Reston Century Ride Report
Here's my ride report for the Reston Century. Please share yours as well!
A friend and I arrived at Reston Town Center around 7:15 AM. There was quite a line in order to check in, so we didn't get started until 7:45. While we were waiting, we met another friend. The three of us set off together.
Although I had my cue sheet in the cue sheet holder, the three of us decided to follow a group of about 10 riders for the first couple of miles. This was a mistake. They ended up missing the turn to the W&OD trail, so we had to improvise and take another route that involved walking our bikes through a dirt field in order to make it back on course. We lost about 3 miles while doing so.
The ride to the Hamilton rest stop was fairly uneventful. As I recall at this portion there was one major climb on Woodburn road that a lot of people struggled on. Also, while we were on the W&OD, one of my friends got down in the aero bars and pulled ahead, so that left my other friend and I riding together.
At the Hamilton rest stop (for the first time), I drank a lot of gatorade and ate two peanut butter granola bars. After that we set out for the Taylorstown/Stumptown loop. There were some major climbs on this 28 mile loop. I only averaged 14.7 mph on this section. There were a few places where my cadence got down to around 50 rpm because I was unable to shift into my small chainring. A few people were walking their bikes. We also had to stop because some cyclists apparently crashed one one of the descents. There were emergency vehicles there - an ambulance and a fire engine. We eventually got through and continued.
The ride was organized as a series of a couple of loops, each ending at the Hamilton rest stop. In total the century route visited the rest stop three times. The second time I arrived I had some more peanut butter bars. My friend wasn't feeling well and decided he would head back to Reston Town Center at that point. At that point in the ride we had gone approximately 60 miles. So for the rest of the ride I was going solo.
When I continued on the southern loop, I was hoping for a flat ride. No such luck. The ride went to the Snickersville Turnpike, which contains lots of rolling hills. I was glad to leave it. As I approached Hamilton for the third time, I came to a four way stop sign in a small town. There was no one coming from either direction, so I rolled through the stop sign. About 40 yards after that, a large pickup truck backed up out of a driveway at a high rate of speed, nearly hitting me. I swerved into the grass to avoid him. The drive then began screaming at me for not stopping at the stop sign, moaning something about how if cyclists want the same rights as drivers then they need to obey the rules, yada yada. He also said he'd be glad to hit me, and followed me when he heard me yelling back at him. I pointed out to him that if he was backing out of a driveway, he had to yield to vehicles on the street. Anyway, I'm sure that idiot comes to a complete stop in his gas guzzling truck every time he comes to a four way stop with no one there. Eventually I just said "whatever" and went on my way. However, I was a bit shaken by the encounter when I arrived at Hamilton for the last time. At that point, I didn't have much of an appetite, so I just downed some gatorade and didn't eat anything.
It was probably a mistake not to have eaten. On the ride back my energy levels got very low. Although most of the trip back to Reston Town center was along the W&OD, at the end I was only able to limp along at 14 - 15 mph. I was quite glad when I arrived. They had food and drinks there, which was good. I arrived at 3:35 PM. My riding time was over an hour longer than during the Tour de Cure. It's true that I went 6.5 miles further, but I still wish I could have gone a little faster. My speed was undoubtably affected by the fact that there was about 1300 feet more of climbing on this century than the Tour.
My riding time ended up being 6:53, with a total time of 7:50. Total distance 106.62 miles, 6858 feet of ascent. My average moving speed was 15.5 mph.
Last edited by roadCruiser76; 08-25-08 at 03:28 PM.
Thanks for the report. My ride was pretty uneventful. I'm pretty familiar with all the routes, so I just had to keep an eye on the signs and the other riders.
I had done 100 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway on Friday, and 60 on Skyline Drive on Saturday, so I was pretty fried for the ride on Sunday. So I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have if I were fresh. My legs felt like noodles for a lot of the ride. Still it was a pretty good day. The hardest for me was the Stumptown Road section. That was the only major stretch of road that I hadn't ridden before, so it was hard to judge my effort as to where the harder and steeper parts were. I think last year this was the "more hilly" option that I didn't take, only they went the opposite direction.
My verdict on the loops back to Hamilton for the rest stops: I hate it. Too much back-tracking. Too much up and down on Rt 7, Hamilton Station Rd, Ivandale etc. Not to mention there was much more riding on the W&OD this year than last year. I like stopping at a variety of rest stops, and hoping they have slightly different fare at each one.
Also I missed the Airmont to Round Hill to Hillsboro section from last year. Riding Silcott Springs wasn't particularly pleasant either.
Ok enough complaints. It was still a good event, and I'm glad I did it. Next year I'm taking a rest day the day before though
Well I had fun. Eight hours even. New bike. Liked the food choices at Hamilton (tons of orange quarters; fresh baked breads and cookies). More climbing than I've ever done in one day (much less combined with 100+ total miles), but while going slow up the hills never felt I was in trouble on them (and had an inner grin when passing a few people).
I found the loops based at Hamilton to be much less confusing once I was there and actually riding it. But it did mean riding a lot of the same roads several times over. And that probably meant missing out on some other nice roads in the area. This was my first Reston Century, but I have done a different century and a metric in the past and the rest stops were hit or miss. One or two stops were well stocked but others would barely have enough food to handle everybody (I even did a mountain bike ride where the promised rest stop was out of water). I understand from an organizational standpoint that running the one central rest stop would be a lot easier.
The long stretch on the W&OD was a let down. After riding the nice country roads it was annoying to have to again watch out for rollerbladers, joggers and strollers on trail that I often ride several times a week. I live ten minutes from the W&OD so normally I just accept those things as part of life. But for a big event it was a bit of a pain.
But all in all it was a great time. I'm definitely up for next year and will spend more time training the hills in the months leading up to it. Might even shoot for a double metric.
If you're up for another century in a little while, there's a great one coming up on Sept. 21st out of Berryville, VA run by the PPTC. It's usually well attended and well marked - I've done it the past two years. Also the weather than time of year is usually good. Here's the link for more info:
Originally Posted by telebianchi
Thanks RC76. I'm actually a paid PPTC member but tend not to join the rides in the summer (too many other things to do). I'm looking forward to hitting up the fall rides, however. Did one from Markham Orchards last year that ended with fresh out of the oven apple cinnamon bread. Yumm.
Originally Posted by roadCruiser76
I'll miss the century, however, as I've got other plans that can't be changed. I'm hoping to do the Southern Maryland Century on the Sep 7th (a bit flatter than Reston!).
Nice report, RC76. I had fun as well and finished in just under seven hours. I bonked towards the end of the Hamilton loop and limped the rest of the way into Reston. I didn't realize there was food at the Hamilton rest stop because I stayed down towards the water/bathrooms and I relied on the bars that I carried with me. I definitely could have used some of those oranges. Lesson learned I guess.
Anyway, I thought the loops were a lot less confusing once I got out on the bike. My favorite part was by far the outbound section between Leesburg and Hamilton. It was scenic with some nice descents and a moderately tough climb. Unfortunately I was directly behind that accident on Stumptown so thats mostly what I remember about the loop. Anyone have any updates as to the status of the two riders?
My only complaint would be the closing section of the two loops. I absolutely hated making that turn off the W&OD and climbing that hill into Hamilton the second time around. I'm not sure why the organizers didn't pick a different route into the town. Anyway, thats nitpicking and it may have been due to my energy levels more than anything.
Overall great experience and I'll plan on coming back next year.