Day 2: Alexandria, VA to Warrenton, VA
Total Mileage: 50 (half a century)
Today’s ride day was in dedication to Josh Bembo, who recently lost his battle to a rare type of brain cancer in March. At only 9 years of age, he was a huge inspiration to everyone that knew his story.
Started out the day in Alexandria with a late start due to one of our team members taking a leave of absence from the ride for personal reasons. Amy and I had water duty this morning and got locked out of the host church, but we made the most out of it and got water and ice from Starbucks. Playing water kings to stay hydrated and learning how to moonwalk from Caiti definitely helped pass the time.
The ride itself was full of cicadas, alpacas, fast moving cars, abandoned houses, and rolling hills. Braddock Road, Centreville Road, and US 29/US 15 almost gave me a heart attack cause of the fast moving cars that kept trying to overpass us, but we made it safely to Warrenton. A big thanks to Michael, Lamie, Casey, and Dany for being the first host van and water van drivers without the help of the our alumni. It’s a difficult and very cumbersome process getting the kinks right, chalking the routes out so the riders don’t get lost, and finding food donations.
And then you have Danny Boy, who now is nicknamed Danny Cicada. Team Haul Ass bet him $5 to eat a cicada, and being a college student, we don’t have much money to spend. He took the bet and ate the cicada like a champ. I honestly don’t think $5 is enough, so props to Danny Cicada.
Today’s team name, the Hangry Flat Mechanics. I rode with Will, Athina, Carolyn, and Katrina and we most definitely had an interesting day. Two flats, chains derailed, struggling with directions and rolling hills, cicadas flying into our faces, and being hangry. For those that don’t know, hangry is a combination of being hungry and angry. There has to be a correlation between emotions and being hungry. To top it all off, you add in heat, dehydration, and expending a ton of energy from cycling. Big shout out to Katrina for being such an awesome mechanic. Without her, we’d probably still be in Alexandria. That’s 4K for you and I’m psyched for the rest of our journey, even though it doesn’t seem very optimal.
Alright, now onto Alexandria Pike, also known as the death hill. We’re not even at the Appalachians yet, but man that Alexandria Pike hill was brutal.Michael told us there was one last hill left till we reached our host and I thought it was just a small one left. I turn around a corner and see the monster. Having 49 miles under your belt after tons of rolling hills, you want to have a smooth last mile to the host, but that didn’t happen. I had to tell my legs to shut up to make it all the way to the top, and team Hangry Flat Mechanics did it. Since my group was 2nd to make it to our host, we continued to support the rest of the team while they climbed Alexandria Pike. Julie made it look like cake, Ali and Abi not so much XP. But honestly, after having a tough day and making it to the top of the hill after your legs are telling you to give them a break, it feels so gratifying accomplishing something you thought you couldn’t do. All we could talk about was Alexandria Pike. As cruel as that hill was, we as a team can say we conquered it. Great prep for the Appalachians and Rockies!
After our half century, it was time to clean and lube our chains. Our other team mechanic, Kevin, basically had to teach everyone over and over again cause we came in waves. Props to having so much patience with the rest of the team and thanks for being such a great teacher.
Best part of the day, CHIPOTLE donated burritos, burrito bowls, chips, and guacamole to our team. I still can’t believe it was Michael’s first time eating chiptole… ever. I had to take a picture in front of Chipotle cause Peter Bai (2012 4K San Fran alum) had a picture right in front of the same location. 2014 4K San Fran future riders, better carry on the tradition.
And then you have Team San Francisco, already a family.