Monday, June 23, 2008

The Bike Ride

I did the majority of my ride on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail (W&OD).

If you want to learn more about the trail go here. It was once the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad which was in operation from 1847 to 1968. The trail came into existence in 1982.

I was on my bike at 6:53 am Sunday morning. Needless to say that early in the morning there were not many people out. I made good time. My plan for the ride was to go out on the W&OD and then after going around 25 miles or so turn around and head back to a friend's house where I'd take a shower and then we'd go out to lunch. I carried a change of clothes with me. In retrospect I should have dropped the clothes off at my friend's house on the way out. The backpack got rather heavy. My friend's house is just a littler over 10 miles from mine. I got there in about an hour.

I picked up the W&OD trail at the 5 mile marker. I went to Herndon, Virginia which was a little over 25 miles into the ride. I stopped there for a quick snack and headed back. I got to my friend's house a little before 11; we sat around for awhile then I took my shower. We went to Joe's a great Italian place for lunch. I was back on my bike by 2:30 and home a little after 4.

In all it was one fantastic ride.

I haven't been on that trail for several years and haven't been to Herndon probably since training for the AIDS Ride which is 9 years ago. I was reminded of one of the things I do not like about the W&OD there are hardly any bathrooms. There was one port-o-potting in like 20 miles. That's not to say you can't pull off the path and pee in the woods but come on a couple of johns wouldn't hurt anyone.

However, there are many things to enjoy about the trail. When you are out of the towns you are very much out in the country side. I saw many creatures: several rabbits, more chipmunks then I could count and a fox running across the trail. The most impressive thing was a hawk that dived down and caught itself breakfast and then flew off with it. I did not take a close look to see exactly what breakfast consisted of.

Another thing I really like about the trail is how flat it is. You can really work up some speed in places. A couple of times I got into the top gear of my middle ring and was going between 17-20 mph. I thought I was doing well until several guys past me and left me in their dust. Oh well I still did damn good.

I'm hoping to do another ride on the trail in the next couple of weeks. I want to be completely prepared and leave by 6:30 if not earlier and see how far I can go. Maybe ride until 11 and then start heading back. And this time carry a lot less stuff so I hopefully go even faster and farther.

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