Weekend Training Ride: 112 Miles of Dogs, Hills, Sun, and Dogs
This past Saturday, Felkerino and I met up with a couple of riding friends to take on some challenging terrain near Skyline Drive. Starting in Marshall, Virginia, we scaled Massanutten via Chester Gap, rolled our way over to Edith Gap, descended into Luray, and climbed back over Thornton Gap under Skyline Drive before biting off the final miles back to Marshall. Truly beautiful riding.
Felkerino wrote up a fine summary of our challenging day, and you can find it here.
The extended climbing on this ride was definitely one of the aspects that made it special, as was the unseasonably warm February weather.
Another highlight was the number of dogs that pursued us at various points during our day. I don’t recall the last time so many dogs tried to chase me. At a convenience store about 18 miles out from the finish I saw this sign.
Chained-up pups were certainly not an issue on this ride.
First, this guy thought we looked like fun to chase.
When his efforts to catch us failed, his buddy took off after Bennett’s ankle.
By far my favorite, though, was this cute little threat machine.
This dog was thrilled to live where he did, as the road’s incline allowed him to chase us a while. One minute, it would look like we were escaping, the next, the road would pitch further upward, and the dog was in his element. Chase! Bark! Chase! Bark! You are mine, cyclists. MINE!
It was difficult to keep the bikes upright, as we were laughing so hard and really working on the climb. I can’t wait to visit this dog again in the spring.
We thought our unchained moments were over, when we ran into this guy and his friend around 10 miles from the finish.
These dogs totally know how to take advantage of the rolling terrain. Again on an incline, we pushed the pedals to make our escape.
Safely back at the car, we reflected on our day. Beautiful weather, excellent climbs and views, and a few unchained buddies along the way. A fine day on the bike, and an excellent day away from the District.