Mileage: 108.82 miles
Riding Time: 7:23 Riding Speed 14.7 mph
Total Time: 8:10
Climbing: 2108 ft.
I can say nothing good about today. It was pure misery.
We started early, with a small group of us visiting the Roark factory. Roark is a small aerospace metal manufacturer (we saw Inconel and titanium parts being built for jet engines and submarines) that also manufactures titanium custom bikes. Mike and Karen (staff members) both have them and love them. An interesting side trip, but it meant that the riding part of the day got off to a late start.
The Weather Channel said 10% chance of rain at our 9:00 AM start, and this was not a day to bet against the odds. The rain started the minute that we got back to the motel for the start, and it barely let up for the next 8 hours. The temperature was about 50 F, but felt much colder once we were soaked through, and again, with a strong N wind.
Because of the side trip that some of us took, the start times for the riders were spread over about 45 minutes, so we were quite spread out on the road. Even though I had started almost last, I was surprised to find at the first SAG stop that I was about the fifth rider to check in. The first issue that I had encountered was a closed road. I stopped and rang a door bell and asked if I could get through and the homeowner sadi “Yes, on a bicycle”. However, what she did not say is that when I got through I would find the connecting road completely torn up and impassable. One other rider and I managed to find an alternative route back to the road that we were supposed to be on, but I gather not everyone was so lucky. Some riders went ten or more miles out of their way.
Meanwhile, four of the faster riders had looked at their computer and the route sheet and said “We can find a better route”. So they called in after a few miles and said “Don’t look for us at the SAG stops; we will find our way to
on our own.. Talking to one of them later, they also had not taken proper precautions with their route sheets and did not want to deal with soggy directions. They made it, but not without dealing with road closures on their own. Richmond
Dumb Move Number 3. The last ten or so miles through
were on fairly busy streets, and at one point, there was about two miles of road construction where four lanes were squeezed down to two. Traffic was all backed up. After a mile or so, I said to myself “There is a very big wide sidewalk there; why don’t I just pull onto it via one of the driveways ahead and get out of this. (believe it or not, one motive was courtesy to the cars who were patiently driving behind me). I was already committed when I realized that there was about a one inch discontinuity in the height of the road and the lip of the driveway, that I was trying to take at about a 10 degree angle. When I realized this, it was too late for a bunny hop and I went down on the sidewalk. Minor damage to my clothing, my skin, and my ego. Richmond
I finally made it to the hotel registration where I was told “Hurry up and take your shower, the housekeeper has volunteered to stay late to launder your clothes. I felt like kissing her, but gave her a generous tip instead. The hotel had a bar and (sort of) restaurant, so I did not venture out again.
I just had a good night’s sleep and awaken this morning ready to do it all over again. The weather report is 10% chance of rain at the start, 30% at the finish, just like yesterday. There will be a headwind all day, but only about 6-7 mph.