ACP Suffolk to Skippers 200 km (128 miles, Run #3)

20150321_Start-Keith

Photo by Keith Sutton

It’s been 11 months since my last rando, be it a permanent, brevet or anything else. In fact, I haven’t ridden more than 30 miles at one time since October. I had hoped to ride through the winter, but the comfort of a warm home got the better of me. 00-biggrin  Southeastern Virginia got a lot more snow and ice than usual, too. The area nearly shut down after each snow event and the roads were a mess for days on end. We’re not equipped for heavy snow removal or suppression. Plus, our local drivers aren’t that safe on dry roads, much less roads with weather-related “challenges.” As a result, this ACP event caught me under-trained. I had a few 25-milers under my belt this year; that wasn’t even close to what I needed to prepare for a 200-km ride. The lack of training has never stopped me before. Bring on the pain!  00-winky Continue reading

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Things to Come…

20150307_MapWOW! It’s been nearly four months since my last entry. As stated in September, I’ve returned to my roots and have been doing shorter club rides to recover from last year’s setbacks. The photos below were taken during  26-mile coffee shop rides. Snow, rain, ice and frigid temperatures have kept me off the bike for weeks. But it looks like the weather may be turning around soon. Sunday was a good day for a club ride. About 20 riders met and formed 3-4 groups to ride a series of out-and-backs along the roads of Poquoson, VA. I rode about 25 miles today. Here is a map of most of my ride. It’ll be good to accumulate more miles in the coming weeks. Continue reading

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Half-Marathon Coffeeneuring Ride #7 (Plus a Bonus)

20141109_MarshalsMe? Run a half-marathon? Don’t be silly! I only run if it’s raining and I really need to get to my car. Otherwise, I either ride or just walk and get wet.  00-winky  A local cyclist asked me to ride as a road marshal in support of The Virginia Running Festival at Christopher Newport University (CNU) on November 9th. Arriving early was an easy way to knock out my final 2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge drink. I opted to ride to the event since I knew the streets would be mostly empty. I hit the dark roads at 5:30am and rode seven miles to a Dunkin Donuts near the venue (12425 Warwick Blvd). Once there, I met a riding buddy, aka my “bike wife,” for breakfast and hot chocolate. Continue reading

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2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge #6

20141101_EustisInsideNovember brings the kind of weather that makes it tough to leave the comfort of my warm bed to go for a cool-weather bike ride. Saturday’s forecast was a bit gloomy and predicted rain at some point. Sunday’s forecast was for 20-mph winds. NO THANKS! That made Saturday (11/01) the better day to head out for an easy ride as well as for experimenting with cool-weather clothing. Reacquainting myself with how to layer-up during a short ride should help me to dress appropriately for longer rides. I opted to ride from my home to the relatively new Starbucks on Fort Eustis for a bowl of oatmeal and a cup of hot chocolate. Continue reading

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Unplanned Coffeeneuring Ride (#5)

20141026_WawaI had a busy Saturday and didn’t even get out for a ride. Sunday (10/26) was my day to get in a Coffeeneuring Challenge ride. I had planned to make a dedicated hot chocolate ride in the afternoon since I had another ride planned in the morning. One of our club members invited me to join a group for a recovery ride since they rode a metric century on the 25th. I had to laugh because I don’t think I’ve ever been on one of their “recovery rides” without needing significant effort to keep up. It’s good, though. I won’t get faster if I don’t ride harder. We left Newport News Park for a planned 40-ish miles. Continue reading

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Pub Series Metric Century Plus Coffeeneuring Ride #4

20141019_AlewerksA 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.

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2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge, Ride #3

20141018_Coffee-EmilysIt had been a while since I last led a club ride. Given my participation in the Coffeeneuring Challenge, I decided to lead a ride and add a stop for hot chocolate. I plotted a course that passed by two coffee-type shops. My club’s groups had ridden past Emily’s Donuts & Café many times. We normally stop at a convenience store down the road. I opted to make Emily’s a primary stop on October 18th. Continue reading

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2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge, Ride #2

20141012_Coffee-RouteI thought I’d knock out another coffeeneuring ride before riding in Trek’s 2014 Breast Cancer Awareness Ride (BCAR). However, I arrived to find a very social environment and wound up putting off my next hot chocolate ride. I thought I’d grab a cup after the BCAR. But I was sore, unfamiliar with the local traffic and knew I could use the coffeneuring run as a recovery ride the following day. I left my bike in the car that evening and went out for hot chocolate the first thing Sunday morning, October 12th. Continue reading

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Trek’s Breast Cancer Awarness Ride… More Pink! (65 miles)

20141011_TrekBannerOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I rode in my second breast cancer awareness event, BikeBeat‘s inaugural Breast Cancer Awareness Ride (BCAR), from their shop in Chesapeake on October 11th. Like the previous weekend’s Petals for the Cure on city streets, this ride featured plenty of wet roads, thanks to the overnight rain. Unlike Petals for the Cure, Chesapeake’s wet roads lasted much longer due to the morning’s torrential downpours and the route’s country roads with lots of tree cover and lack of abundant drainage. Continue reading

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2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge, Ride #1… In Pink!

I’m a man with some irony in his life. I’m an electronics technician who loathes electronics that don’t work without fault on an eternal basis. I recently started a bread-free diet and then began to visit Panera Bread to satisfy my wish for breadless meals on the run. Finally, I don’t drink coffee (never have), but I find myself undertaking the 2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge, a series of bike rides which focuses on cycling to different coffee shops. Why do that if I don’t drink coffee? To be honest, it’s taken a while for me to take the plunge. I first learned of coffeeneuring when I started to rando in 2012. I was searching for ultra-distance riding tips and tripped over a rider’s blog called Chasing Mailboxes. Continue reading

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