June Century Ride Report

I rode a century last month, the in-reverse Monument to Monument organized by John. I didn’t write about it because, welp. It was the first century I had ridden since my tour in Poland last August, during which we did one 100-mile day, and certainly my longest ride of 2013. John has a good recap here, but despite the air being a bit chilly and having to battle a headwind to Baltimore, it was a fantastic ride with a wonderful group of people: lots of sunshine, good conversation, good pacing, and a fun way to shake down the Terry (yes, seriously). And I taught a few of the guys about the holy grail of post-ride relaxation: the showerbeer.

I also rode a bit on subsequent May weekends: to Annapolis (80 miles), and in a few loops on the Anacostia tributary trails (~50 miles). Last weekend, I rode Mount Vernon out and back, plus an extra 10 for #dcbrewvet purposes; more on that later, when I blog about my brewvet controls.


I was hoping to get a long ride at the beginning of the month, so when Justin tweeted to ask if anyone was planning on doing something like that, I was like, “Yes, except I don’t have a route, or know where I want to go.” He had a map of a ride out to White’s Ferry that connected to the W&OD through Leesburg, which appealed to me because I have to do some grad school-related things regarding a connection of the W&OD and C&O. I confirmed at 6 a.m. on Sunday that I wasn’t completely catatonic from drinking, like, nine beers the day before, and off we went.

White’s Ferry

It was humid as all get-out. (I was squirming in my short-sleeve jersey, but these Hincapie shorts continue to impress me.) The remnants of my hangover hit me while climbing MacArthur, so getting on the C&O felt like a recovery. My Terry is a roadie-road bike (aluminum frame, carbon fork), but I stuck Gatorskins on it shortly after I bought it. Thanks to the tires, my Brooks saddle, and the shorts, my bike handled the unpaved portions of the ride as well as could be expected. We took River Road all the way to White’s Ferry, ferried across (adorable!), and stopped in Leesburg for lunch.

Ham and biscuits were had at Leesburg Restaurant

We were at about 45 miles when we got on W&OD. Riding on smooth pavement felt great after the 20-something bumpy miles we had covered. But it was hot, there was a headwind, and the very slight upward grade on the W&OD, which is typically not noticeable (it’s, like, one percent, sometimes two), was kicking my ass. I was having trouble picking a gear and staying in it, and my wrists and hands—which are the quickest parts of my body to give me significant trouble—were starting to lose feeling. Around mile 60, my enthusiasm was totally sapped. A water stop and some shot blocks got me through the next 15 m iles to the Custis, which was a joy after the W&OD’s extreme flatness.

Regarding mileage, my Garmin didn’t pick up a signal until I got to the Lincoln Memorial, so those four miles are unaccounted for. I was at 82 miles when Justin and I split off in Rosslyn, so I took the Roosevelt memorial bridge back into D.C. and did a few laps on Hains Point. I zig-zagged over to 11th Street to add a little bit extra (and give my legs a break; I didn’t want to climb 14th Street), and ended with around 101 on the Garmin. Here’s Justin’s Strava output; I’ve been tracking all sorts of stuff on my Garmin, but can’t get it to connect to Strava, so I’ll have to wait on my own map. After my showerbeer, I met Chris in Meridian Hill, rode to The Pig for dinner, and rode home via 14th Street on the Wabi. Everything hurt.

I’m now at two centuries in two months. I’m planning on riding the NYC century in September (it’s on my birthday!). I’d rather like to accomplish one century per month, at least for a six-month span. If you’re interested in riding centuries in July and/or August with me, I’d be happy to have you along. I’m pretty slow!

8 Comments on “June Century Ride Report”

  1. portajohn says:

    Down for the century-a-month club

    • Alex Baca says:

      Let’s do it. I like doing them at the beginning of the month because I feel quite accomplished, but understand 4th of July plans might get in the way. I will tweet to solicit a date once I get through this stupid grad-school presentation.

      Do you have route suggestions? I’m really bad at picking places to go.

  2. Rootchopper says:

    Keep me in mind, too. I promise not to be such a slow poke ths time. (Big Nellie made me say that!)

    There’s also the Eastern Shore and the Shenandoah Valley to consider (we might need to portage our bikes to those places tho.)

  3. JDAntos says:

    Nice writeup, and nice ride! (Also, hello your blog!)

  4. […] and Rootchopper John noted their interest in a century-of-the-month club on my June century ride report. I would be happy to be the rallying force behind such a thing if there’s […]

  5. bicyclebug says:

    And here I was impressed with my century a season…nice work Alex!

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