Disclaimer: This recap of our 36-Mile Dry Mill Vineyard & Winery LoCo Tour contains affiliate links…


Cold Start for the Weakest Link

The anticipation of some rides is greater than the experience and that was the case of the 36-Mile Dry Mill Vineyard & Winery LoCo Tour. I talked Bill into joining in on this ride rather than another he was considering, and in the end, it was my least favorite ride to date.

I’d ridden all segments of this course on other rides and knew it would be quite scenic as we meandered through the countryside, past horse farms and vineyards. A few of those miles would be on my beloved W&OD Trail and I knew that on a cold morning we’d have it mostly to ourselves.

Several factors contributed to my disappointment in the ride, but in the greater scheme of things they weren’t that big of a deal. The ride started at 10 AM, later than this early bird prefers, but that’s to be expected as it gets colder. And speaking of cold, it was 39° at the start and had dropped to 36° by the time we met the rest of the crew at the winery. We rode the course counter-clockwise which seemed to make it ten times steeper than when we’d ridden those very same segments clockwise.

The two biggest circumstances contributing to this being a less than ideal ride for me were that I was the weakest rider by far and struggled to keep up (another rider had an ebike and without it she might have been at my level), and I learned another new definition to the meaning of no drop ride…


Ride Overview
  • • Ride Name: 36-Mile Dry Mill Vineyard & Winery LoCo Tour
  • • Location: Loudoun County, Virginia
  • • Start/Finish: Dry Mill Vineyard & Winery (we started in Purcellville)
  • • Course Type: Loop
  • • Distance: 36.5 miles
  • • Time: 2:33:07
  • • Average Speed: 14.3 MPH
  • • Elevation Gain: 2,228 feet
  • • Elevation Range: 317 to 648 feet
  • • Temperature Range: 37° to 70°
  • • Ride with GPS: Link to turn-by-turn navigation cue sheet
  • • Course Map:


Fun Pictures From Along the Way

With my GoPro (affiliate link) attached to the front of my bike, I shot video along the way. The following photos are a combination of still frames taken from the video and a few pictures I took with my phone while stopped…

Bill and I drove to Purcellville where we started on our own and rode to meet the rest of the group who were meeting at the winery. We were dropping our bikes off at the shop after the ride so we parked in the bike shop parking lot.


Our timing was off and we arrived at the winery in Leesburg about twenty minutes early. Without a car to stay warm in, we shivered as we waited for everyone else to arrive. Shortly after 10 AM we rolled out of the parking lot. I must have hit a wrong button on my Garmin because just after we started, I lost my turn-by-turn navigation…

36-Mile Dry Mill Vineyard & Winery LoCo Tour


The day was crisp and beautiful and the scenery didn’t disappoint…


As I struggled to keep up, the lady with the ebike stayed back with me. We chatted as we got to know each other and the distraction from the fact that I was struggling helped keep up my morale. Eventually, she pulled ahead with her husband and I tooled along not too far behind them and Bill.

36-Mile Dry Mill Vineyard & Winery LoCo Tour


Just as I though I was going to get a little rest when I saw the rest of the crew stopped ahead and staring at me, the second I rolled to a stop everyone turned and immediately rode off giving me zero recovery time. Fortunately, Bill told me to catch my breath and we’d finish the final five miles alone.

Turning to leave the second I rolled in…


Now just the two of us…


Never have I been so happy to finish a ride as I was when we rolled back into the bike shop parking lot and I wasn’t the least bit sad that we weren’t joining the others for wine after the ride. I wasn’t tired, annoyed, or upset, I was just done.


Garmin Stats

Post-ride Garmin (affiliate link) picture…


Garmin map and graphs…

36-Mile Dry Mill Vineyard & Winery LoCo Tour


Final Thoughts on the Ride

This was definitely a meh ride for me, but I would like to do it again just to see if it was the course or I was just having a tough day. I had ridden my metric century only five days earlier so perhaps I wasn’t fully recovered and deserve a do-over.


  • • Do you have those kinds of days where you don’t perform up to your own expectations?
  • • Do you prefer to work out with others at your speed/pace, that are faster than you, or slower than you?
  • • If you were me, would you want a do-over or would you just want to put this ride behind you?


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.