A couple of members in our local bicycle club had an idea for a series of rides which start/end at local pubs. The plan was to try a different pub for each “pub ride.” The organizers researched pubs and breweries that are near good cycling routes, have adequate parking and have the environment for us to either buy or bring post-ride snacks or meals. We had our first pub ride from a micro-brewery in Williamsburg, called Alewerks Brewing Company, early in the summer. Parking is abundant on Sunday mornings because Alewerks does not open until noon. The Alewerks staff really loves seeing the cars with bike racks when they come to work. It’s a signal that business is coming! Alewerks does not sell food. However, they welcome us to bring our own. It’s really tough to top the Alewerks experience. As a result, every pub ride we’ve done so far has been from Alewerks.
It was no surprise that our first pub series metric century (100 km or 62 miles) happened from Alewerks. I expected the Sunday morning ride to be relatively uneventful. I arrived early to make a quick ride to a nearby Starbucks (800 E. Rochambeau Dr). One thing got my attention as I pulled out of the business park to begin my two-mile ride to Starbucks: THE WIND! The forecast reported 8-18 mph winds with 25-mph gusts. Not only was it really blowing, it was actually kind of cold, too. I figured I was dressed appropriately for 50 degrees. But I was having some doubts in the wind! The two-mile ride was just right for warming up. I bought my usual hot chocolate and sat outside to enjoy it. There was plenty of iron bar fence to lock up a bicycle. I considered it bike-friendly enough. The two-mile ride back to Alewerks was a bit warmer, probably because the sun was up over the trees by then. The hot chocolate may have helped, too. I returned to Alewerks to see about 20 riders had showed up to ride. VERY COOL!
We planned to break the riders into an A-pace group followed by B-pace group. However, we stuck together for the first 5-7 miles. We eventually forced a break at an intersection so the B-group could ride at manageable speeds without being tempted to chase the faster riders. It was a welcome decision. The wind was a killer! I managed to get separated from the group due to a late start from a rest stop (I was stowing tools from a quick adjustment). I came across a rider from the A-group, Scott B., who had a flat tire as I was riding on a section of the Capital Trail. I decided to wait for him to complete his repair, especially since we both appeared to be dropped from our groups. However, that was not the case. A few riders waited for us a couple of miles up the road. The five of us rode six miles and came to a larger regrouping at the top of a climb. Scott B. had another flat. He eventually had a total of four flats throughout the day. Bummer! That is why I carry a PUMP instead of CO2 cartridges. One never knows what the road may bring.
Some of the climbing was a bit of a challenge since I was beginning to tire from the ongoing headwinds. It was nice to get that wind at my back for some of the return trip. Unfortunately, my quads started to cramp, possibly from not drinking enough water. I need to remind myself to drink in cooler weather! I made it back to Alewerks with a group of eight riders and opted to call it a day. Although I wanted to stay a bit, I thought it was better for me to get some healthy food and drink to start my recovery. It was well-past lunchtime and I hadn’t had anything to eat on the road other than a few snacks. My legs felt like Jell-O… painful Jell-O!
Overall, I think the pub series metric century went well. The pub rides are always good and I look forward to them. Scoring a Coffeeneuring Challenge stop in the process was a bonus! We’ll see what kind of coffee shop I visit next weekend. I’m never quite sure until the night before. Until then…