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.

Bennett and the setter? golden?

First, this guy thought we looked like fun to chase.

Dog number two

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.

Pup in the distance. Looks harmless enough.
Dog in pursuit. Lane assesses the situation.

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!

Lane pedals fervently to escape.

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.

Dog wins the day, and we escaped safely.

We thought our unchained moments were over, when we ran into this guy and his friend around 10 miles from the finish.

The chase is on!

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.


  1. Lane’s in short sleeves!! Jealous.

    I only got a brief ride Saturday morning as I spent the day driving (sigh…) to scope our fleche route. Glad we did as we needed to make a few adjustments. But I hated to miss the time on the bike.


  2. Great story! I loved the pic of the “oh so fearsome” Pomaranian particularly!

    I wonder what my Yorkie, Guinness, would have thought of all that had I been there with him in his doggyride trailer? Hmm… 😉



  3. Great doggy photos! I’ve only been chased by dogs a couple times and it was pretty scary, but these guys look friendly enough. Good for you that you tackled such a tough ride so early in the season. I can’t even consider that right now.


    • These were taken with a Sony TX-5. It’s an older version of Sony’s tough cam, and it’s been great for bike rides. Fires up quickly and easy to manage on the bike. I can also verify that it does tolerate being dropped, too, though I try not to let that happen.


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