I got rained on for about 80% of my ride today. And since I rode 65 miles, that was a lot of wet!
I left Reston on the W&OD, picked up the Custis into Arlington. Crossed the Intersection of Doom to get on the Mt Vernon trail and stayed on it for a while.
I have a love/hate relationship with the Mt Vernon trail (MVT). It goes along some of the most beautiful views in the US. When I see them, even in today’s gloomy weather, I think, “Darn, I’m so lucky to be able to ride my bike HERE!” But the trail does attract people who ride way too fast for conditions, and it has these wooden bridges that are slippery when wet…like today. I managed to stay wheels on the ground but it sure slowed my progress!
One of my favorite things about the MVT is stopping at the north end of Reagan National Airport and watching planes land. They come in right over head. As I watched them today, I marveled that two guys with a bicycle shop were in a direct line to the monster machine defying gravity above my head.
After plane watching for a bit (and the rain started again), I got back on and rode through Old Town Alexandria, out to Jones Point Park, and then back on the MVT down past the marina, the park, and a ways further to my turnaround point.
On the way back I rode back through Old Town and then headed up towards Potomac Yards park. I caught that trail and rode it until I connected with Four Mile Run at the “switchback from hell.” Whoever designed that should have to use it every day. It’s neither bike or disabled friendly. On the other hand, walking down it revealed these — which I would never have noticed if I’d stayed on my bike.
I rode Four Mile Run until I got to the start of the W&OD (Lesly, I waved at Beanie Weenie for you). Jumped on the W&OD and rode that all the way back to Reston. When I reached my starting point, somehow I was only at 61 miles, so I kept going over to Herndon to Green Lizard. A much needed cup of coffee revived me and then I wandered through Herndon, over to Fairfax County Parkway Trail and back to my start point for a total of 68 miles.
Fortunately, my mom is still visiting and my daughter is home now, so they delighted in handling dinner!
I’m definitely stronger than I was even a week ago. Although I was happy to stop, and there were times when I was saying, “I could get on the Metro here”, I never actually felt like quitting. Going that direction was interesting enough to keep me moving as well. The weather meant an uncrowded trail. The rain was a bummer for me but not so annoying that I felt unsafe. Of course, if I had remembered my helmet cover that would have been better. Fortunately, I had my rain jacket.
So, what did I see? A couple of fast moving groundhogs (they don’t look like they should be that fast!), lots of ducks, a gorgeous bluebird, a beautiful redwing blackbird, a bunch of crows chasing off an owl, and a fox kit crossing the trail. And airplanes. A good day!