapes, Spring made an early appearance this weekend, which made for two pleasant rides.  The winter weather has kept my miles to an embarrassingly low level.  How low you ask?  This weekend’s 57 miles of riding represents almost one third of my mileage for the year.

Not good.  Not good at all.

It was nice to get on the road in shorts and half-fingered gloves.  No leggings, booties, helmet covers, winter gloves, or jackets.  My only concession to the temperatures in the low 60s was a pair of arm warmers.  There was plenty of sand and pebbles on the side of the road, the refuse from the winter’s snow plowing efforts.  Multi-use paths were still a bit dicey in the shadier spots.  It’s a shame they don’t clear them of snow.  Actually, that’s a bit of an issue in DC, where many cycling commuters count on clear paths to get to work.  Down here in suburbia where almost nobody cycles to work, its less critical.

My route took me into Fauquier County.  Along the way, I crossed over Cedar Run and noticed it was quite swollen due to the recent snow melt.


Things are very brown right now.  Even the water is brown.

At Mile 20, I was very happy to see the Handymart was once again back in business.  Last summer I discovered that it was out of business, which is a shame because it is at a very nice distance from home to serve as a resupply point (twenty miles, in case you didn’t catch that in the preceding sentence).  More than once, it has been an oasis to me as I struggled home with little water or food.  It’s good to know it is once again able to do so.


On the way home, Sowego Road seemed pretty so I took a picture.  There was even some green in the trees!


This house has been unchanged for the past several years.  It seems like a very nice farmhouse but it has never been occupied.  It’s sad to see it slowly fall into ruin.


There was even some wildlife out, or to be more specific, domesticated farm animals.  There’s a pig in that crowd somewhere.  All of them were a bit camera-shy and were beating a hasty retreat when I stopped to take a pic.


And just in case you didn’t believe me, here’s what the path looked like about two miles from home.  Walking through that snow caused it to impact inside my cleats, making it impossible to clip in again until I dug out the ice/snow with my fingers while muttering in a PG-13 manner to no one in particular.


Last pic of the BEARD

Last pic of the BEARD

Sunday proved to be an even nicer day and I ventured out without even the protection of arm warmers.  Before you know it, I’ll need to put ice in my water bottles (the first time is always an important occasion in my cycling year). Unfortunately, this was only a visit from Spring.  Winter weather returns tomorrow and the long-range forecast is not encouraging.  All the same, I intend to disassemble my Biological Extreme-cold Affects Reduction Device (B.E.A.R.D.) at the end of the week.  Mother Nature is on her schedule and I am on mine.  It’s time for Spring.

14 thoughts on “A Preview Of Coming Attractions

  1. Enjoyed the blog Steve. Couldn’t see the pig though. My ride yesterday was the first without numerous layers, ear muffs and big thick mittens. Deep joy. Have yet to discard the long leggings for shorts. I think Mrs Spring is visiting this side of the pond as well. We have not had your snow, just constant cold wind and rain. Bring on the daffodils!

    • Spring can’t come soon enough. I’ve been reading about the rains and flooding in the UK. Here’s hoping all is well in your part of the island.

      The pig may have avoided my camera. He was black and is in the dark area between the two white goats. He was crafty!

  2. Hi Steve it was good to read your post this week, its the first thing I do at work on a Monday morning. Its nice to see whats going on the other side of the Atlantic. My daughter and son-in-law who live up in Jersey were down in DC this last weekend enjoying a little rest from the cold. Our plans this year is to spend Christmas in USA with them, so planning for the cold! I look forward to reading your blog as the year goes on. By the way good beard.

    • The weather this weekend was excellent for a visit to DC. New Jersey in December definitely could be cool, but the chances are even that Yorkshire might be colder!

  3. Hmm, very nice post! Makes me miss, again as your ride reports so often do, metropolitan DC. Spring there is long and beautiful, as I remember. Happy pedalling before the endless humidity of summer arrives! I suspect you call it the ice in water bottle season.

    • Thanks, Suze. I rarely complain about the heat, even in the middle of summer. This gives me the “street cred” to gripe all winter long, which is precisely what I do!

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