Last weekend T and I headed to Charlottesville for a mini-vacation to camp and participate in the Boys and Girls Club Challenge Bike Ride. It was a much needed getaway…
We packed up the pups and the car and headed out Saturday morning. It was Delilah’s first time boarding, and Wash went to his regular dogsitter for the weekend….and off we went.
It was about a 2.5 hour drive to the campground, but it went by super-quick thanks to Christopher Titus podcasts 🙂
Once we arrived (around 2pm) we set up camp and I had my very first taste of “camp food”–dehydrated pasta Primavera to be exact. It was surprisingly delicious (but as I will find out throughout the weekend, and as I should’ve known, super-salty).
After setting up and relaxing a bit, we headed into downtown Charlottesville (the UVA area) because I had read online about a neat little downtown historic walking mall area. The area was okay, but not what I was expecting–I was expecting more of a Carytown (Richmond) like area, with cute little stores and cafes, instead there were a few mainstream stores (ie Urban Outfitters) and a couple of artsy stores–neither so much my style. However, we did stumble upon The Market Street Market, where we picked up some wine, buffalo cheese, crostini toasts, and some chocolate toffee goodies–you know, for carbo-loading for the ride on Sunday.
Later on we started a fire, ate more camp food for dinner, and had s’mores. It was a lovely evening.
5:30 in the morning came quicker than expected! We got right up, got dressed, had oatmeal for breakfast then headed in to Crozet for 7:30am packet pickup. It was an overcast day, which later I was thankful for. After packet pickup, we headed to a coffee shop where I had a croissant and T had an apple cider doughnut. After tasting a little bit of the doughnut I wish I would’ve gotten that! Perfect taste of autumn, and I’m craving one as I type this.
When we lined up at the start line, there were a few single riders, but three main groups of riders, and they looked serious. When the MC was announcing how to line up, he basically said “if you are slower than 15 mph, back of the pack.” We should’ve known then to just go for the 50-miles, not the 75, but we were just being silly. The split between the two distances came quickly, and T and I decided to go for it. Little did we know we were pretty much last place at this point, but that’s beside the point. These “rolling hills” were more like mountains, we gained an elevation of almost 6,000 feet—not easy, especially if you’ve basically been riding at sea level all summer! The scenery was beautiful, and thankfully, we were going slow enough to really enjoy it. I even took some photos on my bike haha.
Most of the extra mileage for the 75-miler was at the beginning of the ride, and it was a doozy. Straight uphill, winding roads, and 2 other people besides us struggling up them. When we got to the second rest stop, we decided to just finish with 50 mile under our belts, and call it a day. We were still very proud of our ride, it was a mega-challenge. We finished in just under 4 hours, and honestly, we felt good—we had done a 50-miler in May that took us about 5 hours (I think), so this was a great improvement. This was also one of my reality checks—I NEED TO START LIFTING TO GET STRONGER!!!
Afterwards, we headed back to camp, showered, and just relaxed….Monday we headed home and like that, vacation was over.