I hadn’t really wanted to ride the length of the W&OD Trail by myself this past weekend, but I missed the Saturday Team in Training ride, and felt a need to get in an 83-mile ride to make up for it, so that was pretty much my easiest option the next day. I didn’t want to go by myself, I was worried about finding places for water and bathroom breaks, and I wasn’t sure what to do with my bike at said stops. And of course, the ride was quite lovely, and I didn’t have any of those problems. I was worried for nothing – which is pretty much always the case…
Sunday was a perfect day, weather-wise. The W&OD is mostly flat. I stopped three times, each time near a bike shop. Twice was at the same bike shop, the Green Lizard, in Herndon, where I got chai tea at the 20 mile point, then a cookie at the 60-some-odd point on my way back.
Actually, I am now considering Saturday morning rides out to the Green Lizard, post-century and next spring, as a way to keep in shape but have a tea stop along the way.
Another concern was how crowded the trail would be, especially since the weather was so nice, and it was crowded, but I think the flatness of the ride countered the crowds. And at some point along the way, there were fewer crowds. The last 10 miles or so to Purcellville was very pretty, rolling hills, big houses, cows and horses.
The end of the W&OD was a nice stopping point; I was not the only cyclist to rest, use the restroom, and fill up a water bottle. I felt safe leaving Donner unlocked while I took a few pictures. I’d like to go back there, but probably not by bike again.
The ride back was equally uneventful.
I’m very glad I forced myself to do it, because now I feel much more confident looking ahead to the Sea Gull Century. I was tired, but not exhausted, and not sore (although I couldn’t stop yawning on Monday!). An easy 45 miles is on schedule for this Saturday, plus rest and proper nutrition (easier said than done for someone who dislikes cooking) for the next 10 days, and I should be fine!