Prince William Forest & Quantico

On Saturday, I traveled around Prince William Forest and did a couple of laps on Quantico Marine Corps Base.  Although the calendar informed me it was Fall, the weather was decidedly summer-like, with temps in the mid 90s.  I’ve traveled all these roads at least once before so there was very little new to report, other than the Modern Day Marine Expo, which I passed on my way by the post HQ. 

From the outside, there wasn’t much to see other than a bunch of white “beer tents.”  I’m sure it is very nice and the Marines are very proud of it, but I had finished only 20 of my 45 miles and couldn’t be bothered to stop.  Instead, I took my break on a bench at the Quantico Elementary School playground.  It was in the shade and nobody was there.  Much better than a tent full of Marine stuff.

Here is this ride’s installment of “Virginia Historical Marker Picture.”  This marker is on Rte 234, near the entrance to my subdivision, Montclair:

And this is what it looks like in its natural setting:

I finished the ride in good shape and in a better-than-average pace of almost 15 mph.  There was only a small issue, namely that when I got off the bike I had no feeling in the ring and pinky fingers of my left hand.  This continued for most of the day, which was a tad disconcerting.  Some one-handed google searches informed me that I was suffering from handlebar palsy, an overuse injury caused by excessive compression of the ulnar nerve which runs down the arm and (most importantly for this story) the outer portion of the hand, ending in (you guessed it!) the ring and pinky fingers.  It is also responsible for hand strength, which explains why I had a tough time using my left hand to properly operate a clothes pin later that evening.

The treatment for this condition is rest, usually 2-4 weeks.  I’ll give it six days.  Various websites also recommend frequently changing hand positions  (something I already do) and additional padding in riding gloves (something I will definitely look into).  The hand is already doing much better and I am even using it to type this post – yippee!

Today, I took the Trek back to Revolution Cycles to give it a tune up prior to next weekend’s ride in Culpeper.  The cables, derailleurs, brakes, and whatnot on new bikes have a break-in period.  Small adjustments are usually necessary after the first couple hundred miles.  Such was the case with my bike.  After a few small tweaks and a chain lube, the Trek was right as rain.  I briefly loitered at the glove section, hoping to find a pair of full-fingered gloves for my winter riding.  I found several, but none for less than the cost of dinner at a fine restaurant.  I think I’ll shop around a bit!