Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blue Ridger Proper


"You're going to be hot in that," the rider said to me as I was leaving the Park & Ride lot in Marshall. I thought it's OK because I want to stay warm and as the temperature rose I could peel off the leg and arm warmers.

I've ridden the Blue Ridger route three or four times before but never solo. I thought I might see some riders in the parking lot who wanted to team up. Instead there were two parked cars then the one rider came as I was getting ready to roll. He wasn't interested in riding 55 miles over two mountains this early in the season.

I headed north out of Marshall towards Rectortown and was immediately glad I had on the warmers. It was spring, the first full day, but winter chill was still in the air. The smell of wood burning was in the air but the birds were chirping their welcome to the new season.

I wanted to take my time to "smell the flowers" but flowers were hard to find. In some shaded areas there was still snow from the last storm four weeks ago.

It was a nice ride to Bluemont. I stopped briefly to remove my leg warmers. I began the climb up to Mount Weather (think X-Files) and slide the arm warmers down. Once on the summit I needed the arm warmers.

After a few miles of rollers on the mountains, I descended to Paris, Va., and then climbed up and over Naked Mountain. Five different times on the ride I went over 40 mph. The last 10 miles were rollers but the storm moving in later today presented some nice headwinds.

Top of Rte 7

Looking up Blueridge Mountain Road
Much steeper than it looks

My time was two mph slower than when I last rode it in July. Blame it on (1) Recovery from cancer surgery (2) no group to pull me along (3) early season out of shape (4) being another year older (5) I suck.

Ashby Inn, Paris, Va.

Garmin Map and Stats

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