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  1. #1
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    Reston Century Format

    I just got this year's packet for the Reston VA Bike Club's century ride in a couple of weeks. It looks like they're trying to cheap out on the rest stops. Instead of having an actual route like last year, they have a couple of different smaller loop-lets that all come back to the park at Hamilton. It looks confusing as hell to me, and not nearly as much fun as one long ride. If half the riders do the "south" loop first and half do the "Taylorstown" loop first I guess that will cut down on bike traffic on the roads, but half of the fun is seeing all the other riders and hooking up with them for awhile. Also if I want to keep track of where I am using the cue sheets I have to reset my odo six times instead of letting it count up to 104 or whatever.

    What do other veterans of this ride think? This is only my second year of doing it.

  2. #2
    Because I thought I could ks1g's Avatar
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    The ride organizers decided to (or had to - I've heard both) have 2 rest stops and eliminate the Hillsboro and Waterford stops. The segments to Hamilton and back from Clarke's Gap appear unchanged or almost identical. The Waterford loop is very similar to a route used several years ago; the Hamilton South loop is a fair chunk of the traditional Hamilton-Hillsboro segment plus the "new" way back. The BIG change is we're doing Waterford "backwards" - go north on Clarke's Gap instead of south and this is the first time I'll have done Stumptown and Taylorstown counter-clockwise. This means we will be climbing on the smooth pavement on Taylorstown and the long runout instead of descending, and we'll have to brake for the hard left onto Loyalty at the "new end" of Taylorstown. I'm sort of used to the profile of the "old" way, so it will be interesting to see if these two hills are better or worse ridden this way. I'm going to do that loop first.

    An enterprising kid could do well with a water and lemonade stand near Wateford Last year, a couple of young girls and their moms had one off Loyalty just south of the Stumptown intersection. I hope they're out this year!

    Definitely use the cue sheets! Apparently VDOT is not allowing turn marks on the road surface and small arrow signs will be used instead. Signs were used several years ago the 1st time I rode this, and there were problems with "local kids" (or adults?) removing or repositioning signs. I'm going to copy my cues, cut and laminate them (as usual). Haven't decided if I'll re-total the mileage or reset at each stop - the reset will at least get rid of cumulative errors, but it's nice to see the odometer hit 3 digits.

    Also, mind the full stop signs! Last year, Loudon County deputies were watching and ticketing, especially in Leesburg and where Harmony Church Rd ends at Rt 7 coming into Hamilton.

    Ride safe - I'll be the "dork" with a big bike flag on a nice road bike - its the antenna for my radio (I'll also be working with the Loudon Amateur Radio Group folks providing communications support for the ride).

  3. #3
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    dunno, this will be my first year on thie century.

    -D

  4. #4
    Because I thought I could ks1g's Avatar
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    Update - just got back from riding the reverse loop

    I just got back from an 80 mile ride with a few friends that included the Waterford Loop as described for the RBC Century 2008. Riding the loop "backwards" counterclockwise is much easier than the "normal" clockwise direction. Here's the breakout for each section - "full" is the way we rode it today (counterclockwise), "normal" is the usual way (clockwise):


    Segment sub segment Dist Climb Grade
    Stumptown full 1.7mi 295' 2.8%
    "normal" 1.3mi 335' 4.9%
    Taylorstown full 1.3mi 300' 4.7%
    "normal" 1.4mi 400' 5.4%
    Loyalty full 360'
    "normal" 200'

    (sorry about the formatting - I am too lazy to figure out tables)

    Riding the loop counterclockwise takes a bit of climbing off Stumptown, a lot off Taylorstown, for easier grades on both hills (there is a steeper section - about 6% grade - for the last 1/2 mile of Stumptown that feels subjectively about the same as Woodburn Rd). There is a lot more climbing now on Loyalty - nothing new if you rode the less hilly option in 2006 or 2007, and the climbing is broken up into several segments rather than all at once. Also, Clarkes Gap Rd is more of a descent into Waterford than the climb out with traffic. So my overall assessment is the 2008 route will be an improvement for many riders.

    We were concerned about the descents. The Stumptown descent is NICE. New pavement in good condition and reasonable road width out to the 4-way intersection with (what becomes) Taylorstown Rd. [The cue sheet from RBC calls it Taylorstown but the street sign is different. Don't worry - it's the only 4-way intersection on the loop.] The Taylorstown descent is tougher - narrower roadway, pavement in poorer condition, and you must slow for the turn onto Loyalty. While I hit a higher top speed (passing the cemetery) on Taylorstown, I'd suggest taking it easier.

    Other comments: A lot of people out today enjoying the nice weather. Almost everyone was riding the loop the normal clockwise direction. The Shell station at Rt 9 was hopefully selling a lot of drinks today (and was OK with all the bathroom users). The view west from the top of Taylorstown just before descending is impressive - I've always climbed it the other way and haven't seen it before (or had the energy to care!). Here's a chart of the loop (counterclockwise):
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    I'll keep an open mind about the new format. Since this is only my second year I was kind of hoping to compare this year's performance to last year's. Last year the Reston Century was only my 3rd ever. I've done over 20 just this summer, including a lot more hill climbing.

    I have ridden nearly all of the routes for this year's century numerous times this year, so I'm not really missing that much I guess. I have never done the Taylorstown loop counterclockwise before so there will be some novelty in that I guess

    I just sort of hate this out-and-back loop option Chinese menu stuff where you take Plan A, Plan B, a little of Plan C etc. and just cobble together your own thing. I think it loses something when you aren't sharing the same experience with everybody else.

  6. #6
    Senior Member telebianchi's Avatar
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    My Reston Century info showed up yesterday. This will be first time for this one. My first-ever century was just last fall at Fredericksburg Bike Club's Cannonball Century.

    I found the Reston Cue sheets to be a bit of a pain. Doing the loops is OK and probably makes the rest stop easier for the club to manage. But I agree that the cues would be easier if they included the cummulative total mileage; not just the mileage for each loop. Riders could still then cut out one or more loops if they wanted to bail out early. I may end up typing up my own cue to make it easier to read.

    A question for those who have ridden this area before: I've been doing 60-80 mile rides from Reston out to Leesburg, and then Dry Mill > Woodburn > Harmony Church > Hamilton > Irene > Meadowlark > Simpson > Dry Mill. How do the other loops on the Reston Century compare to that section? I'm going to try to get in one of the other loops this weekend, but with other things on my schedule I don't know if I'll have time to go out that far.

    Thanks much.

  7. #7
    little ring CykelFlicka's Avatar
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    Has anyone done the metric century route before? I'm looking at the 2007 one on Map My Ride -- doesn't seem too bad considering a large chunk of it is on the W&OD. (Of course, I kind of despise riding on the W&OD, which doesn't help my blood pressure. )

  8. #8
    Senior Member roadCruiser76's Avatar
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    How is it that the Reston Century is in the Northeast forum, anyway? Isn't the southeast forum supposed to cover VA? Anyway, in case you all didn't see my thread in the southeast forum, just wanted to know what everyone's goals were in terms of time. I said I wanted my moving time to be around 6 hours or less, and to spend no more than an hour at the rest stops in total.

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    Senior Member roadCruiser76's Avatar
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    Also, what time is everyone thinking of starting? Ideally I'd like to start pretty early, but I'm coming from WV so I may have a hard time getting there too early. Right now I'm thinking of starting maybe around 7:30.

  10. #10
    Because I thought I could ks1g's Avatar
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    CF -I last did the metric a few years ago, but the main part I think is pretty much the same. I don/t see any big changes in the route from Town Center thru Ashburn to Hamilton. The major climbs are Woodburn Rd, followed by the rollers (I think there are 2 climbs and a nice fast descent in between) on Harmony Church Rd. If all your riding has been on the W&OD, Woodburn is going to be a bit of a surprise, just gear down and you'll get there. The route to Hamilton is the same as the full century route. The Hamilton West loop appears to be straight down Rt 7 Business into Purcelville, then a loop around the town and back via the W&OD. You'll have century riders with you on Rt 7 until they turn south at the Maple Ave light. The leg from Hamilton to the top of Clarke's Gap is new this year; I think it's Rt 7 Business and there is a moderate climb (not as steep as Woodburn or Harmony Chase but longer) to Clarke's Gap. Then a fast descent down Dry Mill and back via the W&OD, same as the century route. Hope this helps.

  11. #11
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadCruiser76 View Post
    How is it that the Reston Century is in the Northeast forum, anyway? Isn't the southeast forum supposed to cover VA? Anyway, in case you all didn't see my thread in the southeast forum, just wanted to know what everyone's goals were in terms of time. I said I wanted my moving time to be around 6 hours or less, and to spend no more than an hour at the rest stops in total.
    Maybe be need a Mid-Atlantic forum.

    I still haven't decided if I'll do Reston this year. I did it for several years, then skipped last year (50 States ride instead.) Have a couple of PPTC rides to choose from, or I might do a solo ride somewhere. Will probably decide Saturday night.

    But with the new routes, sounds like Hamilton will be a zoo.
    Could someone scan and post the que sheet somewhere? I'm curious on what they have changed.

  12. #12
    Look KG386i
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    Wow, this route sounds scary complicated. Does a large group leave at a certain time, or is it easy to spot the big cluster of RBC guys? I'll be there at around 7. I soloed it last year and it wasn't very enjoyable. I'd like to go out with a big pack this time.

  13. #13
    Senior Member emcb1230's Avatar
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    My small brain can't make sense of these cue sheets. UGHGGGHH Fire bad!

    Seriously though, this is my first time on these roads and especially that section of the W&OD. Is the trail gonna be packed full of riders/runners? I don't have the cue sheet in front of me but how long is the W&OD stretch?

  14. #14
    Because I thought I could ks1g's Avatar
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    cmyke - There's no organized departure group, it is show and go. Although I'd expect a reasonable cluster of riders departing around 7:00-7:30 for the full century. In my experience, people organize their own smaller groups (which are safer anyway) or form up adhoc during the ride.

    cc: Hamilton is ALWAYS a zoo. And the gravel entry/exit road is there 24/7. Hillsboro can also be crazy, with the added "fun" of the Rt 9 traffic (which I won't miss, but I AM going to miss the Boy Scouts - they gave excellent rest stop service, IMHO).

    emcb1230 - There is an outbound section on the W&OD from Sterling to Ashburn - say approx 5 miles. There is a short stretch for the returning W and SW Hamilton Loops. The main use of the W&OD is for the returning riders from Dry Mill Rd in Leesburg back to RTC, say 16-18 miles (don't have cue sheet handy to check the precise distance). By the time people are coming back, I think we'll be spread out enough that congestion from walkers and non-event riders will be more significant, except around the Ashburn rest stop. I would not be overly worried about it. Just remember it's not a race!

    I'm slowly getting my head wrapped around the cues. I'm taking it like a weird make-your-own dinner sampler menu: between appetizer and dessert, you get to pick several dishes, and eat (ride) them in any order.

    I recall last year the Loudon County police were enforcing the stop signs, especially entering Hamilton and in Leesburg. So take it easy out there!

  15. #15
    Senior Member emcb1230's Avatar
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    thanks for the heads up ks1g. My concern with the crowds on W&OD has more to do with crashing and less to do with racing speed. I've had bad experiences in the ballston stretch and I'm always weary about riding on that trail.

    Anyway, I'm getting excited for the ride on Sunday. Hopefully the weather will be as beautiful as it has been all week.

  16. #16
    Cycling Skier songfta's Avatar
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    In the interest of making it easier to tell where you are on the ride, one of the members of the Pedalers Google Group created a consolidated cue sheet for the full century with cumulative mileage, which I reformatted a bit and converted to PDF. It makes calculating mileage for the ride a lot easier than the RBC "Cue X" stage format, and is a bit more compact for folks who use cue clips.

    You can download the PDF here.
    Last edited by songfta; 08-22-08 at 09:41 AM. Reason: Clarification
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  17. #17
    Senior Member emcb1230's Avatar
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    nice work. Thank you, songfta.

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