Some Ramblings About Riding Mt. Vernon

sign for Mt. Vernon
This was my first time riding the Mt. Vernon Trail– in the daylight. I’ve done parts of it, but only at night. I figured I should get to know the trail during the day. Some thoughts:

-It’s really pretty, even in the wintertime. I’m envious that this is Rootchopper’s commute. He pointed out the eagle’s nests– and as if on cue, we saw a bald eagle fly into one. Magical.

-I got lost a couple of times– getting out of Old Town Alexandria, and getting out of Jones Point Park. I know I tend to be directionally challenged, but I do think the signage could be better. Many thanks to Justin for pointing me in the right direction.

-Oh, and why do I not go to Old Town more often? Seriously– so easy to get to by bike.

-There was a downed tree near the end of the trail, which I attempted to go around. Unfortunately, there was mud on the side of the trail, and I slipped and fell. I was happy to discover that 1) I slipped in soft mud instead of hard pavement, and 2) that my feet will come out of the pedals in an accident. Still, falling was embarrassing.

-It’s not my heart, it’s heartburn. At mile zero, I stopped to eat a Clif Mojo bar. On my return ride, I started feeling that familiar burning in my chest. I looked at my heart rate monitor, and I wasn’t even close to being at threshold level. So now I know, and I guess I need to eat Tums on every ride. It hurt me all the way home.

-I’m still amazed by how much of the area I haven’t seen. So much to explore!

-It was great to meet up with Mr. T in DC and Jerdlngr. So great to meet up with Bike DC folks!

-I meant to just ride for the morning, but instead I made a day of it. And it was a great day.

Rootchopper’s account is here.

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Errandonnee #10-#12

errandonnee 10
Destination: tea.

Observation: once again, a great Friday Coffee Club gathering. The regulars were there. I finally got to meet baby Hugo! Some wanted to call this a “community meeting,” I called it my second tea outing.

errandonnee 11
Destination 2: work.

Observation: Somehow, I managed to hit green lights almost all the way down Pennsylvania Avenue. That’s a first for me.

errandonnee 12
Destination 3: lunch.

Observation: It was a warm, sunny afternoon. I decided to bike to one of the food truck areas and try a truck new to me. I was unfortunately disappointed– not only was my lunch bland and flavorless, it upset my stomach. I should have stuck with empanadas. Still, it was worth it to sit in the sun for a while.

Number of miles ridden today: 8.75
Cumulative miles: 53.86
Number of categories completed: 9
Number of errands completed: 12

Errandonnee 2013– done!

Errandonnee #9

errandonnee 9
Destination: grocery store.

Observation: Picked up a few things for the weekend. Yup, that’s lettuce.

Number of miles ridden today: 3.08
Cumulative miles: 45.11
Number of categories completed: 8
Number of errands completed: 9

Errandonnee #7 and #8

errandonnee7
Destination: dinner.

Observation: All that talk about kimchi and bibimbap earlier made me want some, so I went to one of my favorite places, Mark’s Kitchen. If you look at the bottom of the photo, you can see my helmet on the floor.

errandonnee8
Destination 2: wild card!

Observation: After dinner, I went to taiko practice. I’m having a difficult time learning to play this technique this time around, but it’s still fun.

lighting
Both these errands were run in the dark, and in steady rain. My front light is a Cygolite Expilion 400, my rear light a Serfas TL-One.

I don’t mind riding in the rain most days, but this was a cold, steady rain, and I was soaked by the time I got to dinner. I was stupid and didn’t bring a change of clothes. Luckily, the studio was warm and practicing drums made me warm in no time.

To be honest, I didn’t feel like dealing with the cold and wet after practice was over, so I took the Metro home.

Number of miles ridden today: 11.62
Cumulative miles: 42.03
Number of categories completed: 8
Number of errands completed: 8

Errandonnee #5 and #6

errandonnee 5
Destination: library.

Observation: I had to return a book that I didn’t even get a chance to read. Sigh. The woman at the check-in desk was friendly. I should spend more time here.

errandonnee 6
Destination 2: Any store that is not a grocery store.

Observation: I was thirsty, so I bought a drink before going home. This is a horrible photo, but the security guard made me nervous, so I quickly snapped this, paid for my juice, and left.

Number of miles ridden today: 3.21
Cumulative miles: 30.41
Number of categories completed: 6
Number of errands completed: 6

Errandonnee #4

errandonnee 4
Destination: grocery store.

Observation: Stopped by to pick up a few things. My panniers can fit a few items, and since I don’t have a trailer, I end up going grocery shopping often. Tonight’s dinner included broccoli.

Number of miles ridden today: 3.08
Cumulative miles: 27.2
Number of categories completed: 4
Number of errands completed: 4

Errandonnee #2 and #3

errandonnee2
Destination: bike shop.

Observation: Actually, my intended destination was CycleLife– it’s been a while since I popped in to say hello– but they don’t open until noon on Sundays, and I didn’t have time to wait. Bicycle Pro Shop, however, was open. I desperately needed to get my new saddle adjusted properly, and the guy did so quickly and expertly. I also bought a spare tube.

errandonnee 3
Destination 2: tea.

Observation: Since I was in Georgetown, I figured I’d get a snack. I visited Ching Ching Cha and got a pot of Eight Treasures tea, vegetable dumplings, and a coconut tart. I was sorry I didn’t have more time to hang out and look at their teapots and cups, but homework awaits.

Number of miles ridden today: 20.59
Cumulative miles: 24.12
Number of categories completed: 3
Number of errands completed: 3