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Indian Head 46 Mile Ride

With the Vermont 100 Endurance Race done, I'm training for my first brevet. 

A brevet is just like an ultramarathon, only on a bicycle. Also, everything is pronounced with a French accent. Bruh-vay. Once I complete a brevet, I will be a Randonneur. Rahn-dough-nur.

I've set my sights on the Flatbread 200K based largely on its lack of mountain climbs. A 200K brevet has a time limit of 13 1/2 hours. I hope to finish a bit faster than that.

Just like ultrarunning, it's a lot more fun to train with friends. So I twisted Rootchopper's arm to get him to accompany me again. 

Selfie in the Morning Sunshine

This time we signed up for an organized ride, where it works out just fine to blindly follow color-coded arrows on the road. The Indian Head Century was held on another spectacular late summer day with low humidity and mild temperatures. Oh Summer, never leave.

We spotted @MrTinDC (Ted) of Friday Coffee Club who was nursing an inflamed elbow but determined to completed the full century nonetheless. Rootchopper and I were taking it slightly easier, he with his big weekly commute mileage and the 50 States Ride coming up and me with a house that desperately needed tidying before my Mother-in-Law arrived for dinner.

Me, Ted, John representing Friday Coffee Club!

Off we rode into the cool morning, starting off with a nice downhill grade. We chatted as we rolled through Charles County, a place time seems to have forgotten, at least since the 1970s. 

There were no McMansions here (yet), just small, older houses and an occasional trailer home, all with several late-model American automobiles parked outside. There were even some old houses covered in that awful multicolored Insulbrick stuff.

Off to a lovely start.

Cheery yellow wildflowers lined the road. The insects weren't as vocal as last week, just a few crickets half-heartedly chirping from the grass. Fall is coming.

Rootchopper was feeling pretty good on the hills, but my legs were feeling my mountain run from the day before. I still can't quite keep up with him but he always soft-pedals and lets me catch up again. 

The rest stops were well-stocked. The first one had fresh-off-the-grill eggs, ham, cheese on an English muffin! I was able to get a standalone egg but they sure looked good with all the fixins.

Egg muffin with cheese and salsa!

Little Nellie and Surly LHT.We briefly discussed opting for the 60 mile ride, but a rare sense of responsibility kicked in and we dutifully executed the 46-mile turn. We regretted it the rest of the way.

The big highlight of the day was the loud call and clear sight of a Pileated Woodpecker as we rode right past. What a magnificent bird!

I also rescued a turtle who was right in the path of cyclists on the bike path. His shell was shut tight so he might have gotten thumped before my arrival. Nothing looked broken so I set him down in the grass and we were on our merry way.

Traumatized turtle I rescued from the bike path.

Lovely marsh.

We also passed a nice marsh in the final miles. It's definitely the kind of place you could easily spend an hour or more taking in the scene.

Indian Head

Much too soon, we arrived at the finish, with 45 miles in the bag. We enjoyed a little post-ride food and then we headed back to reality. 

All in all it was a really good day on the bicycle. I'll be back next year to ride more miles in Charles County.

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