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  1. #1
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Mid-Atlantic - Tour de Chesapeake

    Tour de Chesapeake -
    Bikes, Bands, & The Bay

    Weekend of May 14, Mathews County, Virginia.

    http://bikechesapeake.org/

    Very pretty, rural, flat land surrounded by water (the bay and two rivers).
    I remember Mathews County from ten+ years ago as a place with few named roads (mostly numbers), no 4 lane roads, no traffic lights, no parking meters (although they have added a few near the courthouse) and did I mention flat.
    Iím planning to try this ride instead of my usual Bike New York.

    Routes from 18 to 100 miles.
    The century is new this year. This should be as flat or flatter than the Seagull Century, since the highest elevation in the county is less than 30 feet above sea level.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    Hmm, so do I reply in the "northeast" or the "southeast" section?

    I've done this a couple of times, and it's lots of fun. A very easy ride for early in the season. Lots of unsophisticated riders though, so be careful around groups.

    I don't think they had a 100 mile option previously. The "course" is basically a lot of little loopy-loops that you can combine into longer rides based on a color-coded scheme. No cue sheets. I've gotten off course both years, but it doesn't really matter since you're riding all the roads in the area anyway, so you're never that far from home base. I think I managed to get 100 miles in last year just by accidentally riding a couple of the loops twice.

    I'm not sure I'll do this again this year, since it's a bit of a drive. Depends on the weather probably
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  3. #3
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    For me it will be a nostalgia ride. My wife is from Mathews and I learned those roads from 20 years of visiting her parents and other family. We haven't been back there in 10 years, but I think I can still navigate them pretty well.
    For the last 8 years I've gone north to New York in May for a big ride. This will be a shorter trip, and a much smaller ride.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    have fun cc. I'll most likely do it again. I'm not sure how much of a "much smaller ride" this will be though. There are lots of people who do this. I spent a lot of time navigating around other riders. There's mostly a family-bike vibe to it, so lots of people on hybrids and mountain bikes, and not too many racer types (which is fine by me.) But I certainly had plenty of company
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  5. #5
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    BNY5B = 32,000 registered riders, plus vip slots, sponsors, teams, guests, marshals and bike ninjas. More than 36,000 riders.
    I think TdC will be a little smaller than my usual May ride.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    32,000 riders. Now that's just nuts.
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  7. #7
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Even with that many riders, it is not bad if you get a good starting position. There are only a couple of hundred people near you at any given time.
    I guess TdC does a show-and-go and not a mass start.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cc_rider View Post
    I guess TdC does a show-and-go and not a mass start.
    Yes it does. I sort of hate mass starts. Usually they're just trying to get you out of town or a congested area or something, but they're a pain.
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  9. #9
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    bump

    3 1/2 weeks to go

  10. #10
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    I really enjoy this ride. It's close to me, so makes sense, although it looks like I'll be traveling this year and won't be able to go. CC_Rider, I doubt that Mathews has changed much in 10 years. Still pretty, still flat.

    I found the color-coded routes with colored arrows on the pavement to be really refreshing from cue sheets. That's how Bike Virginia marks their routes and I've always found it very easy to follow on all the Bike Virginia and Chesapeake rides I've done.

    Enjoy the ride, and the food.

  11. #11
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    My wife and I wil be there, and camping both nights.

    Just have to decide which bike to take, I'll probably be on something vintage.

    Thrifty bill

  12. #12
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    I'm still planning to be there, although my 10 day vacation has been cut to a long weekend due to work.
    Will be staying in Williamsburg. It's less than half the price than the hotel in Gloucester, which makes the extra driving distance tolerable.
    Had a notion to try for a century, but I'm not nearly ready. Longest ride so far this year was 45 miles last weekend. Will probably do 63 to 75 miles.

  13. #13
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    hi cc,

    maybe I'll see you there. I was planning to be the one wearing the Washington Capitals jersey, but after this week I'm not so sure...

    I'm an early riser anyway, so I'm just planning to drive up the morning of.
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  14. #14
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Had a good day of riding. I did the Mobjack, Garden Creek (Green), New Point and Tabernacle loops for 63 miles.

  15. #15
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    I almost skipped it because of the weather reports. Glad I didn't, though. Except for a little wind, it was a nice ride. I did all the loops except for the red one, for about 104 miles. Only mishap was I made the mistake of trying to ride on that sandy section to the rest stop on the blue loop, and biffed it in the sand. Minor scrape on my elbow and knee, but the sand was so deep and soft it was almost like falling onto a pillow... still not a great choice for a rest stop, IMO...
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  16. #16
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    That sandy road to Tabb's Creek almost ate me, too. But it was a pretty stop, and the brownies they served were great.
    Except for that stiff headwind from the southeast, I thought the weather was about right. With the tailwind, I was moving 4 mph faster coming back from New Point.
    Would like to do that ride again next year. My wife is even talking about getting a bike and trying one of the shorter loops.

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