Archive for May, 2014

Warrenton “Old Rag” ACP 200km brevet June 7th

Monday, May 26th, 2014

The Old Rag 200km starts at the “Howard Johnson Inn” at 6 Broadview Avenue in Warrenton, VA‎ (540 347-4141‎). Checkin starts at 6am and the brevet starts at 7am. Pre-ride bathrooms are available in the Burger King, just N of the HoJos, on Broadview. Please do not park at the HoJos, unless you are a guest. There is street parking on Waterloo, just west of the HoJos. If you want off-street parking, park at the High School which is at Waterloo and Van Roijen St, about three blocks from the HoJos.

From Warrenton we head generally southwest passing through rolling horse farm country with the Blue Ridge Mountains as our backdrop. We parallel the Blue Ridge as far south as Madison where we begin our return to Warrenton after a stop at the friendly, well-stocked Yoder’s Country Market. The route is fairly gentle as we wind our way to Syria in the shadow of Grave’s Mountain. A moderate climb followed by a 3-mile descent puts us up and over the Old Rag Grinder. A series of steep and unrelenting rollers–lovingly known as The Three Kings and The Meanies–will consume us for the next hour or so prompting many to re-fuel at the Laurel Mills store with the sweet, spring water that flows nearby. Country roads bordered by stone fences carry us through Ben Venue and into Flint Hill and the final control at the reopened Orlean Store. A final climb over Piney Mountain brings us back to the HoJos in Warrenton. Estimated total elevation gain : 8,800 feet.

Lights are not absolutely required, and there will not be a mandatory lighting inspection, but lights and reflective gear are required to ride in dark conditions. So we recommended that you bring lights in case you need to ride after it gets dark. Lights might also be needed at the start if it’s cloudy.

Warrenton 300km RUSA Brevet June 7th

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Starting at the Warrenton Howard Johnson Inn, the route explores the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont from Warrenton to Old Rag, to points south. The first 120 miles are somewhat hilly and the route becomes more rolling for the last 70-80 miles.

To coordinate with the start of the Old Rag 200km, checkin starts at 6am and the brevet starts at 7am. Pre-ride bathrooms are available in the Burger King, just N of the HoJos, on Broadview. Please do not park at the HoJos, unless you are a guest. There is street parking on Waterloo, just west of the HoJos. If you want off-street parking, park at the High School which is at Waterloo and Van Roijen St, about three blocks from the HoJos.

Unlike the April version of the 300, the main route and the main cue sheet will take the “traditional” paved roads.  For those with suitable tires and who want to try riding a little gravel and avoiding some of the busier roads, there are gravel road detours both on the cue sheet and the GPS files (except for RWGPS). More details below.

Returning to the route description: Leaving Warrenton, after a brief stretch on VA17, we take the “back” way out of Warrenton on Blantyre Road and then riders will head west to Marshall and ride the many ups, downs, and stunning early morning vistas on Crest Hill Road all the way into Flint Hill. More hills and more terrific scenery await the riders on the way to Washington VA. Turning west toward the foot of the Blue Ridge, the scenery just keeps getting better on a long rolling stretch which brings the riders toward Old Rag and a control at the Syria Mercantile. Continuing south, the riders skirt Madison, crossing US29, and pick up the route to Elly, Aroda and Old Somerset. Returning to route 231, riders head into Gordonsville and then continue farther south. The route then turns east through the more mellow terrain of Louisa county on VA22. After heading north for a control in Orange (don’t miss the great milkshakes!), riders return to Warrenton through gentler terrain via Batna, Lignum, Kelly’s Ford and Remington.

Now for some more detail about the gravel detours:  There are two sections of the route that have gravel alternatives.  In the first (see map), the paved road is shown in pale blue and there are two gravel-road detours:2014_dcr_300km_warrenton_1st_and_2nd_gravel_section_and_detour.jpg

For the first gravel detour, the light-green is paved and the dark green is gravel–Quaintance Rd–4.2 miles and a fair amount of up and down, some of it very steep, about 460 feet of climbing.  For the second section that has gravel, the dark blue is gravel, two roads–Sharp Rock Rd and Emmet Rd–totaling 3.3 miles, pretty flat, with 160 feet of climbing; the light blue is paved.  The gravel road detours avoid ten miles of FT Valley Rd, which is one of the busier roads on the brevet–we’ve used it many times, and I’ve never had problems here, but it is a road where you have to watch carefully in the mirror to make sure cars coming up from behind are slowing and/or moving over.

The second area with a gravel-road detour is here:2014_dcr_300km_warrenton_3rd_gravel_section_and_detour.jpg

Again, the paved route is shown in pale blue; the gravel detour has a paved portion shown in light green and a gravel portion shown in dark green on Twin Mountains Rd–4.2 miles, pretty flat, with 100 feet of climbing.  The cyan section is the paved detour, which spends 3.3 miles on Zachary Taylor Hwy, US522.  Again, one of the busier roads on the route, we’ve used it for years and I’ve never had problems but you do have to keep an eye on who is coming up behind you.

That’s it for the gravel sections, if you have questions feel free to ask.

Climb:  The Warrenton 300km has about 9,500 feet of climbing, about 500 feet more than Paul’s Paradise and about 700 feet more than the Old Rag 200km.

We’ll have some light snacks at the start–there is a Sheetz and McDonald’s nearby for something more substantial.  At the end, we’ll have the usual pizza, drinks, and a few snacks at the finish.  The club has also rented a hotel room for the finish.  Please bring your own towels (etc.) if you want to shower there. 

Three ride reports from prior years are posted on the DCRand Stories page under “300K”:

Cue Sheet and GPS Files for May 17 Warrenton 600km ACP Brevet

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

The Many Rivers and Fords 600km starts at the Warrenton Hampton Inn at 4:00AM on May 17, 2014.  If you are not staying at the hotel, please park around the back, away from the entrance.

Cue sheets are posted at 2014_many_rivers_and_fords_dcr_600km_cue.zip.  Note that the “2up” version is intended for the map case of a handlebar bag–the PDF “2up” is probably best to print.

Lights and reflective gear are required for this ride so when you come to registration please be sure to bring your reflective gear and ensure that you have the required front and rear lights mounted on your bicycle.  There will be bike inspection available Friday night from 5pm to 7pm, and of course Saturday morning while registration is open.

Registration opens inside the Hampton Inn Saturday morning at 3:00 AM.

The link to the GPS files is posted below. But please read this information before downloading them. Always get a copy of the final cue sheet. That final cue sheet contains the official route, so in case there is a conflict with the GPS file, you should resolve the conflict in favor of the cue sheet. Use the GPS as a handy-dandy adjunct. Keep your wits about you, as the GPS cannot notify you of road hazards — it is up to you to ride safely.We strongly recommend that you set your GPS to the settings below. We cannot guarantee that these will keep you on the official route, but if you have your GPS set some other way, it is entirely possible that it will take you off route, possibly onto unsafe roads. Go to the Setup->Routing page and set as follows:

Guidance Method: Follow Road
Follow Road Method: Shortest Distance
Next Turn Pop-Up: On
Follow Road Options:
Off Route Recalculation: Prompted
Calculation Method: Best Route
Calculate Routes for: Car/Motorcycle
Avoid: (set to none – the route itself should control this)

By the way … make sure that your GPS either has maps already downloaded, or select the relevant maps around the routes. The GPS files are posted at 2014_many_rivers_and_fords_dcr_600km-gps.zip  A RWGPS version is posted here.

NOTE: At mile 295, there is a short “off road” segment around a barricade that will require you to start a new GPS route segment at that point.

ACP 600km Brevet - May 17 - Warrenton, VA

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Many Rivers and Fords 600km

This year’s 600km is a Lynn Kristianson route that we last rode in 2012. It makes a big loop in northern Virginia (244 miles), returning to the start hotel for the overnight, then the second day is a smaller loop (138 miles), also in northern Virginia.  A preliminary route is posted here.

Starting from the Warrenton Hampton Inn at 4 am on May 17th, riders head south and west, passing through Rixeyville and continuing west to Griffinsburg where the route turns south into Madison County. After Madison, there are many miles on VA230, with wonderful Blue Ridge views and moderate terrain, to a control in Wolfsville and then on to US33 in Stanardsville. From there we pick up the very scenic 810 through the foothills in Greene and Albemarle counties.

After crossing US250 in Crozet the rollers become more intense; the control in the phenomenal Batesville store will be most welcome. There is a southeasterly roll down wonderful Plank Road and then a slightly hillier stretch to the very basic Howardsville General Store on the James River.

Moving east from the mountains, the terrain moderates through Fluvanna and Louisa counties. After a possible dinner stop in Louisa, it’s a straight road due north until the route crosses the Rapidan and turns east onto the old familiar Algoquin Trail. Bypassing the narrow, dark roads around Kelly’s Ford, instead it heads north to Brandy Station and then east to Remington. Crossing US15, 29 and 17 a number of times, riders return to Warrenton on Lover’s Lane and Lees Ridge.

The second loop of the route is largely based on George Moore’s (thank you George) Rappahannock Randonee in the reverse direction.  It heads due south from Warrenton through southern Fauquier and Stafford counties. Some of these roads can be  busy at times. There is a short section of suburban confusion and some increasingly built-up areas until the route intersects Bike Route 1 just west of I-95 and US1. A very quiet approach to Fredericksburg encounters a couple of tough hills, but almost no traffic until the Rappahannock bridge. There is no control in downtown Fredericksburg but breakfast or coffee possibilities are numerous, including Hyperion Espresso a few blocks of the route. After the commotion of old town Fredericksburg the route passes through the National Park Service Battlefield along serene tree-lined Lee Drive. A very short gravel section finishes the battlefield and resumes quiet suburban and then rural roads into Caroline County and the southernmost control at the NPS Stonewall Jackson Shrine.

From here the route swings west and finally turns north to an open control in Spotsylvania Courthouse. Here the riders pick up the northeasterly return - through more battlefields - for the Wilderness Campaign and several other permanents, along Brock Road, Eleys Ford Road and past the Inn at Kelly’s Ford on Edwards Shop Road. Continuing east on Summerduck, the route then takes some little used roads to Midland and finally the very lovely (but “scenic”) Rogues Road to Neville’s Mill for the final information control before the finish. A few unhappy rollers bring the riders to Meetze and the finish in Warrenton.

Climbing: Many Rivers and Fords (MRF) has about a third more climbing than the Northern Exposure 400km. The climbing is comparable in nature to PBP climbing:  You are seldom on the flat or in the same gear for long, but there are no “notable” climbs of more than 400 feet, unlike the last ride which had seven or eight such notable climbs. Another way to think about the climbing on MRF is that it is like extending the Warrenton 300 by another 100km and then riding Wilderness Campaign. By my measure, Northern Exposure had 14,014 feet of climbing while MRF has 18,568.  By contrast, last year’s Frederick 600 had about 21,500 feet and the Middletown 600 has about 21,800.