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Ride Report - Warrenton 300

The Warrenton 300 is a Lynn Kristiansen route first run by DC Randonneurs in 2007. Over the years, some modifications have been made to eliminate high-traffic roads. But the route's core remains: a rolling departure from Warrenton headed northwest in the dark, a stunning journey west to Little Washington with the Blue Ridge in full view much of the way,  then down F. T. Valley road to Etlan and over the shoulder of Old Rag to Syria. You should also keep your eyes open for some splendid eighteenth-century farmhouses (plantations, if you prefer) between Somerset and Gordonsville on the Old Blue Ridge Turnpike.

There are no "big" climbs on this ride, but there are many rollers that make it sneaky-difficult. Moreover, the climbing is front-loaded, with as many feet in elevation gained in the 81 miles from Warrenton to Madison as in the 105 miles that follow. You'll want to make good time outbound, but be sure to save something for the return trip, which is often ridden into a west or northwest wind under a sun that grows hotter as the afternoon progresses.

The 7-Eleven in Marshall (mile 17) is probably too soon into the ride to require a food stop, but don't go by the Shell at mile 47 unless you are sure you have enough supplies to cover the 21 hilly miles to Graves Market in Syria (mile 68). From there, you'll never have to go too far between resupply opportunities. Madison (mile 81), Gordonsville (mile 100), and Orange (mile 133) offer multiple options, including sitdown meals, although most of the options in Orange are off-route on US 15 north. K&B Market in Louisa (mile 116) and two options in Remington (mile 167) fill in the gaps.

The roads on the route are all in good shape, even the formerly notorious Bohanon Road in Syria. Green Road approaching Warrenton has just been repaved and is super smooth. You'll have some fast-moving traffic on VA 55 (the John Marshall Highway) between Warrenton and Marshall, VA 231 (F. T. Valley Road) between Sperryville and Etlan, and VA 22 (Louisa Road / Thomas Jefferson Highway) into Louisa. But stay right, ride single-file, and you shouldn't have any problems.

Red Buds were in blossom everywhere at the south end of the course for the pre-ride. The same should be true of the north end this coming Saturday.

If you are riding your first 300, remember that at the 05:00 start, the temperature is still dropping towards its overnight low, especially on a clear night, and the air won't start to warm up until 08:00 or 09:00. So no matter how light you like to travel, don't skimp too much on your clothing for the start. The pre-riders were all surprised by how cool the temperatures were almost until we reached Little Washington. On the other hand, you should all be so lucky as we were to enjoy a roaring tailwind from Louisa up to Remington, although we did get rained on briefly eight miles from the finish as payback.

Roger Hillas

P.S. Mimo says this doesn't need any extra verbiage about the BBQ in Gordonsville.

 

2024 Schedule

March 9 - IWD, 100, Frederick, MD
March 16, Mountain Church, 200, Washington, DC
March 30, Lady and the Barons, 200, Severna Park, MD
April 6, Warrenton 300, Warrenton, VA
April 20, Fleche, Arlington, VA
May 4, Michaux Meander, 300, Frederick, MD
May 18, Kinder Gentler 400, Warrenton, VA 
June 1, Frederick 600, Frederick, MD
June 22, Lovettsville 200, Lovettsville, VA
September 7, TBD 200
October 5, TBD 200
October 26, Dart, Gettysburg, PA
November 2, Flatbread 200, Centreville, MD
December 7, Woodbine-Dillsburg via Gettysburg 200, Woodbine, MD

More rides will be added to the calendar, including gravel routes and populaires.

Who We Are

DC Randonneurs sponsors long-distance cycling events in the Mid-Atlantic region ranging from 100 kilometers to 1,200 kilometers (60 - 750 miles) in length. Rides start from the Baltimore-Washington region but travel as far afield as State College PA, Buchanan VA, and Warm Springs WV.

The terrain we ride ranges from the flatlands of the Eastern Shore to the rolling hills and valleys of the Piedmont and the sometimes steep flanks of the Appalachian mountain ridges to our west. Our routes, many of which we've ridden for years, take quiet back roads through gorgeous and varied scenery, with regular stops for supplies and rest.

Our rides are unsupported. There is no sag wagon, and help of any sort can be miles away on some of the more remote stretches of road we ride. But we ride together, creating bonds of friendship and camaraderie along the way. Our ride organizers and volunteers work hard to make sure that every rider is accounted for, from start to finish.

Our rides are timed, with riders required to reach intermediate control points, as well as the finish, within a set window of time. But our results are listed alphabetically. Our style of riding is know as allure libre, meaning riders ride at their own pace within the limits set by control opening and closing times rather than riding as a group at a steady pace set by its leaders, which is the audax style of randonneuring.

Randonneuring is non-competitive, but we challenge ourselves and each other -- to ride farther, to ride faster, to ride longer than we might have though possible. We aspire to relentless forward progress but take time to help each other when in need, whether that need is for emotional support, an energy bar to cure a bonk, or a cleverly improvised fix to broken equipment.

DC Randonneurs is affiliated with Randonneurs USA and operates according to the rules promulgated by that organization by adoption from the Audax Club Parisien.

2024 Club Overview

Participation
100 People

Total Club Distance
16,800 Kilometers

Rides in our Club
Membership included for new riders

Click on ride name for details

Apr 20
Sat

DCRand-Fleche
IHOP - Arlington
07:00
ACP Fleche
Mixed
Members: $7.00
16 registered

May 04
Sat

Michaux-Meander-300k
Home2 Suites - Frederick
06:00
ACP 300
Hilly
Members: $35.00
None registered

May 18
Sat

Kinder-Gentler-400k
Holiday Inn Express - Warrenton
05:00
ACP 400
Hilly
Members: $40.00
3 registered

Jun 01
Sat

South-Mountain-Redux-Revisited-600
Hampton Inn - Frederick
04:00
ACP 600
Hilly
Members: $60.00
1 registered
Ride Leader(s):

Location

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