Day 1, 87 miles, Wednesday, August 25, 2010

(My odometer: 91.4 mi, 13.5avg mph, 6h 44m 30s, max speed 34.4 mph) Washington DC to Fredericksburg, VA

Up at 5:00, 6:15 load luggage, 6:30 continental breakfast at hotel, 7:00 group photo, 7:15 on the road. Forecast is a slight chance of late day showers.

It was a bit chilly and overcast this morning at 6:30 but the forecast was for it to warm up and be partly cloudy. That is exactly what happened.

We left the hotel as a group led by our ride leader Shane O'Leary. The first 15 miles of our route out of DC was a combination of difficult navigation of busy city streets and a bike path/trail through a variety of urban terrain. The bike trail is used by walkers and many cyclists. The cyclists travel at very fast speeds, weaving in and out of anyone else that may be in their way. Personally, I think that creates many very dangerous situations. I observed many very close calls.

By 9AM the sun came out and it was partly cloudy and pleasant for the rest of the day. After 15 miles, the bike trail ended and we were on roads for the rest of the day.

I rode today with Steve, Mike and Leslie. They are pretty fast riders and I had a tough time keeping up with them. Our route took us through some very scenic Virginia countryside. Shane had to make a few route changes due to some unexpected traffic congestion. These changes sometimes are necessary and make it safer for us cyclists.

My riding group stopped at a small convenience store for lunch. After lunch we still had 50 miles to go so we picked up our pace a bit. We came upon Carl who had just blown his front tire. After inspection, we felt that it was caused by a piece of glass. (see pics below) The mechanics van came and we went on our way. We found out later that Carl blew out his back tire later in the afternoon. He thinks that the back tire was slightly sliced at the same time the front tire was, but it took a while for the back tire to blow out.

We didn't arrive at our hotel until 4:30, quite late, then came clean up, dinner, route rap and various other little things. Today was a tough day. Tomorrow is a 71 mile ride to Mechanicsville,VA. And the forecast is for a sunny, pleasant day. I hope so.

(Click on the images below for a larger view of each photo.)

Load luggage

Breakfast at our hotel

Load luggage

Ready to ride

Ready to ride

Decore - bridge over Potomac

Crossing a Potomac River Bridge

Walking bikes across bus street

Bike path leaving DC

Taking a break

Leslie & wall mural

Wall mural

Wall mural

I'm helping George!

Potomac River flooding

Odd cobblestones

Another Potomac River Bridge

Here's some history

History 1

History 2

History 3

History 4

Me enjoying view

Is (Cardinal) Virginia State bird?

More of bike path

Bike path

More "history"

Scenic view

SAG 1 - Debbie, Steve, John(JV), Mike, Carl, me

Scenic view

Carl admiring his tire blow out

Why is Carl so happy?

The "tire slash"

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