This weekend Felkerino and I met up with our friend Alec for a final ride on the tandem before the big trip to Paris. For a nice change of pace, the day started out sunny with temps in the 80s. It was a well-timed reward for all the hot long days in the saddle this summer.
It was a great day to be a bike rider. Such a great day that nobody was in a hurry for the ride to end. Good thing, since we ultimately ended up taking just under 14 hours to ride 106 miles. No, this was definitely not a brevet.
Our posse headed out from home and first got in a lap on Hains Point. Why? Because it’s there and it seemed like a good idea at the time. One lap did us in, though. It was too hard on our self-esteem to be continuously passed by all the roadies :(.
We decided to meander down MacArthur Boulevard to grab coffee and a treat. A little caffeine and sugar made me feel better about losing the Hains Point Championship.
After MacArthur, we noodled along the great club ride highway known as River Road. Several people were out, and most were friendly, giving us a wave as we passed each other. We even saw fellow randonneur Michael R. out and about. Michael was not on a noodle ride, but some other kind of ride that looked like it had an actual route and a lively pace. After waving, he sped quickly off into the distance. We’ll catch up some other time, ok?
At this point, I started getting cranky, and let the team know that I was riding for food. We had taken the “scenic route” to lunch, and after a certain point, I was over the scenic route and just plain hungry. Fifteen whiny miles later (my apologies to Felkerino and Alec), we pulled into Bassett’s in Poolesville, Maryland.
A hearty meal and a tasty drink improved my mood, and after a leisurely stop we got back on the road and turned our wheels toward The Homestead Farm. The Homestead was recommended to us by friends Lane and Mike, and if you ever find yourself riding near it during the growing months, I highly recommend it, too. You can choose to pick-your-own fruits and vegetables, or purchase tasty pre-picked fresh produce. Our group chose the latter.
We packed up the Carradice with fresh peaches and ripe tomatoes, and then indulged in peach shortcake and peach smoothies. So delicious!
The Homestead has covered picnic tables where guests can eat and hang out so we ate some of our treats there. A couple of showers passed through during our visit so we just took our time and rested while the rain fell. So relaxing.
Eventually, the rain passed and we got back on our bikes and rode some more miles to a second cup of coffee where we found our friend and fellow cyclist Leslie T. That was fun. We all chatted for a while and then decided to head out to the PBP Sendoff Party being hosted by David B. and Bob S.
Thanks to Bob and Dave for the hospitality and to everyone for the food. We had a great time talking with previous PBP riders as well as some of the crew that is heading there this year. I have no pics of the gathering because I was too busy eating and talking the entire time.
We couldn’t linger too long at the fest, as we wanted to be off the busy suburban roads by dark. We pushed off and pedaled with some gusto back into the District. As we rode the final miles, Alec turned to me and said, “Mary, this is the ‘big bicycling.'” This was a reference to an earlier discussion where we puzzled over the meaning of “The Big Bicycling” imprinted on Alec’s Ostrich handlebar bag. After 100 miles, we finally figured it out.
I could not have agreed more. It was big bicycling, and certainly the longest (timewise) 106-mile ride of my life. Felkerino, Alec, and I had an epic day (and evening!) on the bike and celebrated our epic noodle ride with a little bit of ice cream. Ok, I had more than a little bit.
Now it’s time to turn our attention away from pedaling to packing. It’s been a summer full of spectacular bike rides, with the most spectacular one just around the corner.