Disclaimer: This post recapping our 46-Mile Western Loudoun County Mountain Road Bike Tour contains affiliate links…
Oh, Those Hills
With a successful group ride on country roads under my belt, Bill invited me to join him and his Worldgate cycling friends on July 11th for a 46-mile ride that he named Western Loudoun County Mountain Road Bike Tour. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, I decided to tag along despite his warning that the ride would be much hillier than the previous week.
The weather forecast promised another hot day in our 90°-streak so we opted to start at 6:30 AM to beat the heat (the temperate ranged from 66° to 81°). Originally, there were two starting options, one for a 63-mile ride and one for the 46-mile ride. Everyone opted for the shorter ride so we all met at Loudoun County High School.
Early on in the ride, half of us missed one of the turns which caused us to lose a mile, but eventually we were reunited with the rest of our crew. While waiting, we took advantage of the gas station restroom since there hadn’t been one at the high school. We made one more stop later in the ride for a quick rest and to purchase water and Gatorade to top off our bottles.
- • Ride Name: 46-Mile Western Loudoun County Bike Tour
- • Location: Loudoun County, Virginia
- • Start/Finish: Loudoun County High School, Leesburg, VA
- • Course Type: loop
- • Distance: 46 miles
- • Time: 3:12:54
- • Average Speed: 14.1 MPH
- • Elevation Gain: 2,589 feet
- • Elevation Range: 298 to 644 feet
- • Temperature Range: 66° to 81°
- • Ride with GPS: Link to turn-by-turn navigation cue sheet
- • Course Map:
Fun Pictures From Along the Way
Just before we started to roll, my husband Bill pulled out his GoPro (affiliate link) for a quick group picture. It was at this moment that I realized that I’d found what I’ve been missing – the camaraderie of a group of athletes. Reoccurring injuries over the last few years have all but precluded me from joining my friends for weekly training runs, and I miss that…
A big shoutout goes to Bill for these view-from-the-bike photos taken with his GoPro.
Enjoying the scenery of a beautiful farm while stopped for a drink…
Riding past farms and wineries…
The Phillips Farm, established in 1798…
At this point we’d fallen behind the rest of the group as I struggled with the endless hills so we rested a little longer while taking a few more pictures…
Cruising through Waterford…
Leaving Waterford for the final stretch…
Cruisers turned cyclists, happy to be finished…
Somehow I failed to take a post-ride Garmin picture, so here’s a screenshot from my Garmin app…
Garmin map and graphs…
Final Thoughts on the Ride
To say that I wasn’t prepared for the hilly course is an understatement. Adding to my troubles, my cadence sensor hadn’t synced with my Garmin (affiliate link) when I started the ride. I find that I really depend on seeing my cadence RPM’s for determining when to shift gears on hills; however, I am learning to do it by feel – I’m sure it’s just a matter of experience.
I struggled to keep up for the majority of the ride, but Bill was sweet enough to stay back with me. I was quite surprised that I managed to maintain a 14.1 MPH average speed despite the 2,589 feet of elevation gain and how slowly I climbed a few of those hills.
Immediately after the ride, I told my new friends that I would not be riding that course again, but time helps fade the pain and I want to tackle that course again and see if I can do better, especially once I get my new road bike.
As we pulled back into the parking lot, we were surprised to see our son and daughter-in-law leaving in their car. They’d randomly driven to the high school for their ride on the W&OD Trail, not knowing that we would be there. They circled back around to meet our friends, and hopefully, they’ll join the group for a ride one day.
The highlight of the ride just might have been on our way home when we stopped at the Leesburg Farmers’ Market and purchased chocolate milk. It was quite possibly the best chocolate milk I’ve ever drunk!
- • Have you gotten in over your head during a run or ride? ~ I suppose I did fine, it’s just that those hills were relentless and beat me down mentally.
- • What your favorite thing to shop for at a farmers’ market?
- • Have you ever said that you weren’t going to do something again only to come back more determined than ever?
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on the blue product link and then make a purchase, I will receive a small commission for referring you. You will pay no more or less for the product; however, Amazon will show their gratitude for my referral by paying me.