The (comparatively) cool air of today has reminded me that summer is over, and that soon I’ll be dressing in layers and spending too much time daydreaming about permanently avoiding winter with a move to Grand Cayman or Dubai. It also reminded me that most of the racing calendars will be tapering off, and that it’s worth reviewing what’s left. (And no, I’m not even going to talk about cyclocross, because I don’t have any room for anymore bikes. For a good cross listing (and all of your road racing needs), go here.)
The calendar I threw together earlier this year turned out to be useful to a number of people, so I’m updating and sharing it again. As before, this listing is not at all comprehensive – it’s just a list of DC area cycling or amateur athletic events that I either want to participate in or go just go watch. There are less actual races, and more organized recreational efforts. If you’re in the DC area, I hope that you’ll give it a read and see if something catches your interest, either as a participant or spectator.
Historic Back Roads Century – September 16, 2007
The Potomac Pedalers Touring Club (which you should join for the cue sheet library alone) is sponsoring this supported century. There are full, metric, half, and quarter century options, so something for everyone. It hadn’t been on my radar, but it’s 1) in a part of VA I’ve not seen, and 2) put on by a club I like to support. See you there.
RABA Heart of Virginia Bike Festival – September 15 & 16, 2007
Ashland/Hanover County, VA
The Richmond Area Bicyclist Association is putting on the Heart of Virginia Century and Bike Festival this weekend. It offers 25 and 40 mile “Historic Rides”, along with two metric centuries and a full English century course. I really should have posted about this earlier. I think it’s the first year they’re doing it, and it would be great to hear that it was a success. If you live in the area, consider giving it a shot.
Rappahannock Rough Ride – September 22, 2007
Little Washington, VA
I did this last year – a great ride in the foothills of the Shenandoah, amongst apple orchards and horse farms. It’s not an easy ride, but it’s a rather enjoyable day trip. My aim for this year is the 57.9 mile ride. Map here. As you can see, there are plenty of other options – either short road rides or off-road efforts. This raises funds for the Fauquier Free Clinic.
Southern MD Amish 100 – September 22, 2007
Patuxent Velo club runs this century, taking riders through a part of southern Maryland that offers great rural cycling (watch out for the speeding buggies, though). I’m opting for the Rappahannock Rough Ride this year, but will probably try this ride next year.
MS150 City to Shore Bike Tour September 29 & 30, 2007
Cherry Hill, NJ
I’d been thinking about doing this for a couple of years, but as with the Schuylkill Century, it turned out to be a continuing casualty of my other ambitions, so I’m putting this here in case anyone else might think it’s a nice way to spend a weekend. Named by Bicycling Magazine as the “Best Cycling Getaway in NJ,” the flat terrain takes you “through the blueberry fields and the NJ pine barrens and into the sweet smells of salt water taffy and ocean air in historic Ocean City, NJ.” This ride is fully supported with catered rest stops, bike support, and SAG transportation. If a group wants to do this, they could drive out Friday night, and drive back right after the ride on Sunday. Cyclists collect a minimum of $250 in donations to participate – if you do this, you can count on a donation from me (just email me). More here.
The Nation’s Triathlon – September 29, 2007
Getting past its somewhat obnoxious name, I think that this tri could be a lot of fun, both for participants and spectators. A few hundred brave souls will jump into the Potomac at Georgetown Harbor, get out and ride down around Hains Point, and then run around the Mall. Normal registration is closed, but I think you can still bribe your way in with a $300 “charity” registration. If we get to next summer, and everyone who swam 1500 meters in the Potomac is still alive, I might take a crack at it.
Venture Quest AR September 30, 2007
Fountainhead Regional Park – Fairfax Station, VA
Unfortunately, I’m no longer planning to do this. It’s a “Long Sprint Adventure Race (Sport Level)”, which means 28-35 miles over 5-9 hours. As usual, it involves trekking, paddling, mountain biking, and navigation. Teams of three navigate a course with segment breakdowns ranging from 3-8 miles of paddling, 8-13 miles of trekking, and 10-16 miles of mountain biking. As with Rocky Gap, competitors are broken into teams of three & solo racers in women’s, men’s, masters, and co-ed divisions. Info here.
Seagull Century – October 6, 2007
Probably the most famous century ride in the Mid-Atlantic area. Last year’s storm resulted in less than a third of the usual participants, but I’m sure they’ll all be back this year. Riders have metric century (100k, 62miles) and century (100 miles) options, which they can decide on at any time until the 20 somethingth mile of the ride. See this for more info. Also, note that
decent pretty much all lodging fills up quickly, so reserve your room now, if you’re thinking about doing it. Most of the hotels in Salisbury are booked already. I’ll be in San Francisco this year, so have fun without me.
Monster Mash Mountain Bike Race – October 13, 2007
Annandale, VA (Wakefield)
Benefiting the Trips for Kids Foundation, this cross country MTB race at Wakefield is probably your last chance of the year to participate in an easy local MTB race. Classes for everyone, and registration is $35. I’m in.
Backyard Burn Trail Running Series – 10/21/07 – 12/02/07
Triangle/Annandale/Fairfax Station/Clifton, VA
I really don’t enjoy running at all, but if ever there were a competitive running even that could pique my interest, this would be it. I’ll probably give at least one of these a go. Put on by the good folks at EX2 Adventures, you have a choice between 5 and 10 mile off-road loops through metro area parks.
- 10/21/07 – Prince William Forest Park, Triangle, VA
- 11/4/07 – Wakefield Park, Annandale, VA
- 11/18/07 – Fountainhead Regional Park, Fairfax Station, VA
- 12/2/07 – Hemlock Overlook, Clifton, VA
18 hours on the Farm – November 17 & 18, 2007
Rescheduled from August 18th to November 18th. Man, this MTB relay race will be cold. The idea is that you and three other riders take turns on a 9.5 mile course for 18 hours. The registration page describes the course has having a “1500 foot elevation gain per lap, open fire roads to technical climbs and twisting single track[.]” As I sit here considering it, I’m realizing that I’d really like to do it. And if you’re reading it and getting a feeling that I might have *you* in mind as a teammate, well, consider yourself recruited.
A number of the late season events I listed in my earlier calendar have been canceled – no Powhatan Tour de Vin (wine sales down?), WABA Booth’s Escape ride (I understand that it requires traveling along some rather unfriendly highways . . .), or Buff Betty Adventure Race (boo! c’mon, girls!).
Am I missing something? Have you ridden one of these events and enjoyed it? Let me know.