This past weekend, I ventured north to Ashland, VA, to meet Bob O and ride this year’s Tappahannock 200 sponsored by the Randonneurs of the Mid-Atlantic.
The sign at the edge of town boasts that Ashland is at the “Center of the Universe.” No doubt it is. After all, this is where the brevet starts and ends. And if further proof were necessary, it should be noted that this college town located on US 1 has an Amtrak station. Most persuasive, however, is the fact that Bike Route 1 runs through it. I rest my case.
This was my first randonnée with our northerly neighbors. So I didn’t know quite what to expect. But I was put at ease upon learning that our hosts and new-found friends honor one of our traditions back home: coffee. In fact, the Ashland Coffee and Tea Co served as the first and last controls, where locals stack their personal coffee mugs in full display in a wall cupboard.
In spite of a chilly start we were rewarded with spectacular rolling fall scenery of farms and forests on the northeasterly loop connecting Ashland and Tappahannock.
Bob O provided the lead-in picture, which is actually upside down. It was that kind of special day: water bluer than the sky! You can visit Bob’s blog, Tidewater Randonneur, where he sets things straight in his ride account. A link can be found in the right-hand margin.
Special thanks to RBA, Matt Settle, for hosting the event.