Ride leader: Debby Bowman
Members: Joan Oppel, Janell Saunders, Pat Sanders, Steve Forman
Route https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29298927 - a relatively short (29 miles) and flat route for a chilly winter's day. We started from the Livingston Rd parking lot of the IHRT but did not spend much time on the trail. Instead we took Livingston, Hawthorne and Chicamuxen to Mason Springs Rd, then turned onto Pisgah Marbury, Bicknell and Sweetman. After another short stretch on Chicamuxen we took Smallwood Church back to Mason Springs and rode north to our rest stop at Pisgah Park. For our second stint, we continue up Mason Springs to Stuckey Rd, then rode on Poorhouse, Ripley, Hawthorne and Bumpy Oak and finished with two miles on the trail. Overall we enjoyed the route and decided it was a keeper.
Average speed: just under 13 mph for the ride leader at the end of the ride, up from just under 12 mph at the rest stop, because most of the thermal inclines were in the first half of the route.
Mishaps and mechanicals: none
Weather: Exactly as forecast, and not bad for February. Temps rose from the high 30s up to the low 40s. There were clouds in the sky but it was mostly blue and the sun was mostly visible.
Animal roll call: a couple of doggos were excited to see us ride past their yards. A couple of sheep on Stuckey Lane looked a bit confused... or maybe just registering disapproval that some of us were wearing wool...
What is this stuff on my shoes: The surface of the parking lot where we started was wet, gray clay. I was glad that I had worn old shoes and had water left in a water bottle so I could hose off the soles before going home.
Report: It was a pleasant winter ride. Janell rode from home and Joan arrived early to get in a few extra miles. We all rode together until the turn from Chicamuxen onto Mason Springs, where the big thermal incline separated us into those who have been riding regularly and those who only ride once a week or so. We all regrouped at the rest stop and rode together from there to the turn from Bumpy Oak onto the trail, where Janell stayed on the road and headed home. Despite the cold air and lack of bright sun, the roads were dry and we enjoyed the chance to ride.
Thanks to everyone for joining me!