Category Archives: Cycling

Cherry Blossoms 2012 in Washington DC

WHEN

March 21, 2012

CONDITIONS

Beautiful

ABOUT THE TRIP

Spring has sprung indeed in the Washington, DC area! Since it was the Cherry Blossom’s 100th anniversary and since the weather was unseasonably spectacular….and since my commute was tolerable, we raced down on bicycles via the Mount Vernon Trail to take in all of the trees full-blooming splendor. We’ve seen the Cherry Blossom’s before, but not in full bloom. You can recap our first experience back in 2007 here. Yes, we know…..back then we were total amateurs. Then we went again two years ago to see the blooms with my family, but they weren’t all the way bloomed either, so this time….we were ready, equipped, and prepared to complete our mission successfully. We followed the Cherry Blossom webcam and reports to find “the best and finest time” to visit these delicate candy-like beauties. And we nailed it this time! We locked our bikes up at the Jefferson Memorial and followed the whole Tidal Basin in a counter-clockwise fashion. Not sure if the other way would have been better because the place was JP. But, we survived the crowds. We got to see the sun set behind the Martin Luther King Memorial…not together unfortunately as I literally “ran off into the sunset” to try to catch photos of that fiery orange bowl just before it dipped below the trees. Dave caught up shortly thereafter…funny that his pictures turned out better than mine! We walked through the Roosevelt Memorial. I think what we remembered most about the day was how happy everyone was. Everyone seemed to be living in the moment. Lots of people met after work and had their telescopic SLR cameras (wishwehadanslrcameratoo…maybe soon), people were picnicking, painting, reflecting, enjoying, and loving everything about the day.

So after the sun set, we were about 3/4 of the way around the Tidal Basin. The sky turned into a purple haze and the yellow lights from the city made it a photographer’s dream shot we’re sure. After returning back to our bikes, Dave realized that the battery to the front of his bicycle was dead. Whomp, whomp. And I didn’t have any bike lights…double whomp. So that meant that we got to ride all the way home in the dark which meant that we were super embarrassed because we know that if the tables were turned, we’d have classified us as “those people.” So, I improvised to let fellow bikers/runners know of our presence…….I simply yelled “ring ring” to pretend that I had a bell. People probably thought I was crazy….but hey, you do what you gotta do. The important thing is that we got home safely.

It was a great evening and a wonderful way to break up the busy work week. We are certainly grateful to live right down the road from such a beautiful metropolis.

WHAT WE BROUGHT

[listcheck]

  • IPhone 4s
  • 1 Camelbak
  • Bike Lock
  • Helmets
  • Athletic clothing
  • Sneakers
  • Light jackets/long-sleeved tees
  • Panisonic DMC-FZ8

[/listcheck]

LIVE AND LEARN

We need bike lights that work and bells from Amazon ASAP.


Show me the dough

GRAND TOTAL: $0.00..yes, you read that right.


PHOTOS

mountVernon

Mount Vernon Trail Bike Ride

[confirmation]Experience level: 3/5 | BYO H20![/confirmation]

About the Trip

Before we had even returned home from our trip to Wolf Trap on Saturday, we were already talking about how we were going to spend our Sunday.  So I (Lindsay) blurted out, “Let’s go on a bike ride….let’s ride on the Mount Vernon trail!”  And that is just what we did.

The next day we woke up, ate a hearty breakfast and prepared for the bike ride.  Note: We have ridden our bikes on the trail many times before, but never attempted to actually bike the entire trail….until today.  The Mount Vernon trail starts at Roosevelt Island and runs parallel to the Potomac River for 18 miles.

We left our house at 11:30 AM and rode our bikes 2 miles down to the Mount Vernon trail.  We rode our bikes together to Gravelly Point and watched the planes take off and fly into the Reagan National Airport.  Then we split up to enjoy the trail in our own special ways.  Dave wanted to get a cardio workout out of the trip and I wanted to spend time photographing.  I rode through the beautiful town of Alexandria and after riding underneath the Woodrow Wilson (WW) bridge, I caught up with Dave again.  He had ridden up to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge observation deck and was so excited about his discovery that he wanted to show it to me on the way back.    At this point in our day trip, we made the executive decision to “go the distance” and bike the entire trail.  Now, I could totally lie right now and say that I finished the whole trail…….but by mile 15, my water supply was low and my stamina was declining exponentially, so I swallowed my pride and turned around.  Dave was determined to complete the journey, so he continued onward and we decided to meet back at the WW Bridge.  While he was biking to the finish line, I continued to take photographs and leisurely made my way back to our meeting spot.  When I got there, I sat underneath of the bridge and took a break to eat my snacks and cool down.

During this time period, Dave and I had a slight miscommunication mishap.  You see, while I leisurely rested in the shade, Dave was sitting in the blazing sun waiting for me.  Haha!  He ended up finding me lounging underneath the bridge and then we rode our bikes up onto the top of the WW bridge and looked through the free binocular stands that overlooked the entire city.  The views were amazing!   After hanging out for a bit, we resigned ourselves to the fact that we had to ride all the way back home…and wished that we had brought our metro cards so that we could take the bus home instead….so we, or I rather, limped over to my bicycle to start the journey home.  The ride back home was tough.  I never did buy those biking shorts, (see Biking the C&O towpath entry) which made for a very uncomfortable ride home.

On the way home, we stopped in Alexandria and got ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s.  It was so delicious.   And then after that little break, we took another one, haha, right before we got to Roosevelt Island.  We laid in the grass in the shade and watched the boats sail by before making the final leg home.  We arrived home at around 5:30 pm.

Our grand total in mileage:

Lindsay =34 miles

Dave=40 miles

What a wonderful day!

[warning]On super hot days, make sure to bring extra water to prevent heat exhaustion/stroke.  Be mindful of the symptoms as well![/warning]

WHAT WE BROUGHT

Our bicycles and helmets, CanonSD Powershot 1000, (Dave used an old shoelace to fashion a lanyard so that I could access the camera quickly and conveniently,) one Camelbak, 2 extra bottles of water, sunscreen, IDs, insurance cards, credit card, breathable clothing, sneakers, snacks (trail mix, pretzels, and an apple).

HIGHLIGHTS

At the top of the WW bridge, a policeman was talking to an old lady who was walking across the bridge, but was not walking in the designated walkway for pedestrians.  She was literally walking a foot away from speeding cars.   From what Dave and I could see, it looked as though he was instructing her to climb over the ledge into the pedestrian walkway.  I’m not sure if she was able to even climb over it.

The views at the top of the WW bridge were incredible.

WHAT WE SAW:

People, cranes, herons, foliage, great views, airplanes…lots of good stuff.

LIVE AND LEARN

Seriously, I am going to buy bike shorts…and riding gloves as well.  I am going to bike the whole thing one of these days.  If we had more time, and a big enough bike lock, we would have stopped at Roosevelt Island and/or the National Harbor.  It’s hard to cram everything into one day!


Show me the dough

Ben and Jerry’s ice cream: $4.89

GRAND TOTAL: $4.89


PHOTOS:

CandOCanalPath

Bike Ride along the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal Towpath in Washington, DC

[confirmation]Experience level: 2/5 |[/confirmation]

About the Trip

The DC area is one of the most outdoor friendly cities in the country. With a multitude of trails and parks to choose from, finding nature within the borders of this city is actually quite easy.

Following a trail from our apartment, we ventured down to Georgetown, crossed the Key Bridge, rode our bikes through the Francis Scott Key Bridge Park, and rode over a small red bridge that took us to the starting point of the C&O towpath.  The towpath is a dirt road trail that starts in Georgetown and runs 184.5 miles to Cumberland, MD.   The towpath runs through the C&O National Historical Park, which is the narrowest national park in the country.  Here is the link to the park’s website: http://www.nps.gov/choh/index.htm.  On this short day trip, we rode along the towpath for a little while, then turned around and rode over to visit the newly designed Waterfront River Park to bask like lizards on the retaining wall which overlooks the Potomac River.

[warning]If you bike ride in the spring, watch out for hissing geese![/warning]

WHAT WE BROUGHT

Our bikes, camera, helmets, comfy clothes and sneakers, biking gloves, and water.

HIGHLIGHTS

The highlights of the trip included riding past the families of hissing geese, hanging out at the park and watching the boats and kayakers ride by, overlooking the views from the Key Bridge, and just enjoying each other’s company.

LIVE AND LEARN

I need to invest in a pair of padded biking shorts, because the towpath is a bumpy ride so extra cushioning would be a big plus.

[info]Remember that you eventually have to turn around and go back so time your ride and pace yourself.[/info]


Show me the dough

GRAND TOTAL: $0.00


PHOTOS: