Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Veterans Day Leesburg Loop

2014 Veteran's Day Ride
Happy Belated Veterans Day to all those who are and have served!

Six friends and I chose to celebrate with an all day ride here in the Nation's Capitol.  We set our sights high, the 84 mile 'Leesburg Loop'.  I've been wanting to do this ride for over a year after I became aware of Whites Ferry and the possibility to complete a true out and back loop all the way to Leesburg.  We departed my place in Alexandria VA around 0630 with five riders and  met two more in Georgetown at the foot of the C&O/CCT Trails.  It was a brisk but gorgeous morning and the forecast promised warmer temperatures and continued pleasant weather all day.

I'll let the pictures and captions tell the story, I had a great time... the distance was pretty daunting and two of our little band had practically zilch for recent bike experience.  Well done Pete and Al!  Great attitudes and the willingness to do something crazy gets you in all sorts of interesting (if uncomfortable) situations!

From left to right; Al, Wes, Jude, Tony and Pete

Al and Pete speeding along Gravelly Point, both were riding borrowed Bridgestones from my stable.  Al on my wife's silver MB-3 and Pete on my XO-3.

Sunrise over the Potomac, note the crew teams out early.  Great color, I love Nov skies in this area. Morning and evening they offer so many crisp horizons and interesting clouds.

Quick detour for the Reflecting Pool and Lincoln Memorial.

Pete at the Memorial.

Quick stop on the spillway

Blow up for two reasons, first to show the Women's Cross Country runners behind us, the girl closest to Pete's shoulder was hauling ass!!! She passed us soon after this picture and it took us a couple hundred yards to catch up, she must have been running at a 8-10mph pace at this point.

Joe in his element (and on his UBI-built custom steel commuter - he still hasn't wrapped his bars!)

Up close to Great Falls this wonderful basin was like a mirror, rock formations on the far wall were also stunning.  

The crew in middle center speeding along towards morning coffee

How gorgeous is this!?! Note the moon... less than an hour by bike from the National Mall, you can't beat this!

The crew enjoying the view.

The first shot of the new ride - say hello to Mr. Bombadil!

How's this for coffee outside, coffee w/ a view even. The Great Falls Overlook on the MD side has an awesome rock formation that offered a perfect stove placement.  Note my new Japanese wire coffee filter holder and Ocean Air Cycles roasted beans.  #coffeeneuring, #coffeoutside

MD side of Great Falls... never gets old!

More glamour shots of the Bombadil

Three bottle cages is pretty sexy... (and useful!)

ok ok I know... gratuitous amounts of Bombadil shots.

Whites Ferry!  We had splendid timing and literally rode straight on and were carried across.

Looking back on the VA side of the Ferry crossing

You have to admit that Pete and the red XO-3 cast a pretty sweet shadow here as we join up w/ Rt 15 to head into Leesburg.

Once on the W&OD the ride did start to grind a bit, we stopped for an amazing lunch at Carolina Bro's BBQ in Ashburn but I think we were about an hour late in getting those calories as it had been a long 50 miles leading up to lunch.  The W&OD's new coat of asphalt was much appreciated though.

Double top tube shadow... I belive this is inside the beltway crossing I-66.  We were chasing the setting sun at this point and nursing our aches and cramps but everyone kept up a good attitude and we finished strong.  Happy Veterans Day!


  1. Well done, gentlemen! That looks like a great loop and a merry band. That's the way to take advantage of an opportunity...and the parallel top tube Bombadil looks best to me. Your photos gave me a massive dose of "I wish I was there" envy.

  2. Thank you Chris! I'm loving the new Bombadil, a very satisfying addition. It would have been great to have you and I'm already envious of the big Ramble coming up next weekend... I can't wait to hear about the ride!

  3. Great Pics and a terrific report. My friends and I would love to do that loop one day.
    Well done, and thank you for your service and/or for honoring those who served with your ride.

    I've been looking for the wire filter holder to make pour over coffee, but haven't seen one yet. I'm currently using Aeropress for my "coffee without walls" needs.

  4. Great report! I have a DTT Bombadil that has seen the C&O as well, yours looks great. I would love to do this ride as would my son I'm sure. He's a Riv owner too and currently active duty, living in Silver Spring.

  5. Rusty - Thanks very much. I highly recommend the ride, it was on my list for quite some time and while it's on the edge of 'comfortable distance' by about 10-15 miles I really enjoyed it. I've heard great things about the aeropress, looks like it packs a great punch for the relative small size and ease of use.

    CNYRIV - Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm pretty sure I've seen pics of your DTT Bombadil and am thrhilled to be joining the club. Let me know if you make C&O plans and want company, there are a couple other local Riv-listers that have expressed interest in it as well!

    1. Yep, I'm strongly considering next September myself.