Following the plan

Yesterday, I decided that I'd head out to Purcellville again, and was debating timing.  I ended up getting up at the normal time, and went out on my normal easy route.

That went well, although I did decide to try to place highly on one short segment in there, which didn't.  Basically, I made the turn onto that segment, and started to push, when I realized that the wind was in my face, and there was a hell of a lot of it.  I realized there was no way in hell I was going to get a good time with that much wind, so I quickly dialed it back down and finished normally.

My wife got out the door early, and I never took my clothes off after the early ride, so I was in good position to get on the road quite early.  Realizing that, I decided to take my camera (and tripod) with me, since I would have the time to stop and shoot along the way.

So I got on the road right around nine AM, not really rushing, but still maintaining a good pace (my goal was 16mph).  I wasn't really out to pass people, but I ended up playing leapfrog quite a bit as I did so, and then stopped to take some pictures.  At least one guy I passed three or four times; I imagine he was kind of curious what I was doing.

The first place I stopped was in Vienna; not too far from where I used to work in Tyson's Corner.  I'd say it's a quaint little town, but it's also one of the richest in the country, so I'm not sure if quaint is really the right word.  Anyway, this rail car is kind of tucked away where you don't really see it unless you're on the W&OD trail.

From there, I kept heading west, making good time despite the massive headwind.  My next stop was in Herndon, where there's a replica rail depot that's been made into a small museum (I didn't go in).

And this is quite a busy town, so it feels a bit odd, here.  That is, too quiet and peaceful.  Still, a nice spot.  You can't see it, but there's a tiny little Town Hall just off to the left; it has the sign, but I suspect that it isn't actually the town hall anymore.  One of these days, I'll need to check on that.

Riding a bit further, I got to Smith's Switch Station, which is a nice little resting spot.  Most importantly for me, it has a few porta-potties, of which I was in desperate need.  This also wasn't my first time stopping here; on my first ride out, this was one of several places where I stopped and snacked (and rested; I was already in bad shape by the time I got there that time).

This time, other than the call of nature, I was in fine shape, so I only stopped long enough to use the facility and take this picture.

From that point, I really didn't take many pictures.  A couple miles from Clark's Gap, I stopped to take a picture of this church.  I really like the color contrast between the tree and the church.

And then I took the shot up at the top of this post, of the end of the trail at Purcellville.

One thing you can't tell from that is that there's a bike shop directly behind me (and across the street), called Trail's End Cycling.  Something's apparently trying to keep me from shopping there.  The first time I rode out, I didn't go around the depot building, and didn't see the shop (I'd been told it was right there, somewhere).  The second time, I went in, but they were having a problem with their distributor, and had almost no stock.  This time, it was a Tuesday, and they apparently close Mondays and Tuesdays.  Kind of annoying.

The good part was that it meant I got right back on the road, and headed back east.  That part of the ride is quite pleasant, without sharp turns or steep hills, and almost all tree-lined.

There were really only two bits of interest on the way back (I only stopped once to take a picture).  One is that I let the phone run down too low, and it stopped recording for several miles before I noticed.  I'd been planning to start it charging when it hit 5%, but it was already stopped before that.  So when I realized, I started the charger.  More annoying, it didn't automatically start recording again, so I went another half mile or mile after that before stopping again to start the recording.

I again stopped at the BBQ in Ashburn to get a sandwich to eat (well, two, actually).  This time I used the vinegar BBQ sauce, instead of the sweet stuff (because of diet, although it's Carolina BBQ, and the vinegar sauce is more authentic for Carolina).  And I screwed up in that I ordered baked beans on the side, forgetting how much sugar goes into those.  Probably not a big deal, with the nearly six hours in the saddle, but annoying.

The other bit of note was that I ended up riding for five or ten miles with another biker who was getting ready for a 400-mile, three day, 13000' elevation ride.  Very pleasant conversation, and it made the miles go by much more quickly (probably literally, as well as figuratively).

After he turned off, I made the last ten or twelve miles on my own, and I was feeling pretty good as I did it.  I was tired when I got home, but not excessively sore.

What I didn't realize until today, was that I got some significant sunburn on the way.  Not as bad as my normal first sunburn from ultimate, but significant. What was funny, to me, was how sharply defined it is, and how little spread out.  Tops of knees, a little on outside-back of calves, and on the tops of my forearms.  And the sharpness of the definition comes from the tightness of the clothes, of course (well, of course, in retrospect.  It wasn't something I'd thought about beforehand, and I was bemused to see it).

Last night, I was very tired (though I still watched the Caps game, of course), but still forced myself to do my exercises - at much lower intensity than normal - and stretches.  I think that helped cut down on soreness this morning.

I had a little trouble waking up, but still got out this morning.  I was a bit annoyed; the temperature was supposed to be in the low-50s, but it was actually low- to mid-40s.  I managed, but I was definitely chilled.  And I did do the full fifteen miles, this time; last time I rode so far, I only did twelve the next morning.

The downside is that I've still been pretty sore today.  I actually felt good when I finished the ride, and then got more sore, later.  Not sure what to make of that.

One funny note related to Strava.  I actually finished the ride yesterday ten meters short of the goal for the monthly climbing challenge.  I did, of course, blow by that today; I'm curious how much I'll beat it by, by the end of the month.  And I'm on course to easily surpass the 1250km for the MTS challenge, which is pretty cool.

I'm thinking I'll get up a little early in the morning, and do a gentle twenty-five miles or so.  If I can average the same 14mph that I did today, that'll even get me home early.  Here's hoping.

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