Friday, September 07, 2007

A Newsworthy Ride

“On your right” just didn’t seem to register with this pedestrian on the bike lane near the Lincoln Memorial. This Canadian goose felt he had the right of way, so I stopped to let him pass.

One of the times I most appreciate being retired is when I take a mid-week bike ride and I realize that everyone else is otherwise occupied. On Tuesday we shared the path with a few miscellaneous bikers, runners, rollerbladers, and nannies pushing strollers. But for the most part, we had the Capital Crescent Trail to ourselves.

We started at Haines Point, so we got that lovely ride along the river under the weeping willows and past the Kennedy Center. It was warm, but not hot, and the humidity was remarkably lower. The breeze came through every now and then.

As I stopped for half a Cliff bar, I could look out and see a few lone souls in boats on the Potomac. It made me want to rent a kayak at Fletcher’s Boat House and join them.

One of the reasons we like this trail is because it is so nicely shaded by overhanging trees and an occasional tunnel. But of course the most important reason we like it is because it is relatively flat. It’s actually a slight uphill grade all the way to Bethesda, but nothing you have to stand up for or work exceptionally hard.

As we reached Bethesda at about mile 10, I realized how hungry I was. The trail dumps you out on Woodmont Avenue with more restaurants than you can possibly choose from. We were both in the mood for sushi, so Raku it was for lunch. As David locked up his bike, he realized he was being filmed by a camera crew. For what?

After lunch as we were preparing to head back, I saw the same camera duo interviewing people near the bike path. They were from Channel 9 and were doing a story on “Bethesda going green”. I gave them my 2 cents, as a Virginian who comes to Bethesda mainly to eat. I understand I made the nightly news, although since I don’t watch TV, I didn’t get to enjoy my fame.

The ride back is always the best because you can put your bike in the hardest gear and pedal a little and just fly downhill. Ten miles seems like nothing.

I love this trail that gives me the sense of being in the wilderness when Georgetown and Bethesda are actually just on the other side of the path.


Blogger Carol said...

That sounds like a wonderful bike route. I am a bike rider too, and love riding along a nice scenic route.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

You were on TV? Cool!

3:37 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Carol -- I would guess the scenery here is a lot different than in Texas, but anything natural is better than concrete and pavement, yes?

Reya -- Is it cool if I didn't even see it? I can't imagine what I looked like. Probably had helmet-head hair!

4:33 PM  
Blogger media concepts said...

That's funny, I have what looks like the same tunnel pic from my blog post last October.
That's actually me in the pic, traveling in the other direction, I think. Since I lived in Chevy Chase, my rides on the Capital Crescent Trail started in Bethesda. You were at a distinct advantage, because, once you cruise downhill to Georgetown and then load up on sushi, I can assure you that the slight uphill grade all the way back does a number on your body.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Matt -- I just checked out your post and the picture is remarkably the same.

I am in awe that you can ride without holding onto the handlebars. I seem to be balance-challenged enough with hands gripping the handlebars that I can't conceive of how you could do it.

I did see something inspiring last week on the W&OD trail. I saw a recumbent biker who was pedaling with his arms. As he passed I noticed that he had no legs. I said WOW and THANK YOU FOR ALL MY LIMBS to whomever was listening.

How's biking in CA? Do they have bike lanes everywhere?

I was thinking about you today as I get ready to go to a Blogger happy hour tonight. I met you at the last one I attended, so you know how long ago that was.

5:50 PM  
Blogger media concepts said...

I have been biking since I was 3, plus skateboarding, skiing, water skiing and other sports that require balance, so I think the no-hands biking is second nature. Here, there's a paved bike trail that runs for over 20 miles along the beach. It's amazing! Have fun at the HH!

7:38 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

We have one sidewalk in town but I prefer the side and dirt roads where there's hardly any traffic and there are woods and meadows to explore. I have a one-speed (mine) bike with heavy tires and pedal brakes. The weather is perfect now for biking - I will join you in a virtual ride but I'm sure you'll outdistance me.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Sounds perfect that you have the easy ride on the way back! I only ever do a total of 13 k and it's all fairly level.
Sometimes Dave runs and I bike or he rollerskis.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Ruth D~ said...

Ahhh Barbara. This will be me next year, riding while most are working. For now I'll ride vicariously with you.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Matt -- A 20-mile paved bike trail along the beach sounds idyllic. CA has its priorities straight!

Pauline -- I am so slow that I'm sure you could easily keep up on your 1-speed with the big tires if we went for a ride. Maybe some day we'll get the chance.

MOI -- You can ride with Pauline and me. You sound about our speed.

RuthD -- What's one more? Where shall we ride? You will love biking during weekdays!

7:55 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Ah, but you've biked in France!!! You be the leader!

3:25 PM  
Blogger Ulysses said...

When I got to work on Friday, I thought I felt a leaf on my helmet, but when I went to brush it off it turned out to be a praying mantis. I wondered how long he'd been on my helmet and what "Wheeee!" is when a mantis says it.

11:23 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Well, that's just awesome. I'm sorry I missed the news. I'm not much of a biker, but I'm definitely green. I just walk or metro.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Ulysses -- Hope he can find a new congregation to pray in because he probably ended up far from home. I'm amazed that he was able to hang onto your helmet!

Kristin -- You were green long before it became such a hot topic. I think they skewed the results by interviewing bikers instead of all those people driving SUVs around Bethesda.

12:18 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home