Although mild during the spring and autumn months, our climate may be very hot or very cold in between. Generally, July and August are the hottest months, while December can be surprisingly mild; January and February are generally the coldest.
Don't expect to find sports drink and energy bars every 5, 10, or even 15 miles. Bread and water can be hard to find beyond the Fredericksburg "metro area". This is a rural county and towns are far apart. Additionally many towns listed on maps often encompass little more than a cemetery and a small house with goats. Some routes go quite a distance without so much as a water fountain. Take your own food and hydration.
On most hot days our rides of approximately 30 miles require two water bottles. Anything longer when the temperature creeps above the mid-eighties demands careful consideration of the merits of a hydration pack. On some days and on some routes, because there are no convenience stores, hydration packs are an absolute must! Do not try to be a hero -- the distance to remedying a mistake can be sizable.
Always carry what you think will be one-too-many energy bars. Also, just as with your dad's logic of filling the car whenever it reaches 1/2 tank, it is best to purchase energy bars (or candy bars or those fried apple pies, which are packed with calories!) at convenience stores when you come to them and keep a reserve in your jersey. If you bonk, it may be a very long road to sustenance!Back to Hazards