Leader: Ron Altemus
Route: Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail (DRHT) from Rte 605 west to US-301 in Dalhgren and return. The trail is about 16 miles long one way.
Weather: Sunshine, temps rising from the low 60s to low 70s, gusty breeze out of the west though not really felt on the trailbed.
AMS: approx 9 mph
Mechanicals/Mishaps: one fall in deep sand
Report: the DRHT is a bit farther than our regular riding area so I wasn't surprised that no one showed up. Perhaps a good thing, since I hadn't ridden the trail in a couple of years and had advertised that hybrids with 32mm tires should be fine. Not! The trail is really lovely - a veritable tunnel of green through the rural countryside of King George County. However, it is still privately owned by the Friends of the DRHT so the trail surface conditions vary greatly. There are long stretches of hard packed dirt and gravel, but also long stretches of a single track through grass, some sections of gravel that isn't packed down firmly, and one "detour" that is susceptible to flooding with any rain (as it did the night before my ride). Still, it is fun to ride but I would strongly recommend hybrids with at least 38mm tires and preferably, a mountain bike with 2" or greater tires.
Even on a weekend, there were very few other users. Two riders had come up from Richmond and we passed on the trail. Otherwise, 7 other walkers were all I saw for the 32 mile ride.
The Friends of the DRHT do require a permit to use the trail, which are free except for the price of a stamp to request one and a second stamp for the envelope to have them mail you the permit. More information about the trail can be found on the Friends page: http://www.friendsdrht.org/DRHT_TrailInfo.htm
Since the trail is so nicely shaded, perhaps I'll post a ride again during the hotter months of summer.