Some of the worst and best road riding experiences we have had happened today. We left Front Royal around 10:30am after a planned late start. This gave the wet weather and morning rush hour traffic some time to clear and gave us chance to work on route planning and eat a leisurely breakfast. mind you, it was still bagels and peanut butter with an orange and Hannah ate the rest of her pizza from the night before, but it was warm and dry while we ate.
As we got back on route 340 South the rain picked up and it was pretty crappy. Our rain gear works so we didn’t get too soaked from the rain but it was about 65 degrees and riding in those temperatures with heavy humidity made for a lot of sweat build up and I’m not sure if just getting wet would have been the better option. In the end the day turned out to be quite sunny and dry and the weather took a full turn around by 3pm. We also had a chance to use our front and rear lights as they helped to make us more visible on such an overcast, wet day.
A terrible morning ride was not created by the rain though. It was the traffic and lack of a shoulder to ride on and I have to say it wasn’t even the amount of traffic or their speed that was bothersome as much as the thoughtless driving. Almost every car made bad decisions about how to respond to two cyclist on the road. It was stressful riding for us but I was more concerned about cars having accidents with each other. Route 340 south of Front Royal, VA is full of steep ups and downs with blind hills and turns every 1,000 feet or so. Many cars felt it was necessary to veer into the opposing lane of traffic to get around us on these blind hills instead of waiting the 15 seconds it would take to check and wait for oncoming traffic. We were not happy and very glad to get off this road when the turn finally came.
Here’s a clip of my thoughts during a break during the morning ride.
Here’s a few shots of the, ah hem…shoulders.
Despite all of that, by 2pm the weather had cleared up and we could see the Shenandoah Mountains (where we would have ridden today) were still socked in with heavy, wet clouds while the valley was drying out and the sun had come out.
After we left Route 340 the ride was beautiful and relaxing. We rode into Luray, VA around 3:30pm and stopped at the Yogi Bear Jellystone Campground for the night.
You just can’t pass a place like that up when you see it! They had ice cream too. Woot!