Such a turnaround in our weather! I left the house this morning at 9 and was dripping by the end of the first mile!
But, it was a nice morning so I just kept going. I knew I needed to do 25 miles, and I wanted to stay off the W&OD until the last leg, so I headed out to Fairfax County Parkway trail and went south. I stayed on the trail for about 7 miles. Along the way I saw this guy. They say if you see a turtle crossing and he’s in danger, move him to the side but facing the direction he’s heading. This guy was coming from the grassy side and going towards … nothing but concrete! There’s a jersey wall there. I’m not sure what his goal was, so I just admired and photographed him and left him there. I hadn’t seen enough trail traffic to worry about him being run over. He was in more danger of dehydrating, I think.
I cut over towards Fairfax County Government Center and worked my way to the Vienna Metro. Skirted around the Metro station and then hopped on the nice trail (it has signs calling it the Fairfax City Connector Trail).
Two women were on the path with big fluffy dogs on leashes. I slowed and rang my bell and they each went to one side of the path, but still on the path. So I slowed way down and asked, “What do you want me to do – split the middle?” One was really offended saying, “We got out of your way!”
Well, no, you didn’t – now you’re on both sides of the trail each with a dog. Sigh. Fortunately, no incident and I cut through Vienna to the W&OD.
The Viva Vienna fest is going on (a carnival run by the Rotary) and the W&OD is blocked in such a way that cyclists must walk their bikes through. I took a look at the carnival offerings and was singularly unimpressed, although the BBQ smelled good!
After clearing the area I hopped on the W&OD towards Reston. For a little while I was behind a guy who was clearly intent on being ‘aero’, folded over on his aerobars. But he wasn’t aero and he wasn’t in control – wiggling all over the lane. There was so much trail traffic I had trouble finding a break to pass him but finally did.
My deep and profound thought for the day is that utility cycling (getting some place by bike for work or errands) and mileage biking are very different. The former brings out my best “shortcut seeking” skill set. I examine Google maps down to street level to ascertain whether goat trails might be paths. I cross reference with the Fairfax County Interactive Bike Map. And then if I happen to be out in my car before I need to ride that way, I divert to check out the paths I’ve noted. In contrast, when I was trying to build a plan for today’s mileage, I had to be innovative the other direction. When you look at the map, the distances around here between Reston, Herndon, Vienna and Fairfax really aren’t that great. They just seem that way because the traffic causes travel time to be so high. It took some doing to set up a route that would be 25 miles – and it wasn’t anything I would have taken anyone else on for ‘fun’.
I did see MANY cyclists out – on roads, trails, etc. It’s so nice to see more and more people on bikes, even if some of them are clueless and/or arrogant. The more bikes people in cars see, the more normal it becomes. That, in turn, helps bikes be accepted as just another transportation choice.
Besides the ladies with the dogs, the only negative interaction I had today was with a small Mercedes sports car that passed me on the Wiehle bridge at a high rate of speed and clearly within 3 feet. He had two empty lanes to his left, so this was just being jerkish. I’m going to see if I can find the footage on my Fly6.
All in all, a good day on the bike!