Disclaimer: This recap, 30 Miles of Leesburg Gravel and Hills, contains affiliate links…
When the Course Turns Out to be Much More Than Anticipated
I set out without any great expectations on our 30 Miles of Leesburg Gravel and Hills ride which started in the town of Leesburg at 9 AM, but the course totally proved me wrong. My fear was that without being farther west in the county, the traffic would be heavier and the views wouldn’t be as spectacular; however, my assumption couldn’t have been further from the truth.
For the most part the gravel roads were packed and in good condition, but those hills… Holy moly a few of those hills set my quads on fire which resulted in a slower than normal 11.5 MPH average speed, but gave me one heck of a good workout. At 61° it was pretty fantastic weather for late November and even though rain wasn’t in the forecast, we encountered a few short drizzles. The hills and the gravel made it tough, but we didn’t let the rain or difficult course dampen our spirits and we had a wonderful time.
The course gave us a little bit of everything, including hearing the deep voices of hounds howling in the distance before we even saw riders from a fox hunt lining the road. Just beyond the riders, we saw the adorable hounds congregated in the back of a trailer ready to travel back to their home.
Our ride also took us past a beautiful old stone barn with a spectacular view of recently harvested fields surrounding a pond where we paused to refuel and take pictures. Later we saw two miniature horses – one friendly, one aloof – corralled right next to the road. Beyond them a normal sized horse seemed to tower over his short and squatty counterparts.
- • Ride Name: Gravel 30 South Leesburg
- • Location: Loudoun County, Virginia
- • Start/Finish: Rust Library, Leesburg, VA
- • Course Type: loop
- • Course Surface: gravel
- • Bike: Salsa Journeyman
- • Distance: 30 miles
- • Time: 2:36:46
- • Average Speed: 11.5 MPH
- • Elevation Gain: 2,441 feet
- • Elevation Range: 302 to 769 feet
- • Temperature Range: 54° to 66°
- • Ride with GPS: Link to turn-by-turn navigation cue sheet
- • Course Map:
Fun Pictures From Along the Way
Most of the following pictures were taken with my phone while stopped along the course; however, a special shoutout goes to my husband Bill for capturing several of the following action shots with his GoPro (affiliate link)…
I loved this farm!
Long steep hill…
We were treated with the sounds of hounds howling as we approached the hilltop and after cresting the top, we saw riders who had just wrapped up their fox hunt.
We found a pig and snapped a fun picture for the scavenger hunt we’re doing with one of our gravel groups…
This little fellow was begging for attention…
And this seemingly giant horse was jealous that his field was on the other side of the miniature horses’ corral and couldn’t get his nose scratched…
Post-ride Garmin (affiliate link) picture…
Garmin map and graphs…
Final Thoughts on the Ride
It’s always a bonus when a ride exceeds expectations and this one certainly did! The ride was much more scenic than expected, I got a fantastic workout, and I made a few furry friends along the way. More importantly, I got to ride with a friend I hadn’t seen in close to two months and met another lady from our women’s cycling club for the first time. It was a win all around!
- • What recent events have you done that exceeded expectations?
- • Have you seen a miniature horse in person? ~ This was a first for me!
- • Have you done a scavenger hunt as a part of a running or cycling club? ~ Our MRTT chapter used to do them all of the time, usually Christmas related, and it was always fun looking for the items on the list.
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