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Climbing training in N. Virginia

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Climbing training in N. Virginia

Old 07-27-06, 04:29 PM
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Climbing training in N. Virginia

Anyone have suggestions on some sustained climbs (min. 10 min)? I live in Fairfax so, Skyline Dr is too far to travel to more than a couple times a month. So far, I've settled for repeats on Woodburn Rd in Leesburg. It's a nice grade (about 10-11%) but a little short. Maryland has some goodies (Sugarloaf, Catoctin Mtn and others) , but I'm hoping for something closer. Do they exist?
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Old 07-27-06, 06:24 PM
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There's an entire mountain range between Fairfax and Skyline Drive. Look up the town of Bluemont in Virginia; it's right where the Snickersville Turnpike runs into Rt. 7. Virginia Rt. 601 is right near there; that'll take you over to US Rt. 50 and Paris, Virginia. Turn around and ride back.

It's the big bump right in the middle of this: http://www.bikewashington.org/routes/bluerdg/index.htm
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Old 07-27-06, 06:54 PM
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You must visit Clifton, Va sometime. Muuuwaaahahahahahaa......
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Old 07-27-06, 07:15 PM
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For short hard hills, ^ Clifton ^
NW DC. Some of the climbs out of Rock Creek are pretty good. Or Wisconsin Ave from the river to the Cathedral.
North Arlington and Falls Church (Military Rd, Williamsburg, Kirby Rd, Idylwood, etc.)
Loudon County between Leesburg, Middleburg, Round Hill and the river.

For a longer climb, Mount Weather near Bluemont (see above), but that's about as far as Skyline.
In Loudon, do Woodburn as a warmup, then head over to the big hills at Taylortown and Stumptown.

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Old 07-27-06, 08:10 PM
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Suggestions appreciated. I MUST try Mt Weather! That grade profile jumped my heart rate Kevin. Where in Clifton Bockman? CC, I've heard about Taylortown and Stumptown. I believe PPTC does a few rides through there (near Lucketts?) What's the best riding route from Woodburn/Harmony Church to the two "big hills"?
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Old 07-27-06, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by RealtourRoadie
CC, I've heard about Taylortown and Stumptown. I believe PPTC does a few rides through there (near Lucketts?) What's the best riding route from Woodburn/Harmony Church to the two "big hills"?
It's a bit of a ride. Harmony Chruch back to Hamilton. Hamilton Station Rd to Waterford, Milltown Rd to Lovettsville, then Lovettsville Rd to Taylortown Rd to Stumptown Rd. Loyalty back to Waterford. Crosses that part of the Catoctin Mountains twice.
Throw in Clarks Gap Road and Dry Mill and you have a good hilly loop.
Or you can do a more westerly loop through Philomont, Airmont, Round Hill and Hillsboro.

PPTC goes out there regularly. I think they have a couple coming up next month.
If you want to try it, and more, on an oranized ride, the Reston Century is at the end of August.


PPTC also has a close in hilly ride on August 6, starting from West Falls Church.

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Old 07-28-06, 07:09 AM
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I appreciate the route guidance. I'm considering the Reston Century. I was planning on doing it last year but PPTC had a ride the same day that started at the Luckett's Fair and went into Md then back through Brunswick. It was a very hilly ride that slightly overlapped the Reston Century. Sounds like you're a Reston Century advocate?
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Old 07-28-06, 08:35 AM
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Yep. Been to the last three, but riding the metric instead of the century.
Might go for the full 100 this year, but my rides this year haven't been as long or as hilly as usual. I'll decide the day of.
I've ridden almost all of the century route, just not all all at once.
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Old 07-28-06, 04:43 PM
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It sounds like an awesome ride. I'm really leaning toward doing it. Like you, I may not do the full boat. I'll wait to see how I'm feeling that day and what kind of weather is present. Never done more than 75M at once. Let me know if you get in the mood for one of those hilly loops you recommended. I'd characterize myself as a solid BB on the PPTC scale. Thanks again for the tips.
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Old 07-31-06, 06:59 AM
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I'm gonna do this ride in the near future, at least the portions that include the two main climbs. I was on a ride out of Thurmont, MD yesterday, with a group called Atlantic Cycling. It featured a 6M climb of Catoctin Mtn, which, I believe is similar to Mt Weather. And by the way, when I do climb Mt Weather, I doubt I'll be turning around and heading back!
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Old 08-14-06, 05:15 PM
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Reston Century

Originally Posted by cc_rider
Yep. Been to the last three, but riding the metric instead of the century.
Might go for the full 100 this year, but my rides this year haven't been as long or as hilly as usual. I'll decide the day of.
I've ridden almost all of the century route, just not all all at once.
Just registered for it today. I'm planning to do the full century. BTW, I followed your advice last week and did a loop starting in Leesburg that included Woodburn, Canby/Thompson Mill (1 mile of gravel - won't do that again), north on Dry Mll, up and down Beacon Hill, up through W'ford and did Taylorstown and Stumptown and then Woodburn again before wrapping up. Short but intense. Just need to figure in a convenient source for water along the way. Waterford market was a good location but had to wait 15 minutes for the store owner to return. Looking forward to Reston. I think my bigest challenge will be figuring out the right pace. Never done more than 75m. Thanks again for the suggestion. If you pass a guy on a charcoal Trek Madone, it might be me.
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Old 08-14-06, 06:02 PM
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I was out that way on Sunday morning. Sully to Leesburg on the W&OD as a warm up. Woodburn, Harmony Church, Hughesville Road (also gravel, but the views were great) over to Lincoln, etc. through Purcelville, back to Dry Mill and Woodburn again. Wanted to do Taylortown too, but had to be back by noon.

Looking forward to Reston. Will sign up day of. Still a little iffy on doing a hilly century as my first, but I'll see how I feel at the Hamilton rest stop and decide. 63 is too short but 100 may be too long. I know several shortcuts that would give me an 80 ish mile ride which would be about right.

Hope that the weather is like what we had this past weekend. Two years ago the temp was near 100. Last year was only 90.
Early starts work best. If a hot day you beat the heat. And last year the outer rest stops ran out of food and even water, so late riders were s.o.l.
Sounds like you'd be more likley to pass me and my blue Trek 750.
See you on the road.

added - someone needs to come up with a bikeforums helmet sticker so members can spot each other. Maybe I'll slap a "BF" sticker on my old helmet. If you see one, say hi.

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Old 08-15-06, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by cc_rider
I was out that way on Sunday morning. Sully to Leesburg on the W&OD as a warm up. Woodburn, Harmony Church, Hughesville Road (also gravel, but the views were great) over to Lincoln, etc. through Purcelville, back to Dry Mill and Woodburn again. Wanted to do Taylortown too, but had to be back by noon.

Looking forward to Reston. Will sign up day of. Still a little iffy on doing a hilly century as my first, but I'll see how I feel at the Hamilton rest stop and decide. 63 is too short but 100 may be too long. I know several shortcuts that would give me an 80 ish mile ride which would be about right.

Hope that the weather is like what we had this past weekend. Two years ago the temp was near 100. Last year was only 90.
Early starts work best. If a hot day you beat the heat. And last year the outer rest stops ran out of food and even water, so late riders were s.o.l.
Sounds like you'd be more likley to pass me and my blue Trek 750.
See you on the road.

added - someone needs to come up with a bikeforums helmet sticker so members can spot each other. Maybe I'll slap a "BF" sticker on my old helmet. If you see one, say hi.
Excellent idea. Regarding pace, I ride once or twice a week with a buddy who has been riding a little over a year. He rides at about a CC pace (he's been steadily improving). He and I do a W&OD loop out of Herndon that includes Woodburn, Harmony Church and Dry Mill (the easy way). It's about 46 miles. I often ride ahead on the climbs and come back or I'll wait and we'll ride together on the flats. We'd both be interested in a variation on this ride and it sounds like you're intimately familiar with the terain. If you wanna join us some time (and suggest some other twists and turns), you're most welcome. We can do a mini paceline with me doin' most the pullin'. I find this to be a good ride for me as I have a tendency to hammer too much when on my own, even though I know that's not the best way to train. We're boomers in the same age range as you (for whatever that information's worth).
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Old 08-15-06, 08:27 PM
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Real / CC - I did an excellent route from Loudon Co. HS up to Lovettsville, west to the to mountains, then south Round Hill, Hamilton, Purcellville, then Dry Mill downhill back to Leesburg. The first 18 miles up to Lovettsville were very hilly (at least on my scale) but the ride was excellent especially for a Saturday morning. I was riding with PPTC but there were a boat load of riders all over the roads. The roadies definitely outnumbered the cars on the road.

Overall it was 43 miles of great terrain that was hilly and had some amazing scenery for only being an hour out of DC.
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Old 08-15-06, 09:00 PM
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Thought I'd chime in more for a "we really must get together some time" more than anything else.

The loop from Purcellville to Lovettesville is great but I haven't done it this year. There's some good climbs in there. My normal route around Manassas includes some decent rollers, and if you like can be ridden in a direction that has a fairly long, but not overly steep climb, like an average of 2% over about 3 -1/4 miles.
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Old 08-16-06, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_VA21
Real / CC - I did an excellent route from Loudon Co. HS up to Lovettsville, .....
If I hadn't been busy on Saturday I probably would have been on that ride. Sounds like a variation of one of my favorite loops.
Almost went on the "Shiftless Bums" ride from Vienna for 70+, but decided that I wanted hills more than pure distance. Going up Woodburn twice on the same ride was something I've been wanting to try for a while.
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Old 08-16-06, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by RealtourRoadie
Excellent idea. Regarding pace, I ride once or twice a week with a buddy who has been riding a little over a year. He rides at about a CC pace (he's been steadily improving). He and I do a W&OD loop out of Herndon that includes Woodburn, Harmony Church and Dry Mill (the easy way). It's about 46 miles. I often ride ahead on the climbs and come back or I'll wait and we'll ride together on the flats. We'd both be interested in a variation on this ride and it sounds like you're intimately familiar with the terain. If you wanna join us some time (and suggest some other twists and turns), you're most welcome. We can do a mini paceline with me doin' most the pullin'. I find this to be a good ride for me as I have a tendency to hammer too much when on my own, even though I know that's not the best way to train. We're boomers in the same age range as you (for whatever that information's worth).
Usually I start my rides from home or near home - between East Falls Church and Vienna. Sully/Trailside is my compromise start place when I want do the Loudon hills, bit of a drive at 50ish mile r/t, but not terrible. The long-straight to Leesburg is a good warm up. Then Woodburn and beyond....
A ride sometime would be fun. I ride a CC pace on the flats, bit slow on the hills but I like B/CC terrain. Right now my work keeps my ride time down. Usually only able to get part of one day each weekend for a rides, and sometimes have to change plans at short notice. But we'll see what we can schedule.

Are you actually in Fairfax City, or out in the county?
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Old 08-16-06, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by RealtourRoadie
Excellent idea. Regarding pace, I ride once or twice a week with a buddy who has been riding a little over a year. He rides at about a CC pace (he's been steadily improving). He and I do a W&OD loop out of Herndon that includes Woodburn, Harmony Church and Dry Mill (the easy way). It's about 46 miles. I often ride ahead on the climbs and come back or I'll wait and we'll ride together on the flats. We'd both be interested in a variation on this ride and it sounds like you're intimately familiar with the terain. If you wanna join us some time (and suggest some other twists and turns), you're most welcome. We can do a mini paceline with me doin' most the pullin'. I find this to be a good ride for me as I have a tendency to hammer too much when on my own, even though I know that's not the best way to train. We're boomers in the same age range as you (for whatever that information's worth).
Which direction is "the easy way" on Woodburn, Harmony Church and Dry Mill? I plan on riding them for the first time on Sat. morning. I have done some of the hills on the Lovettsville Road and the Rt. 800 hills near Hamilton Mill. How do the hills on Woodburn and Harmony Church compare? I normally ride at a CC - B pace as well.

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Old 08-16-06, 05:38 PM
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Drymill the "easy way" is from Clarkes Gap to Leesburg.
Woodburn the "easy way" is from Harmony Chruch, up the south side of Hogback Mt, and down to Drymill.
Harmony Church has no "easy way" but it's not too hard to begin with.

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Old 08-16-06, 06:28 PM
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cc rider,

Thanks for the quick reply.
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Old 08-16-06, 07:25 PM
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Sounds like CC addressed the hill question. These are all pretty new to me as well...but I like 'em. I live West of Fairfax City right near Fair Oaks Mall. If I can get out tomorrow morning, I'm planning to ride about a 60 mile loop out of Herndon that includes most of the aforementioned hills (at least from the last few posts). Saturday, I'm planning on a PPTC ride and Sunday I have to prep for an Open House but can do a shorter ride in the AM. My riding buddy departed for the Hamptons for 5 days so if early Sunday works we can do that. The more the merrier...
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Old 08-16-06, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by twahl
Thought I'd chime in more for a "we really must get together some time" more than anything else.

The loop from Purcellville to Lovettesville is great but I haven't done it this year. There's some good climbs in there. My normal route around Manassas includes some decent rollers, and if you like can be ridden in a direction that has a fairly long, but not overly steep climb, like an average of 2% over about 3 -1/4 miles.
I must admit, I never ride out that way. I'm not aware of a good way to get out there from where I am. I'm very blessed to have the W&OD close by with its easy access to so many good roads.
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Old 08-16-06, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by RealtourRoadie
I must admit, I never ride out that way. I'm not aware of a good way to get out there from where I am. I'm very blessed to have the W&OD close by with its easy access to so many good roads.
Manassas is easy ride to get to. I use Braddock Rd, Old Centerville Rd and Mathias Ave to get to Manassas old town, and Cloverhill, Hastings and Lucasville to get out the other side to the nice countryside beyond. It's not too hilly out there, but it's pretty. PPTC Nokesville rides cover that area.
Keep going and you end up in Fredericksburg.

Was eyeing the PPTC Lovettsville ride for this weekend, but Saturday is birthday and family has plans for me. Short local ride in morning, but I have to be back and cleaned up by 10. Sunday will probably be a work day since Saturday won't be. Another time.

I envy you weekday rides. I've managed only 2 this year, and those were in May.

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Old 08-16-06, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by RealtourRoadie
I must admit, I never ride out that way. I'm not aware of a good way to get out there from where I am. I'm very blessed to have the W&OD close by with its easy access to so many good roads.
Ride the W&OD out to Purcellville and do the loop up to Lovettsville. The loop itself is around 36 miles I believe, so add that to whatever it takes you to get there. The basic route is this:

Leave the W&OD at Simpson Circle (before entering Purcellville) to the right, cut across to Rt. 9 and take a right on 9.
Take a left onto Clark's Gap.
There's a brief right, forget the name, at Waterford. You want to then take a left onto Loyalty.
At Taoylorstown, take a left onto Taylorstown Rd.
Take a left onto Lovettesville Rd.
Take a right onto 673 bringing you into Lovettesville. Go through town, there's a 7-11 on the right at the intersection of 287.
Continue on 673 to 690 (Mountain Rd.), where you take a right.
Take a right onto Rt. 9, then a left onto 690 again. It's Hillsboro Rd. at this point.
Take a left on Addler School Rd.
Take a right on Purcellville Rd.
Shortly after crossing Rt. 7, you pick up the W&OD again. Follow back to the start point.

According to Topo 6.0, it's 35 miles, with 2378 feet of total climbing. There's a mix of longish climbs and shorter, steeper climbs.
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Old 08-20-06, 03:11 PM
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I ride most of those Loudoun roads a lot as of late; it's the PW county stuff I haven't done but CC addressed that. And so much for good intentions. I didn't ride at all this weekend and had to cut my Fri ride to 48 from my intended 60ish. Didn't get out until early afternoon. WORK!!!! I'm not gonna be in the shape I was hoping for by the Reston Century. I still plan to do the full 100, but this being my first Century, I'm gonna take it easy.
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