|My Precious Surly LHT and me in my tutu|
I've been looking forward to the Great Pumpkin Ride in Warrenton ever since Rootchopper and I rode a metric century there in August.
It was a chilly, sunny morning, perfect for a coffeeneuring ride. Every fall, I look forward to Mary G (@coffeeneur)'s wonderful coffee-fetching-by-bicycle challenge. I had been planning to visit Red Truck Bakery since I read Rootchopper's account of it last year.
I talked my friend Boots (@bootsni), a fellow ultrarunner and bicycle enthusiast into coming along. She's always excellent company, and a strong athlete who is up for anything. I knew we would have a fun day no matter what transpired.
Boots and I had arrived early (in fact, I was the first to arrive at the parking lot. This is unprecendented). We gave ourselves plenty of time to linger over a hot caffeinated beverage.
I had mapped out a route designed to get at least two miles of riding, but my sense of direction handicap got us a little extra. Already the laughs were plentiful and we hadn't even started the official ride.
|A few of the many offerings at Red Truck Bakery|
22 Waterloo St, Warrenton, VA
Date: Oct 25
Distance: 2.4 miles
Drink: half-caf drip for me, full caf for Boots
Bike Friendly? No real parking, but there was space to lean your bike against the wall.
Notes: The renowned orange and cranberry muffin did not disappoint!
Our bellies full of hot coffee and delicious baked goods, we meandered back to the parking lot and found John (@Rootchopper) and Lisa (@ramblingrider). They were only planning on riding the 43 mile ride, though, so we took off as it was past time for the longer riders to start.
We promptly missed the turn for the 70 mile ride and when we realized that, we quickly accepted that fate had dictated a shorter route.
The first refreshment stop was at Old Bust Head Brewery about 10 miles into the ride. They had samples of two of their fine beers for us. I am signing up for this ride every year.
|Delicious beer samples at Bust Head Brewery|
They also had a spread of food you would not believe. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin whoopie pies. Pumpkin soup. Bananas. Granola bars. Candy.
They even had a few GLUTEN-FREE options! How great is that? While I have the luxury of indulging on occasion without too serious repercussions, it's wonderful to have choices for those who can't (or are doing a clean eating challenge). Kudos to the Fauquier Trails Coalition for this and everything else they did to make this a truly wonderful ride.
The weather gods smiled down on us and suddenly we had a glorious warm fall day. The foliage was hit or miss along the route but when the colorful leaves were framed against the cobalt blue of the sky, it was stunning. What a fantastic day to be out riding in the Virginia countryside!
I particularly enjoyed this ride because the vibe was friendly. No one seemed enraged to have to pass us in their cars, and the police were at intersections directing traffic just as they would be during a running event. When I thanked them for their help, they smiled.
This was in stark contrast to the Back Roads Century where the police made it clear from the start that you were on your own at high speed crossings, they were only there to issue tickets to those didn't come to a complete stop. Fair enough, but did that require scowling too? Perhaps that ride field is just too large. Or maybe they need to figure out a way to provide a greater economic boost to the community so the inconvenience is worth it.
|A particularly lovely wooded stretch|
|Boots got a ton of compliments on her awesome lobster hat.|
|Boots and I soaking up Vitamin D|
A good time was had by all. See you there next year!