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View Full Version : One Year With Spartacus, My Road Bike - Thank You



acc
07-07-2011, 09:16 PM
One year ago I bought my first road bike, named him Spartacus, climbed onto his saddle and promptly fell over in my driveway. That day he and I went on a very shaky five-mile ride into Falls Church and back to Vienna on the W&O Trail. By the time I got home I was covered in sweat and my legs felt as wobbly as a childís Slinky toy. But somewhere on that ride I had the briefest moment when I felt like I was flying. That evening all I could think about was how great it felt and how much I wanted to fly again.

I started riding whenever I could. I rode in 90+ degree weather, I rode when it was below freezing. I remember the first time I rode twenty miles. I was as excited as the day I graduated from high school. But there were awful days too. The first time I rode with a group I was dropped, got lost, and fell off Spartacus when a minivan startled me. I limped back to Wakefield bloody and humiliated. That was the only time I cried.

I survived bouncing off the side of a car in October, an idiot driver failed to stop when I was in the crosswalk. I walked away from a bad crash New Yearís Eve and did not sleep through the night for several weeks because my back and shoulder hurt so much. But I refused to quit. I slowly became faster and stronger, I went on a fifty-mile ride this spring and barely noticed, then went for sixty-eight just for the hell of it.

In January I found this forum and through it found friends and support, people who generously give their time and expertise about all things bike. I am forever grateful for your kindness, humor, and support. It has made all the difference. Thank you.

On Saturday I think Iíll ride out of the Vienna Community Center and stop at Carolina Brothers on my way back from Purcellville. If you have time, youíre welcome to join me. Otherwise Iíll buy the first pitchers the next time we have another Happy Hour. Again, as I think about the last year, I canít thank you enough.

Happy trails,

ann

Joe Chapline
07-07-2011, 09:25 PM
Thank you, Senior Member ACC, for your great contribution to the forum.

StopMeansStop
07-07-2011, 11:00 PM
Totallly awesome!

CCrew
07-08-2011, 07:38 AM
Only a year? I thought you were an old hat at this!

Congrats!! Can't say I'll be there as we're looking at doing the Torrey Brown/Heritage trail out of Baltimore in the morning, but will keep it in mind. After all, you're buying @ Carolina Brothers :) What time were you thinking of starting?

eminva
07-08-2011, 09:37 AM
Congratulations, Ann! What a great story! Thank you for all your great contributions. I am envious of all your group rides; I have never done that as I am a pretty one dimensional commuter cyclist.

Would join you tomorrow, but this week is making me bonk. If you do it again in the fall or sometime with cooler weather, I would love to join you. I have been to Leesburg, but not Purcellville so that is on the to do list.

So, when are you going to do the century? :o

acc
07-08-2011, 12:50 PM
In a hazy moment I signed up for the 100 on the Back Roads Century Ride, Sept 18th

I'd like to start around 8:00 and get out there pretty quick with the idea of taking my time coming back after I eat half a hog. :-D

I'll do the Purcellville run again within a month. I like the ride, it's fun, no stress.

ann

KLizotte
07-08-2011, 01:03 PM
Happy anniversary to you and Spartacus! Many best wishes for a long and happy life together :-)

Much blessed to have made your acquaintance.

Kathy

acc
07-08-2011, 02:18 PM
I hope by next year I can get closer to going as fast as he wants to go. And thank you for your friendship. :-D
ann

Jsnyd
07-08-2011, 03:26 PM
Congrats Ann, awesome post! Inspiring! Wish I could join you. I’m up for a ride in the future. I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep up, plus the wife is out of town this weekend and I’m stuck babysitting :p

CCrew
07-08-2011, 03:34 PM
In a hazy moment I signed up for the 100 on the Back Roads Century Ride, Sept 18th

I'd like to start around 8:00 and get out there pretty quick with the idea of taking my time coming back after I eat half a hog. :-D

I'll do the Purcellville run again within a month. I like the ride, it's fun, no stress.


Congrats on the 100. Been waiting to see the course for this year, supposedly the 65 and 100 last year they threw a lot of those infamous "rolling hills" in. Course will decide which we'll go for. I'm only 8 miles from Berryville - I know those rollers all too well.

Most likely won't make tomorrow, we're pretty set on the trip north. Doing this:
http://www.traillink.com/trail/torrey-c-brown-rail-trail-(formerly-north-central-or-northern-central).aspx

Which then ties to this:
http://www.traillink.com/trail/heritage-rail-trail-county-park.aspx

Should give us 80+ for the day.

eminva
07-08-2011, 06:21 PM
Last year, I did the 29 mile version of the Back Roads Century. My one and only cycling event so far. I was a little worried about the hills (the only reason I didn't do a longer distance). Most of it was okay, and I felt like I would have been fine with a longer distance, but I remember one tough hill. Otherwise it was fun and scenic. You should be well prepared and if the weather is nice, have a great day.

And the food! I was coming from a running background so I was really astonished that people stopped and ate in the middle of the event! And real food, not just orange wedges and gatorade.

I might do it this year, but not the full 100. It's right after I return from vacation and experience tells me I might need a couple of weeks to recover from the overeating and lack of exercise.

Liz

acc
07-08-2011, 06:51 PM
Oddly enough, long rides remind me of working long shifts in the hospital. We did not get many breaks, stood almost the entire time, ran up and down the hallways, etc. But with the bike the only blood is my own and I have the option of stopping, something I could not do in the middle of a shift.

CCrew, am I mistaken or did I detect fear of the route preventing you from signing up? Fear, there is no fear in cycling. :-)

Have fun tomorrow, I believe I saw a slate of five "victims," I meant to say ride buddies, for tomorrow's romp in the woods. Should be a fun alternative to Thursday night Chariot Races @ Wakefield.

CCrew
07-08-2011, 08:08 PM
CCrew, am I mistaken or did I detect fear of the route preventing you from signing up? Fear, there is no fear in cycling. :-)

Naa, no fear for me. My riding partner for this one however? Definitely Supposedly the 25 and 35 are easy romps. the 65 and 100 not so much


fun tomorrow, I believe I saw a slate of five "victims," I meant to say ride buddies, for tomorrow's romp in the woods. Should be a fun alternative to Thursday night Chariot Races @ Wakefield.

You too! Have a great ride!! Look forward to the report. Enjoy Carolina Brothers! :)

Riley Casey
07-08-2011, 08:33 PM
Now there is a 'joy of cycling' post to warm the heart. Have fun this weekend Ann.

acc
07-09-2011, 02:11 PM
I confess and repent. I turned to the Dark Side. Today I broke every rule, every courtesy, and rode like a jerk. All I can say is I was in a group, fighting to hold my position and rode within my abilities. When I became too tired I dropped back to make sure I wasn't putting anyone at risk. Probably won't do that again but now I understand the thinking, it is a bit primal.

ann

DaveK
07-09-2011, 08:54 PM
I confess and repent. I turned to the Dark Side. Today I broke every rule, every courtesy, and rode like a jerk. All I can say is I was in a group, fighting to hold my position and rode within my abilities. When I became too tired I dropped back to make sure I wasn't putting anyone at risk. Probably won't do that again but now I understand the thinking, it is a bit primal.

ann

What group, dare I ask?

CCrew
07-09-2011, 11:23 PM
I confess and repent. I turned to the Dark Side. Today I broke every rule, every courtesy, and rode like a jerk. All I can say is I was in a group, fighting to hold my position and rode within my abilities. When I became too tired I dropped back to make sure I wasn't putting anyone at risk. Probably won't do that again but now I understand the thinking, it is a bit primal.

ann


Oh, inquiring minds want to know.... LOL

Torrey Brown Trail/Heritage trail was wonderful. One of the nicer runs we've done. They aptly carry two separate names, and they're certainly two seemingly different trails albeit one contiguous route. We rode from Hunt Valley to York PA, out and back was 82 miles.

Torrey Brown was a bit more scenic, but lacking in the quality and consistency of the trail surface. Good, albeit not wonderful. The Heritage Trail in PA had a great surface, if you've ridden the GAP trail very similar. What was nice is that the PA trail passes through a lot of small PA towns, and there were many businesses catering to the trail traffic. Had a nice lunch on the trail, a great ice cream stop, facilities were well spaced, all in all a great ride. Hit hunt Valley Town center after the ride for a great meal. Felt a little iffy in lycra for dinner but the restaurant didn't seem to mind.

I'd put it high on my recommend list for a good full day outing.

skreaminquadz
07-10-2011, 08:27 AM
Congratulations Ann!! Great post, it put a smile on my face.

Hope your ride out to P'ville was nice on Saturday.

acc
07-10-2011, 10:37 AM
It was um, remarkable on so many levels...

But my suggestion to Purcellville is they need to add a little something to the end of the trail. It is kind of a let-down to make it all the way out there, over the river and through the woods, past the Horseshoe of Death, through the stroller obstacle course around Vienna, across the bowling lane adventure known as the Wiehle Intersection and then find out the W&O simply ends with a restroom. If this is a preview of heaven, I'm in big trouble.

I propose a cannon be added to the end of the trail set to go off each time a cyclist passes the little circle. Live ammo is not necessary, but would liven things up a bit.

Happy trails, I think I shall play on the DC Bridges for fun next week,

ann

CCrew
07-10-2011, 12:56 PM
then find out the W&O simply ends with a restroom. If this is a preview of heaven, I'm in big trouble.


Great line Ann. Thanks for the laugh!

Jsnyd
07-10-2011, 01:25 PM
Haha, Ill have to make the trip out there.

KLizotte
07-11-2011, 09:59 AM
It was um, remarkable on so many levels...

But my suggestion to Purcellville is they need to add a little something to the end of the trail. It is kind of a let-down to make it all the way out there, over the river and through the woods, past the Horseshoe of Death, through the stroller obstacle course around Vienna, across the bowling lane adventure known as the Wiehle Intersection and then find out the W&O simply ends with a restroom. If this is a preview of heaven, I'm in big trouble.

I propose a cannon be added to the end of the trail set to go off each time a cyclist passes the little circle. Live ammo is not necessary, but would liven things up a bit.

ann

Hahaha. I think we should be truly thankful there is at least a restroom (hopefully very clean and modern) else that could make for an uncomfortable ending. I was so disappointed the first time I arrived at the southern end of the MVT - I was expecting something more in biker friendly facilities (admittedly I haven't cycled around the roundabout to the actual estate itself yet).

I think Purcellville may be missing the boat in terms of capitalizing on the WO&D. Not too long ago I considered making the trek out there from Pentagon City. Given the slow speed of my hybrid bike (and legs) plus my penchant for stopping at anything that looks interesting, I'd need to make it an overnighter. When I investigated the charms of Purcellville, particularly its night life, I decided to give it a pass. I think I'll stop at Leesburg instead.

Dirt
07-11-2011, 11:01 AM
Fantastic post, Miss Nice Lady. Many years of happy cycling to you.


... and then find out the W&O simply ends with a restroom. If this is a preview of heaven, I'm in big trouble.

While I've ridden past that lovely monument, I'm relatively sure that I will not encounter its pearly-gated counterpart. ;)

JimF22003
07-11-2011, 02:30 PM
I get the impression that the folks in Purcelville aren't so crazy about the W&OD traffic. I got hassled by somebody who thought I should be on the trail when I was riding on Hirst Rd. Yesterday, coming in from Hillsboro after riding to Harpers Ferry, had no trouble with any traffic for the whole 80-mile day, until somebody called me an "idiot" when I waited for him (though i didn't have to) when trying to turn left onto the trail from Hatcher Ave. I get the feeling the locals think the trail is just a nuisance...