Saturday, August 23, 2014
Bicycling from Leesburg, VA to Tappahanock, VA (June 30)
119 miles in 10:29..... I really didn't know this was going to happen when I started, but today turned out to be the third longest ride of my life. However, I really don't remember a thing from the first 70 miles. The landscape was very nondescript. I was on rolling back country roads, blindly following GPS girl, and hoping she gave me a good ride. It was for the most part, but who knows how far I went away from 'the way the crow flies' in the name of safety on back roads. There were three gravel roads, the longest being about six miles, that really slowed me down and were NOT the highlight of the trip. I remember cornfields, trees, cornfields, poison ivy, cornfields, trees, and farms, some of which were horse farms. I had no idea where I was....no towns, no stores, no clues....but I got to where I was going.
The original plan was to stop in Fredericksburg, but it was only three o'clock when I got there, so I decided to keep rolling on US17. I did the same thing on a previous trip this way, and it turned into my longest ride ever, which was 136 miles. The destination was Tappahanock, and there would be no failing to get there, because there were no motels between Fredericksburg and Tappahanock. Taking US17 allows me to miss Richmond, which I was told was not a good place to ride, and I thought, Williamsburg, which turned out not to be the case. US17 alternated between two lane and four lane, and was all very familiar to me, as I was back on the course that I had done on both my other trips down this way. Traffic was light, once I got away from Fredericksburg, and the road was smooth and sweet, with great shoulders for a majority of the ride. Just as before, the rolling hills were a factor, and there were two significant climbs near Fort A P Hill, which is an Army training facility which US17 borders for over ten miles. I got to Tappahanock at about 8PM. The town is right along the Rappahanock River, which is pretty big, and looks like a sound. Nothing has changed since my last ride through here, so I ate at the same seafood restaurant and stayed at the same motel as previously trips. The 119 mile trip in 90 degree temps ended with ice bags on the quads and a good days rest.