Disclaimer: This 41-Mile 1725 Gravel Grinder Practice Ride recap contains affiliate links…

 

Riding the Course Before the Race

Bill and I, along with some of our cycling friends, are registered for the Loudoun 1725 Gravel Grinder in mid-June. Even though it’s a race, we’ll be riding at party pace taking pictures along the way. We rode much of the course with three of our friends just to get a taste of a few new-to-us gravel roads in the county. Our friends all had time restraints and stopped at 18 miles, but Bill and I were able to ride the full 40-mile course.

We were nervous that the outlandish winds from the two previous days would put a damper on our ride, but they calmed down earlier than expected and the 49° (feels like 42°) warmed up quickly to 57° by the time we finished. We averaged 11.3 MPH with 2,913 feet of climbing, and for the most part, the ride didn’t feel too difficult.

 

Ride Overview
  • • Ride Name: 41-1725PhilGravLoops
  • • Location: Loudoun County, Virginia
  • • Start/Finish: Philomont Community Center parking lot
  • • Course Type: Two separate loops
  • • Course Surface: Mostly gravel
  • • Distance: 40.51 miles
  • • Time: 3:35:26
  • • Average Speed: 11.3 MPH
  • • Maximum Speed: 34.3 MPH
  • • Elevation Gain: 2,913 feet
  • • Elevation Range: 327 to 769 feet
  • • Temperature Range: 49° to 57°
  • • 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 who captured pictures while riding with his GoPro (affiliate link).

 

Winds from the previous days had blown down a tree which can be seen laying across two rock walls lining a private drive.

 

Paved to gravel signs are commonly seen in western Loudoun County…

 

Peace!

 

It was a beautiful clear day…

 

Our county is so full of history…

 

Stopping to rest at the closed Unison Store prior to going our separate ways…

 

Hmmm, this could have been a great photo… LOL

 

Heading off on our own and stopping to take a #RoadsideMirror picture…

 

Watch for horses…

 

If this culvert hadn’t just been put in place we would have had to ford the creek…

 

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Beautiful farmland dotted with barns silos and the occasional bike…

 

Stopping to take a picture of the orange Iceland poppies…

 

Yep, he has to stop and wait for me sometimes…

 

The rock walls/fences in western Loudoun are stunning…

 

For the most part, the gravel roads were packed and in good shape…

 

Until we encountered 3 inches of brand new 21-A gravel and even our gravel loving bikes found the traction difficult…

 

Fortunately we were back on packed gravel with a mile or two…

 

Back at the Philomont Store where we ordered homemade sandwiches…

 

Garmin Stats

Post-ride Garmin (affiliate link) picture…

 

Garmin map and graphs…

 

Final Thoughts on the Ride

We finished the ride tired, but not spent, and confident that we will have no problems completing the  1725 Gravel Grinder on  June 13th. Rumor has it, though, that even though we are registered for the 40-mile course, it actually measures closer to 49 miles. Even if that’s the case, I feel confident that I’m prepared and I have another month to get some additional mileage under my belt.

 

Questions:
  • • Do you ride or run the course prior your race?
  • • Are you and your significant other compatible when you run, hike, or ride together?
  • • Do you stop and relax occasionally to fuel or take pictures, or barrel on through when on a long run or ride?

 

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.