D.C. Randonneurs Warrenton, VA 300K: In Each Life, Some Rain Must Fall

Now that I’ve caught up on sleep, uploaded my photos, and enjoyed a brilliant sunny warm Sunday I can say I truly enjoyed Saturday’s  300K with the D.C. Randonneurs.

This brevet, which starts in Warrenton, Virginia, is a rolling course that traverses some beautiful Virginia farm country. Full ride description here. It actually reminded me of Paris-Brest-Paris terrain. No major climbs, but enough hills to make you feel like you got a good workout.

George, Christian, and Rick on the Warrenton 300K

Our day was mostly cloudy interspersed with cameo appearances of sunshine, light rain, and varying temperatures between 40 through the low 50s throughout the day.

I won’t take you on a cue-by-cue of this ride. Instead, I’ll hit the highlights so that you can get about the rest of your day.

  • The Urge to Quit

The day started out innocently (and early!) enough. A 5a.m. rollout from Warrenton, which at first is more descent than ascent. Our tandem zipped along spiritedly until around mile 40 where we stopped to delayer and soon after I began to have a rough time of it.

I tensed up and began to feel overwhelmed about the ride. We had only gone 40 miles. We were never going to get there. AND we were going to get rained on.

I was definitely viewing the world with a glass half empty mindset.

Bye bye friends! An early stop on the Warrenton 300K

I then thought about quitting, which I NEVER do. I totally believe that when I start an event, I commit to doing everything I can to complete the event. I also go into it believing that I will finish. It’s self-defeating to start with anything less.

Somehow on this ride, though, poisonous thoughts entered my mind.

I’ve been doing these rides for almost eight years now. What’s the need to do another one?

I have nothing to prove. It’s not that nice outside. What would be the harm in bailing? I’d still end up with 80 miles on the day. That’s not a bad day on the bike, is it?

Those thoughts FREAKED me out. They had no place on this ride. My head was not in the game. I was in no physical pain or discomfort. I was simply lacking in desire, with 150 miles to go in the ride. Great.

We took a short break for a coke and a bite of food. Felkerino kept steadily steering us forward, I pedaled through, and gradually I started to feel better. Our pedaling picked up a rhythm, and by the time we rolled into the first control at mile 65, life was looking up.

I was fully engaged in the ride again and my brain sent me no more distracting and unhelpful messages about quitting. Thank goodness, or it could have been a long day out there.

After the ride, Felkerino told me he thought I’d been bonking, but I’m still not sure. I think that I did not adequately prepare mentally for the day. Food for thought. (Get it? Bonking? Food for thought? Ha ha!)

  • Good Company Makes all the Difference

Our early miles were spent with Bill B. and Kelly, who are always amicable company. And I even got a meta-randonneuring shot of Bill taking a picture of Felkerino and me before we all parted ways.

Meta-Randonneuring Moment: Bill B. taking a picture of me taking a picture of him.

Shortly before the first control, Felkerino and I began to criss-cross with George W., Rick of North Carolina, and Christian. Solid steady riders, easygoing, and pleasant to ride around. We chatted about bikes, Grand Bois tires, food, and weather. Sometimes we rode quietly in each other’s company.

650B Attack

It’s just lovely when you end up lopping off brevet miles in the company of others that share your enjoyment of cycling.

  • Oh Sun, How I Love Thee

This ride had some sun, lots of clouds, and a little rain. And not much wind, yippee!

It’s much easier to tackle a long ride on a warm sunny day. Fortunately, the sun came out enough throughout the day that I did not feel totally abandoned by it, but most of the day was cloudy.

A sunny spot on F.T. Valley Road

I also got to use my rain jacket some. I do love my rain jacket (Gore Tex Paclite), but like leaving it in the Carradice as opposed to wearing it much.

It’s surprising how much the sun can lift my spirits. Whenever it peeked out, I found myself reaching for my camera. That’s why my photo set makes our ride look deceptively sunny.

  • Dogs!

Lots of canine buddies who came out to meet and greet…

Hi, buddy!
Hi buddies!

And one who definitely looked like he wanted my leg for dinner.

  • D.C. Randonneurs Brevets are Beautiful

Sometimes I can’t believe how close I live to such natural splendor. The Blue Ridge, Skyline Drive, historic battlefields, and the Catoctins. We’re so lucky!

Our club offers such beautiful rides, and yesterday’s was no exception.

Thanks to everybody who made it a good day! Oh, and Felkerino did a writeup, too. Check it out on The Daily Randonneur.


  1. Good, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone and I could just turn and go back to my car. Thought went away after I ate something…..then it just got too far into the ride and I know my wife would NEVER come get me, or if she came, I may never be able to ride my bike again……


  2. What a lovely ride! So nice to have great views and great company.

    Maybe you do have to have some mental fuel to prevent a mental bonk? I can totally relate to those thoughts, though. Glad you were able to get past them!


  3. That’s a fabulous hound pic! Al fours off the ground! Great ride too. And it’s not only long rides that make you reconsider why, I feel that way on my commutes too!


  4. Nicely done. One measure of performance is to see how you do when you don’t have your “A Game.” You came through brilliantly, despite being hounded by dogs! (see what I did there?) 🙂


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