Disclaimer: This recap of our 30-Mile Clifton Breakfast Ride contains affiliate links…
A Less Rural Ride
Our 20-mile Clifton breakfast ride started at 7 AM on Saturday at Chantilly High School in Fairfax County, Virginia. The temperature was in the low 70’s and the forecast promised that the rain would hold out until the afternoon. With on overcast sky, we felt plenty comfortable as we rolled out of the parking lot and down the trail that paralleled the not-so-busy street.
Our course took us down residential streets, past farms turned residential with huge houses on well manicured multi-acre lots, past the quaint little town of Clifton twice, and past a golf course. At several places we rode on paved trails paralleling the highway, but the surfaces were usually rough so my new Roubaix Comp got to show off its radical new shocks giving me better control on the rough pavement. Mostly, though, we rode on quiet roads with thick woods or open fields on either side. It was lovely, but at times there was a little bit more traffic than I like.
The rain held out until the last few miles when it sprinkled lightly on us, but it had cleared by the time we rolled back into the parking lot.
Thoughts On Eating a Meal Mid-Ride
Our ride basically consisted of two rides, 21 miles before breakfast and 9 miles after breakfast. I’ve found that my body operates the same with cycling as it does when running. It takes me a while to warm up and get into my groove (miles 10 to 20 were almost always my fastest miles in a marathon) and I’m finding with cycling that I feel much stronger after getting a few miles under my belt.
Stopping to eat with our friends was fun and my breakfast burrito was delicious; and while it allowed my legs to rest, the rest was too long. My legs completely cooled down and when I got back onto my bike it was as if I hadn’t ridden yet that morning. It took me a good five miles to get back in my groove. Moving breakfast to the end would have been a huge improvement in my opinion, but most of the other cyclist in our group didn’t seem to mind the mid-ride stop.
Fortunately, though, unlike when running my stomach had no problem handling the food I’d just consumed.
- • Ride Name: 30-Mile Clifton Breakfast Ride
- • Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
- • Start/Finish: Chantilly High School
- • Course Type: loop
- • Distance: 30 miles
- • Time: 2:04:13
- • Average Speed: 14.7 MPH
- • Elevation Gain: 1,601 feet
- • Elevation Range: 171 to 428 feet
- • Temperature Range: 66° to 77°
- • Ride with GPS: Link to turn-by-turn navigation cue sheet
- • Course Map:
Fun Pictures From Along the Way
About 30 minutes into our ride Bill’s rear tire blew and we all stopped so the tube could be changed. This was a first for me and even though I have the necessary tools to repair a flat, I have absolutely no idea what to do. Should it happen to me while riding alone, I have three options: 1. Pull up a YouTube video for guidance on what to do 2. Hope someone who knows how to help comes along soon 3. Order an Uber.
Our ride took us along less traveled roads even though we were in busy and congested Fairfax County.
Long fun downhill on Chapel Road…
Riding into The Clifton General Store / The Main Street Pub parking lot…
Dawn Patrol enjoying breakfast on the front porch…
While having breakfast on the front porch, we heard the railroad crossing bells start to ring and saw the gates lower. Almost immediately, an Amtrak train barreled down the tracks and through the intersection leaving very little time to chance.
Post-ride Garmin (affiliate link) picture…
Garmin map and graphs…
My Garmin kept losing the cadence sensor as can be seen in the gaps below and every time it found the sensor, it would beep. To say that the beeping was annoying is an understatement.
Final Thoughts on the Ride
While I enjoyed the ride, I didn’t love it. I was happy that we started earlier which always help reduce the amount of traffic we encounter, but the stop for breakfast put us later in the morning for the final miles. As I mentioned earlier, it had the feeling of two separate rides and I had to warm up my legs twice. Moving our breakfast to the end of our ride would be much more enjoyable to me.
I’m happy to be a part of a group again and love that we stand around in the parking lot gabbing as we’re putting our bikes back on our car racks, etc. So even a so-so ride results in a great workout and fun morning!
- • Do you think you’d enjoy stopping to eat in the middle of a ride?
- • What’s your favorite breakfast food?
- • Cyclists, where do you do most of your riding, on trails or streets?
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.