since all of the local trails got a really heavy soaking on thursday and friday, and i had some errands to run on saturday i decided to pull out the road bike. since racing kicked up in the last couple of weeks it's been a while since i'd done anything but an easy spin on the road... i got in touch with ashmore and we decided to do a loop starting in germantown. i normally prefer road ridest that start from home - with the great rides i can do from home, driving somewhere with the road bike to ride just seems kind of wrong - but jason had a time limit on his end, and it would be easier to get a longer ride in if we started up by his place.
we started from the soccerplex under beautiful blue skies in crisp air on the back roads north of schaeffer, heading up towards poolesville. the roads around there are rolling but most of the climbs are pretty small and not too steep. he headed west towards river road and then started heading south. at this point jason's normal loop heads back towards the soccerplex, for about 30 miles but we turned right and followed river down towards potomac village. the climbs along river are still rolling, but they're bigger than we'ed done so far in the ride and i had a workout plan to work into the ride, so i pushed the big ring all the way down to falls rd. 20 minutes in zone 4-5b with big gears and low cadence... but the time i hit falls my legs were full of lactic acid and burning.
we turned down falls, riding in pretty heavy traffic to glen rd to start heading north. while we were on glen, a massive group ride came around us. jason and i both thought about trying to hang with the ride, but jason was still recovering from an impressive solo effort at lodi last weekend, so we took it easy. climbing up glen back towards sceneca rd i did another workout session and passed a couple of stragglers from the group ride.
once we hit scenca we joined back up with jason's route. once you turn off sceneca onto berryville you hit the hardest section of the ride... narrow, steep, and twisty roads with a really bad road surface. the ride finishes up on black rock road, with the steepest climb on right at the end of the road... knowing the climb was coming, and with the pain in my ribs from lodi still stinging every time i stood up i tried to save up a bit for this last climb. it's not a long climb, but it really kicks up so that you've got no choice but to stand on the pedals and push as hard as you can.
a great ride, on a great day, with great company...