Disclaimer: This recap of our 42-Mile Fauquier County Longhorn Ride contains affiliate links…

 

Longhorns in Virginia

Not only does the map of the 42-Mile Fauquier County Longhorn Ride course look like a Longhorn’s head, but if cyclists are lucky (we weren’t), Longhorn cattle can be seen grazing along the road in the fields at Marriott Ranch in Hume. The scenic course weaves through the beautiful countryside and quaint little towns from Marshall to Hume to Orlean and past Desert Rose Ranch & Winery, Rappahannock Cellars, Marriott Ranch, and Skyfiber Ranch Alpacas. At times, breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park parallel the course in the distance.

We met our fellow Dawn Patrol cycling friends and long-time friend Barb (Barb rides about 200 miles per week and is a very accomplished rider) at the Marshall Park & Ride where there was ample parking about 20 minutes ahead of our 9:30 AM roll time. With expectations of a clear day, we were quite surprised when it started raining as we drove into Marshall. Bill and I weren’t the only ones caught off guard and without rain gear, but we were lucky and the few little rain clouds overhead moved out just as we were ready to roll (it sprinkled lightly on us again for just a few minutes later in the ride). With the temperature starting out at 64° and raising to the low 70’s it was a very comfortable day for a ride, especially in late October.

Although quite scenic, I thought it was a difficult course with close to 3,000 feet of elevation gain. Nonetheless, Bill and I had a great time!

 

Ride Overview
  • • Ride Name: 42-MileFauquier County Longhorn Ride
  • • Location: Fauquier County, Virginia
  • • Start/Finish: Marshall Park & Ride
  • • Course Type: loop with two out-and-backs
  • • Distance: 42 miles
  • • Time: 2:53:57
  • • Average Speed: 14.5 MPH
  • • Elevation Gain: 2,677 feet (Bill’s Garmin showed 3,261 feet)
  • • Elevation Range: 453 to 818 feet
  • • Temperature Range: 59° to 73°
  • • Ride with GPS: Link to turn-by-turn navigation cue sheet
  • • Course Map:

42-Mile Fauquier County Longhorn Ride

 

Fun Pictures From Along the Way

With my GoPro (affiliate link) attached to the front of my bike and Bill’s GoPro (affiliate link) attached to the front of his, we captured most of the following pictures from along the course… A few of the pictures were taken with my phone while stopped…

 

Ready to roll just after the rain moved out…

 

Navigating the first big turn…

 

Later, I learned the hard way that wet pavement is slick when I missed noticing a right turn pop up on my Garmin. As I rode straight past this side road, I noticed my friends had turned and I put on the brakes to turnaround only to go into a crazy skid. I came close to loosing complete control when I skidded into gravel on the side of the road.

I applied my best don’t panic, release the brakes, and ride out the skid skills and eventually came to a stop… upright. With my heart pounding, I turned and rode back to join the group.

 

I referred to the this course as difficult mainly because of all the climbing involved. Interestingly, there seems to be no consistency on the amount of elevation gain spit out by our Garmins. From Strava:

  • • My Garmin showed 2,677 feet
  • • Barb’s Garmin showed 2,726 feet
  • • Bill’s Garmin showed 3,261 feet
  • • Ed’s Garmin showed 3,353 feet

 

Picture perfect views of well-kept lawns, farms, and fields…

42-Mile Fauquier County Longhorn Ride

 

More climbing…

42-Mile Fauquier County Longhorn Ride

 

Hay field across from Rappahannock Cellars at our rest stop and turnaround…

Photo credit: Barb

Rappahannock Cellars vineyard…

42-Mile Fauquier County Longhorn Ride

 

This sweet boy came over to say hi in hopes of sharing our snacks…

 

After our turnaround, we heard these goats and sheep calling out to us. As soon as we stopped they came running across the field to say hi…

 

Too pretty not to stop for a picture with the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park in the distance…

42-Mile Fauquier County Longhorn Ride

 

And we took the opportunity to get in a group selfie while we were stopped…

42-Mile Fauquier County Longhorn Ride

 

Cruising along after our stop…

 

Rough road…

 

Peace…

 

Pulling in to a country store for water and Gatorade refills…

 

Heading back to toward the finish…

42-Mile Fauquier County Longhorn Ride

 

The sun even came out briefly…

42-Mile Fauquier County Longhorn Ride

Photo credit: Barb

Garmin Stats

Post-ride Garmin (affiliate link) picture…

Welp, I forgot to take a picture of my Garmin after I rolled into the parking lot so this screenshot will have to do.

 

Garmin map and graphs…

 

As evidenced by the chart below, my cadence sensor had connection issues during the ride…

 

Final Thoughts on the Ride

It’s always fun to ride with our Dawn Patrol friends and it was especially great that our friend Barb drove out to join us. There were a few places where the road had more traffic than I would have liked, but with our later starts now that it’s getting colder, that’s to be expected.

 

Questions:
  • • Did you know there were Longhorn cattle in Virginia?
  • • Would you rather have a pet sheep or goat?
  • • Would you rather visit a winery or brewery?

 

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.