Disclaimer: This recap of our 30-Mile LoCo Gravel Grinder contains affiliate links…
Back on Some Gravel
After enjoying riding my new road bike for a few weeks, I left it behind as I pulled out my Salsa to join Bill and two other friends for some gravel grinding on the less traveled roads of western Loudoun County (fondly called LoCo). It felt good to be back on my gravel bike even though it’s noticeably heavier and changing gears isn’t as smooth without electronic shifters.
We rolled out of the high school parking lot just after 7:30 AM in a somewhat humid 72° anticipating a hot day after a week of delightfully cool-for-August weather (it was 88° by the time we got back to the parking lot). I rarely look closely at our course in advance so it wasn’t surprising when within minutes of starting I asked Bill how many miles would be gravel versus paved and when the first big climb would happen.
Our LoCo Gravel Grinder put us on the W&OD Trail twice for just over 4 miles total and we joked that we should be riding on the parallel gravel horse trail rather than the paved trail. Off the trail, we rode past farms, wineries, mills with granaries, suburban communities, and we even cut through the little town of Purcellville where we stopped for a bathroom break and water refill. We kept the ride leisurely and stopped a few more times along the beautiful course to rehydrate and refuel.
- • Ride Name: 30-Mile LoCo Gravel Grinder
- • Location: Loudoun County, Virginia
- • Start/Finish: Loudoun County High School, Leesburg, VA
- • Course Type: loop
- • Distance: 30 miles
- • Time: 2:19:14
- • Average Speed: 12.9 MPH
- • Elevation Gain: 1,683 feet
- • Elevation Range: 280 to 749 feet
- • Temperature Range: 66° to 88°
- • Ride with GPS: Link to turn-by-turn navigation cue sheet
- • Course Map:
Fun Pictures From Along the Way
If this view looks familiar, we stopped here last year on a much longer ride with different friends. The view is spectacular and stopping to enjoy it was the reward for completing the last climb of our ride. Our friend James, who we met on a few gravel rides last fall, just happened to ride by while we were stopped and was kind enough to take this picture for us.
We wrapped up our ride with breakfast at Maverick, at a local bike shop with a cafe.
Post-ride Garmin picture…
Garmin map and graphs…
Final Thoughts on the Ride
I thoroughly enjoyed this ride. In fact, it was one of my favorites from this summer. Despite saying about a month ago when writing about our southwest Virginia gravel ride that I wasn’t exactly crazy about riding on gravel, this was really fun! What I liked was the combination of gravel and pavement, rather than mostly gravel. And having ridden on some of those roads last summer, the familiarity was nice. As I’ve mentioned before, there’s a comfort in knowing what’s coming up around the next turn.
This is definitely a ride I’d like to repeat this fall when the leaves are in their full colorful glory. Who wants to join me?
- • Have you ridden on gravel?
- • Is it hilly where you live?
- • When you go for a ride or run, do you take the time to stop to enjoy the scenery?
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.