Monday, June 28, 2010

Tappahannock 200k permanent - Hot, Hot, Hot

The Tappahannock is one of my favorite rides in VA, partly because of the 2-hour drive from my house and partly because it has just enough climbing to keep it interesting. The majority of the route is on narrow 2 lane roads with little traffic.

The first 75 miles flew by with cooler temperatures (read only 90F), a slight breeze and some cloud cover. What a great way to spend the morning!

Unfortunately after leaving the Tappahannock control, the cloud cover lifted (or burned off), and the oven was on. Kim and Keith caught up to me on the road to Sparta. I hung on for ~4 miles but then started getting chills and thought it best to slow down and ride at a sensible pace marking the beginning of a very long afternoon baking errr..riding. A few miles later I found some shade to relax in, drank some water and ate a little.

Eventually I found myself in Sparta. Sounds exciting right? Sparta is a village marked by a post office/gas station. I think the majority of the population was chillaxing outside. They informed me that Kim and Keith had just left. A toothless (for real) fellow had a bag of ice that Keith left and was about to take it to his cooler. He was kind enough to ask if I wanted it. I left little doubt as to my need at the moment.

I had been thinking about ice socks for the previous ten miles and this gave me the opportunity to give it a try. I filled a tube sock with ice and placed it around my nape under the jersey. Not sure how much this helped the next 20 miles but it was worth it to have something feel cool. Dr. Lim formerly of Garmin now with Lance says it works so why not give it a try.

I was sitting on a bench having a beverage and some nuts outside the 111 mile control when Ron and Tom arrived and talked me into riding the final leg with them. Sure, why not. I felt great until the last 4-5 miles. I drank too much water and felt nauseous but needed to eat to avoid the monster. In the words of Jon Pasch, “Bro, this is not good.” I pushed onward making it to the final control.


What a great way to spend a summer day. Riding a bicycle through the beautiful country side.

I enjoyed the permanent version of this route. The finish is different than the brevet version.

This will be a great October-November route.

Stay tuned, the adventure is not over…not even close!

Tom, Ron and I went to the Waffle House before venturing back home and had some grease to top off our empty fuel tanks. Once on the road I was good until I approached Williamsburg, VA. My automobile became Apollo 11. In indicator told me to check my breaks, next the ABS light went on. A few more miles and the dash lights went out. A few more miles and the headlights, dash, and air were all off. I pulled over and coasted up the exit ramp near Toano, VA. I called for a tow to a service station that would open on Sunday AM and got a hotel down the road.

I was standing out front of the service station when they opened on Sunday AM. They got to work on the vehicle. The battery was dead (ya think?). They told me nothing was wrong with the alternator. Hummm, truthfully I think they didn’t want to replace the bad alternator. Somehow I drove home. The car just spent the day at the dealer getting a new super expensive alternator.

Conspiracy theory:

  1. Car paid off on June 1.
  2. The title arrived in the mail last week.
  3. There must be a self-destruct sequence programmed into a chip somewhere in the vehicle. “They” will get their money one way or another.

1 comment:

Rongmal said...

It was good to ride with you from the last control to the finish. The Snickers ice cream bar gave me the right boost at this contro. Later I got a cell call from you where your car broke down. For some reason, I was heading home via Rt 460, probably about 30 miles from you on the other side of the James River. I'm glad you made it home on Sunday. Makes you wonder if we should spend a little more time checking our cars out than our bikes. I chuckled at your comments about the car title, paying off the car, and the hidden chip.

Stay cool,