50k in One Day

Today my friend Radhika and I rode in the Summerville 50K bike event. They billed it as a ride but treated it as a race, i.e. there were trophies. Radhika and I took it easy — tourist speed — as it was her first event ever.

We started in Oxon Hill, just across the Potomac River in Maryland. When they rebuilt the Woodrow Wilson bridge, they installed a fantastic bike path. It was awesome to ride down the hill towards the bridge (somewhere in the back of my mind was a little voice screaming “that will be uphill at the very end!”). The paths to climb up to the bridge are cool. One is a wide spiral, totally doable. The other is a big switchback, again, very well planned.  It’s actually a little park at the top as you cross over. Check out the photo.

The only bad part is on the bridge itself. The expansion joints are harsh!

After the bridge the path goes through Jones Point Park in Alexandria. This is an amazing park that took an old swampy scary place and turned it into a great recreation area, including a big area for teaching bike classes!  Leaving the park we headed through Old Town Alexandria, then out past Reagan National Airport at Gravelly Point. Next was Memorial Bridge over to Hains Point.

We circumnavigated Hains Point and then met up with one of the ride leaders as we returned to Virginia.  He told us we needed to head further north to the top of Teddy Roosevelt Island to make the 50.  Game, we did that and noted that the foot and bike traffic increased significantly as the Arlington Fun Ride was ongoing!

TR Island was our turnaround point so we just reversed our path (except skipping Hains Point on the way back).  And yes, when we climbed the hill going up to the finish point it was a near-killer but we both stayed on our bikes and persevered!

I used the Fly6 my mom gave me for my birthday to record the footage behind me. It’s a great little device! It’s not really for recording scenery — it’s for recording the license plate on cars that are harassing me, but I’ve been using it on the trail so I can get used to it. Very slick.

So, like the 35 miles of the 50 States ride I did a couple of weeks back, I felt today like I could have done more. I could probably do a 50 miler now — IF I have someone to ride with. I did the 25 miler of the Chili Pepper Challenge last Sunday and didn’t have anyone to ride with, so that 25 was enough.

Gotta find a consistent riding buddy. Tomorrow I need to do one short bike errand to get coffee so I can participate in the Coffeneeuring Challenge.  Perhaps tomorrow I’ll just go over to Fox Mill to Starbucks and save Green Lizard for next weekend…

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