Friday, May 18, 2012

Bike to Work Day


It was Bike to Work Day and a gorgeous one at that. Chilly, and low 50s to start, but after 10 minutes of riding I quickly was comfortable and wasn't cursing my decision not to wear arm warmers. Rather than navigate that mess known as Minnieville Road, I drove the van to the commuter lot so that I could take the lightly traveled Telegraph Road instead.

My route would take me down Tanyard Hill Road into Occoquan and across the pedestrian bridge that spans the Occquan River. Then Ox Road (123) to Lee Chapel, Burke Lake Rd., Lake Braddock, Olley Dr., Guinea Rd., some exploring a shortcut which never materialized, then Prosperity Rd. to Gallows Rd. then hooking up with the Washington & Old Dominion trail.

One of the joys of biking is traveling the road less traveled. I bet thousands if commuters travel through or by Occoquan each day without realizing a bridge exists for cyclists. And walkers.

Crossing the Occoquan River. By bike.

At Gallows Road I stopped at a Bike to Work pit stop for my free T-shirt then continued on. In Falls Church I stopped at their lively pit stop. The police officer on duty was Jimmy Brooks, a friend of mine.

Officer Brooks

It was fun seeing Jimmy and he made sure that I knew the ABC's of cycling. A is for air pressure. B is for brakes. C is for crank (or drive train). He said I passed.

From there I followed the Custis Trail to Rosslyn retracing my ride of three years ago. But I didn't crash.

In Washington D.C. I rode by the Washington Monument, even diverting to go through some water sprinklers. It felt good.

My route home was a little different. I followed the Mount Vernon Trail to Four Mile Run to the W&OD.  On the Four Mile Run Trail I was about to announce my presence passing a woman, who wasn't wearing a helmet, when I got a puff. Of her cigarette smoke.

Rather than pass I slowed down and heard a "ding-ding" of a bell from a rider behind me who wanted to pass. I said "you've got to be kidding me." I was thinking out loud why I should warn this woman about me about to overtake her when someone needed to warn her about the effects of smoking.

The guy behind me heard me and started to apologize for ringing his bell. I laughed. I told him what I was thinking and he agreed with me.

Barry with Officer Brooks

Officer Brooks invited me back on my return trip which was fun. Music, smoothies, ice cream, and a slow rider contest which was going slow without put a foot down. I won my heat.

After leaving the W&OD at Gallows Road it was then a matter of riding home. The legs felt good. Some days when biking home from work the legs start to hurt after 30 miles but today, after 70, the legs still felt good. It was the best 77.77 miles I have felt on a bike but maybe that's because I rode slow for BTWD.

But road rage???? In more than 2,000 miles of riding this year I have been honked or yelled at three times. Today? Four. All in Fairfax County. Wow. Somebody who was stuck in a car was grumpy today. Jealous.

1 comment:

  1. That's quite a trip. I wish someone was there to take your picture on your return home. You went up 4,747 feet and then down 4,713 feet. I'm thinking on your arrival home the distance from bike seat to street was 31 feet. And that folks is quite a feet.;) Yes, I know. You are reaching for the hook. I'll just exit stage right.