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A Capital Sunday(23 posts)

A Capital SundayMB1
Feb 10, 2003 5:56 AM
Getting home Friday was pretty tough. Not that it wasn't a whole lot of fun but riding in 6-8" of fresh snow is work-hard work.

As we were riding along the Mount Vernon Trail I decided that riding in deep snow was a lot like riding on some of the really challenging Mountain Bike trails back in California. It was hard and technical riding without that nice warm So Cal weather of course (has it rained yet this year?).
Saturday was endless.MB1
Feb 10, 2003 5:58 AM
I shopped on the internet for weather overnight, not much to choose from anywhere close was going to be cold and windy. We decided to ride up near Gettysburg an area we really like.

I guess we were a little tired from riding in Friday's snow but whatever the reason was Saturday was tough. It started out cold and never warmed up. It started out windy and never calmed down. It started out hilly and never flattened out. By the end of the ride we were cooked.

At least it was sunny.
Sunday, Sunday.MB1
Feb 10, 2003 6:01 AM
Miss M really wants to ride 2 centuries every weekend as often as we can this year. With all the snow from Friday's storm, a weather forecast calling for clouds and wind and our being a little tired we decided to stay in town Sunday.

We often ride an in town century taking advantage of all the MUTs and back roads that the DC area has to offer. Unfortunately most of the MUTs don't get plowed and DC does a poor job of clearing neighborhood streets so our riding choices were going to be limited.

We started out heading downtown and towards the monuments figuring that as usual the roads will be pretty empty on a Sunday morning. In front of us is the Dome of the Capital Building backlit by the rising sun as we ride up Pennsylvania Avenue.
Feb 10, 2003 6:04 AM
The Lincoln Memorial is just a beautiful structure and justly famous. Here we are riding along the snow covered reflecting pool, it was a bit cold and grey as you can see.
Damn MUTs.MB1
Feb 10, 2003 6:07 AM
After about 20 miles we headed up the Capital Crescent Trail towards Bethesda for breakfast.

The DC portion of the Capital Crescent Trail which is on National Park land and gets cleared by the Park Service to the Maryland line was packed with all the runners, dog walkers and such that had nowhere else to go. We only saw one other bike though.

After one too many encounters with a loose dog we exited this mess and got back on the streets.
Meanwhile back in town….MB1
Feb 10, 2003 6:09 AM
By the time we finished breakfast things weren't looking good for a Sunday century. We were riding pretty slow, lights and traffic really slowed us up and we were still a little fatigued from Friday and Saturday.

We cruised by George's house and cut through the street hockey game on our way back downtown.
Happy New Year!MB1
Feb 10, 2003 6:12 AM
We stopped by Chinatown for a quick ride by of the Chinese New Year parade. The place was jumping.

There aren't all that many Chinese still living in DC's Chinatown but the parade is fun anyway.
Finally, things start looking up.MB1
Feb 10, 2003 6:15 AM
All morning we had been riding with low energy and just not having that a good of a time. After we left Chinatown we both started feeling better, the winds died down, the sun came out and the day started to warm up. We were headed towards one of our favorite places to ride in DC-the National Arboretum.

The place is amazing. Right in the middle of one of the worst parts of DC are hundreds of acres of the prettiest countryside and miles of wide empty roads. It was the nicest riding we had all weekend.
The Mall was packed.MB1
Feb 10, 2003 6:17 AM
After riding about 15 miles in the Arboretum we headed back to the Potomac through the National Mall. The change in weather seemed to bring out people in huge numbers. Along the mall there were cars backed up waiting for parking places, people walking everywhere and lines waiting to get through security and into the museums.

Nice to see so many people back in town but it was a pain to ride through the mess.
Feb 10, 2003 6:20 AM
Boy I love this town. We stopped at the FDR Memorial for their nice restrooms then rode along the frozen Tidal Basin taking in this great view of the Jefferson Memorial.
An “Undisclosed” location.MB1
Feb 10, 2003 6:23 AM
Since the winds had died down we rode a few laps around Hains Point which is a great place to ride now that the road has been repaved. It is a 3 mile loop one-way loop along the Washington Waterfront and the Potomac River.

Here we can see Fort McNair across the harbor (when the news reports that a Washington politician has been taken to an undisclosed secure location, here it is).
Did I see you and Miss M ride past the Spy Museum ...Humma Hah
Feb 10, 2003 6:24 AM
... around 1 PM or so? The wife and I were standing in line waiting for tickets.
We were on our way to the parade.MB1
Feb 10, 2003 6:32 AM
We were suprised at how long the line was outside the Museum as we were riding by. Did you notice that we actually stopped for the traffic light?

How was the Museum, how long did you wait in line and how much did it cost for the 2 of you to get in?
Her chrome fenders threw me ...Humma Hah
Feb 10, 2003 11:31 AM
The couple I saw looked like you two, but then I noticed the woman was not in the lead and her bike had chrome fenders. "Naw," I said, "Miss M doesn't seem like the chrome fender type, and no way would MB1 be in front of her."

So now I see that she was, indeed, riding a chrome-fendered bike, and I guess she lets you regain your pride every once in a while.

Tickets are $11 each for adults. The line was about ... 25 minutes (got worse later in the day). The museum was pretty good, although a confusing maze in which my wife and I got seperated. DC spoils you ... compared to the Smithsonian for free, all pay-to-enter museums seem like a rip-off.
Closing in on this bad boy.MB1
Feb 10, 2003 6:25 AM
Since the warm afternoon sun had melted a lot of the snow we took a chance and crossed the 14th street Bridge to check out the Virginia shore. There was a lot more snow and ice on the trails in Virginia but it was nice to ride across the river as the sun was setting.
Real men eat meat.MB1
Feb 10, 2003 6:28 AM
Miss M eats pizza; I had a cheeseburger with red beans and rice on the side. Mmmmm good!

We had done a century ride without ever going outside the beltway. Talking it over we both confessed that we never expected to actually get in 100 miles when we started out that morning and by the end of the day it turned out to be one of our nicest rides this year.

One of the tastiest meals of the year too!
Ohh... that looks goood! nmrwbadley
Feb 10, 2003 6:55 AM
I had a "Pig Sandwich"...Humma Hah
Feb 10, 2003 2:10 PM
... at the Hard Rock Cafe. Would have been a lot better if I'd ridden 100 miles instead of strolling thru a museum for a couple of hours.
Miss M's riding style?crosscut
Feb 10, 2003 8:56 PM
I really enjoy your bike travelogues. Keep them coming.
Does Miss M always ride in the drops?
re: A Capital Sundaymickey-mac
Feb 10, 2003 6:39 AM
"It was hard and technical riding without that nice warm So Cal weather of course (has it rained yet this year?)."

It's almost mid-February, and we haven't had a drop yet. Also, temps have been very mild, even by our standards. When I left for a ride on Sunday morning, I saw frost on roofs and lawns for the first time this winter. However, by 1:00, the temperature was almost 75. We're finally supposed to get rain this week.
Oh man, it is going to be an ugly summer. nmMB1
Feb 10, 2003 6:42 AM
Feb 10, 2003 7:39 AM
...your ride reports are the highlights of my week.Keep em' coming.
Wish I could have been out there too.Fattrax
Feb 10, 2003 8:10 AM
Looks like it was a blast out there this weekend. Unfortunately, I spent my weekend interviewing wedding photographers. We drove to Rockville, then to Fredericksberg, and then to Bethesda. On the upside, I was able to scope out some interesting roads that may have some biking potential. Additionally, we were also able to check off photographer on the wedding "to do" list. If I had known how much a commitment a wedding was, both physically and financially, I would have proposed a quick trip to Vegas.