Home Roads RVA


Professional cyclist, Ben King, and his wife, Jenna, hosted a ride to benefit Qubecca, the bike project of Dimension Data. At a little more than one hour door to door to Ashland, I was all set to arrive one hour early. Today I planned to arrive one hour early and not be rushed.

The ride was scheduled for 10:00 a.m. I left my house at 8:15 a.m. My rear (car) tire was very low and I went looking for a service station to add air. The first one I came to did not have an air pump. The second one did. It was a slow pump and cost $1.50. Now it was 8:25 a.m.

Roll out

I was on U.S Rte 1 and saw a McDonalds. I thought I’d get a Diet Coke in the drive-thru. Ultimately, that took 17 minutes and it was Diet Dr. Pepper. I dumped it out. It was 8:42 a.m.

I still had one hour to go on I-95. I stopped at the rest area near Ladysmith to change into my riding bib shorts. My ETA moved to 9:42 a.m. I arrived at 9:45 a.m. but there was no close-in parking. A policeman directed my 1/4 mile up the road.

Roll out – three minutes early

I got the bike down from the roof, changed my shirt to a jersey, grabbed a vest, and hustled to registration. It was 9:55 a.m. I was handed a bib to pin on and the ride took off. It was 9:57 a.m. I’ve never been to a ride that left early. I put the bib in my vest pocket.

There were two routes – a full metric (62 miles) and a shorter 48-mile route. My granddaughters came to visit this weekend so I thought I would take the shorter route. I rolled out at the start, dead last. Kept an easy pace and saw the split up ahead with the cool kids picking up the pace.

At the split of routes I went short. I passed a few people and arrived second at the rest stop. A number of riders I passed all showed up as I made sure to thank each of the volunteers. So about six of us left together, I was on the front. Eventually, a couple passed me but I stayed 50-150 yards behind them for the next 20 miles.

Restrooms were in the firehouse. Cool.

And then I passed them, catching and passing the only two riders ahead of me. I was having a good day.

Rest Stop

A car passed me followed by a motorbike who said, “keep right.” I was right and I thought it was a warning not to be all over the road. Instead, he should have said, “stay right, we’re passing.” But he probably didn’t have time. About 10 seconds later a small peloton of about 20 riders, led by Ben and Jeremiah Bishop, came flying by. Ben said, “keep up the good work.” They had caught me. They rode 15 (or more miles) farther and they passed me.

Oh well. I was only 2-3 minutes behind them arriving at the end. I saw Ben and Jeremiah briefly but went inside to pick up my ride swag which I did not have time to take to my car beforehand. When I came out they were gone. Maybe they just put their bikes away.

I had granddaughters at home. I was happy with my ride. I left.

The ride was a fun ride. It especially looked like it had a nice meal plus there were items to be auctioned for charity. I missed the social part as I rushed home. I don’t regret missing out but I hope Ben does this ride next year and I can bring some friends.

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