Disclaimer: This recap, 30-Mile Loudoun and Fauquier Gravel Grinder Loop from Civil War Era Goose Creek Bridge, contains affiliate links…

 

A Little History Before Starting Our Ride

My husband, a history buff, created a loop route of mostly gravel roads starting and finishing at the parking near the Civil War era Goose Creek Bridge that marks the Battle of Upperville. He’d already explored many of the gravel roads on the day’s route, but all were new to me. As with many gravel roads in western Loudoun County, there are paved roads connecting them together and most gravel rides include a bit of pavement.

After a rough winter, the gravel roads had pot holes to maneuver around which both added to the fun and made it terrifying. Hitting a hole while careening downhill can end in a nasty fall so my disc brakes were my friend and I adjusted my speed accordingly. What goes down must first go up and to get to those downhills, we had to climb many uphills with grades in the 12 to 15% range. But holy moly, we had one climb with a 29.1% grade –  at least it was short.

With spring slow to arrive this year, our mornings have been quite cold so we set our start time at 11 AM. After a very cold overnight, the temperature had climbed to 42° (feels like 40°) by the time we rolled out of the parking lot with our two friends. Despite a slight breeze, we generated enough heat climbing hills to stay toasty warm.

Our ride didn’t take us across the beautiful old Goose Creek Bridge, but we rode our bikes down to check it out. From the parking lot we rode down gorgeous Crenshaw Road where we stopped for our first picture along Goose Creek. With spring in the air, we rode down jonquil-lined dusty roads and under canopies of trees with buds starting to make an appearance. Our pedaling tour through Loudoun and Fauquier Counties took us past wineries and vineyards, through horse country, and even down the quaint main street of Middleburg where we stopped at Market Salamander for lunch.

Even though the temperature had climbed into the low 50’s by the time we finished lunch, once back on our bikes we froze as the wind whipped across our cooled-down bodies. By this time we were on a paved road where we rode faster and the wind cut right through us. We finished our ride with an average speed of 12.0 MPH and deemed it one of our most fun recent adventures.

 

Ride Overview
  • • Ride Name: 30-Mile Loudoun and Fauquier Gravel Grinder from Civil War Era Goose Creek Bridge
  • • Location: Loudoun and Fauquier Counties, Virginia
  • • Start/Finish: Battle of Upperville Goose Creek Historic Park, Loudoun County, VA
  • • Course Type: Loop
  • • Distance: 30 miles
  • • Time: 2:30:48
  • • Average Speed: 12.0 MPH
  • • Maximum Speed: 30.1 MPH
  • • Elevation Gain: 2,470 feet
  • • Elevation Range: 354 to 742 feet
  • • Temperature Range: 42° to 55°
  • • 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 iPhone (affiliate link) while stopped along the course; however, a special shoutout goes to my husband Bill for also capturing some of the pictures with his GoPro (affiliate link).

Prior to the start of our ride, we checked out this beautiful stone arch bridge which is no longer open to traffic. Built around 1810, it was later the center of fighting in the Civil War during the Battle of Upperville…

 

Stopped for our first of several pictures, this time along beautiful Goose Creek…

 

One of many horse jumps along our ride…

 

Starting up again after allowing two trucks pulling horse trailers to pass…

 

As Bill wittily posted to his Instagram, “Look at that beautiful iron steed, it’s orange and it rolls…”

 

Jonquils lined the gravel road in several different places…

 

Trees with tight buds ready to pop…

 

Horses grazing along Burrland Road…

 

Three came over to visit…

 

Stone fences are a signature touch in western Loudoun and Fauquier…

 

Garmin Stats

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. Bill and I have commented to each other several times since our ride about how much we enjoyed it and how much we’re looking forward to repeating it as spring gets into full swing. Our two friends seem hooked after just a few rides on their new gravel bikes so I don’t think we’ll have any trouble finding friends to join us!

 

Questions:
  • • Are spring buds starting to pop where you live?
  • • If you cycle, do you prefer road, gravel, mountain, or stationary?
  • • Have you ridden a horse? ~ I am completely out of my comfort zone on a horse!

 

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.