Sunday, July 5, 2009


As much as I hate to miss a time trial, especially a state time trial, I made the right decision to go back to BIKE VA for a 4th time. Bob and I happen to find this adventure a ton of fun and enjoy riding in packs of 2,000 for 5 days. We were joined by Mitten Kitten and Jim, Barbie Cat and Albie, JB and Barb, Blair and Mimi and many strangers who became friends by weeks' end.

This BIKE VA had us starting our trip in Charlottesville, VA traveling to Culpeper and with lots of miles on back roads that happen to be in a great condition for cycling. We had beautiful weather the whole week. As we stayed in hotels that were packed with cyclists, we all felt we were back in college because of the party atmosphere in the towns we visited as well as the poolside parties and early cocktail hours. Our rest stops included visits to vineyards, historical sites and many fire stations all equipped with food and drink for the hordes of hungry and thirsty riders.

Some of our highlights of the trip included seeing riders who we had nicknamed from previous trips. There was Joyce, from Potomac Peddlers, who we nicknamed the “ASSOS GIRL” since she always wore Assos. This animal of a climber was dropping men and women every mile of the way. We met Pinky and her crew from Louisville who even bought a VK jersey from The Bike Stop in Culpeper. The women from The Bike Stop were excited to meet real Vanderkittens and insisted we go over to the shop to meet Stixs the mechanic, who had recently raced at the Amphib Crit in Virginia Beach. We had great meals across the state of Virginia and found everyone so friendly and welcoming. We took in the tunes of English Channel and the Rhondels. We made it to the BIKE VA talent show and if a pole had been available, I think we would have had one of our kittens on stage doing a little pole dancing.

Along with our highlights we also had some interesting happenings to some of us. Mitten Kitten got a little lost in Charlottesville and kindly took a ride with a stranger back to the hotel. She said he looked “nice” so she had no problem climbing in his unmarked van to get herself safely off a busy highway. Mitten Kitten also decided to take in some of the history in Culpeper while some of us put in some serious miles on hills. She found out that her transportation that day had her in the bus many more hours than she was out of the bus but of course she met nice people there too!

The trip was a success for all of us. We climbed around 14,000 feet and completed around 350 miles. We were all safe when it ended. Unfortunately there were 2 very nasty accidents which had riders taken to the hospital. I have heard since that they will be OK.

If you haven’t joined the growing crowd of BIKE VA followers, you need to try it sometime. Next year it will be in Harrisonburg and Waynesboro which means even more climbing. BIKE VA does fill up quickly so don’t be left out. See you next year.

Podium Cat

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