It was an ideal day for riding on the April 21st, and Virginia was beautiful. We started the ride with less than ideal conditions though, after taking the long way there, 5 hours of driving, rather than 3. I think I ate a Snickers candy bar for dinner. To top all that, we only slept about 3 hours.
With all of that working against us, the ride started well, at a brisk 5am. Our Schmidt lights and hubs were more than sufficient for the darker than night back roads. It was my first night ride with my current setup and I was really pleased.
As day broke, we could see the landscape and knew it was going to be a very enjoyable ride. Rolling countrysides and plenty of cows to moo at and horses to neigh with.
My riding buddies were fellow Philadelphians Pat and Cecile on a custom Bilenky tandem. They borrowed an ill-fitting tandem a few weeks before to ride the 200k in Eastern Pennsylvania and decided that a tandem was the best way to go to get to Paris. Their tandem for this ride was not even painted, just primered with Bilenky written on it with magic marker! No mechanical problems for either bikes, my Jack Taylor is excellent for longer distances. No pictures of my bike yet, or me, as I am the cameraman.
The route was all rolling hills, nothing compared to the climbs we encountered on the 200k. We finished a little before 10pm, getting another chance to try out our bomb-proof lighting setups and our navigational skills at night. I was left with a slightly sore knee and some irregular sunburn patches from the irregular applications of sunblock I used. Other than that, the ride was perfect, not one missed turn(a few slight overshoots, but we always caught them), no mechanicals, food was excellent, enough water and an abundance of waving Virginians, leaving my bell ringing thumb well exercised!