I kept looking at the weather forecast for Saturday. Rain. Definitely rain. Ugh. I rode last year’s 50 States ride in the pouring rain, and I was not thrilled to be doing it again this year. I opted to do the shorter ride, called the 13 Colonies, so that I could minimize my time in the rain.
I had some problems getting to the start this year. I had moved to a house outside of DC last fall, and I took a route unfamiliar to me to get to Adams Morgan. I got to the start much later than I had anticipated and was a little cranky. My mood lightened when I saw Bicycle Bug volunteering at the check-in tent, and Mr. T in DC chatting with some folks, whom he introduced me to.
The cue sheet for 13 Colonies is only 3 pages, compared to the 7+ pages for the 50 States. The route skips the Southwest quadrant of DC, but hits the streets named after the original 13 colonies that started the United States. (It also travels on some other states streets, but we won’t worry about that.) Although the ride is a little over 15 miles and relatively flat, the turns still make it challenging to navigate. There were several marshals on hand to guide riders.
The sky was overcast at the start, and it started to drizzle as we set out. (The superstitious among us may blame the starting announcement for mentioning the word “rain.”) I put my rain jacket on, and away I rode.
My plan was to photograph the 13 Colonies street signs, but I quickly realized I had a problem: I was not wearing clothes with easy-access pockets, and the pockets and my stem bag could not accommodate my large smartphone. (More about the bag in a future post.) I ended up tucking the phone in my shorts. Yeah, kind of weird. I also have not mastered the art of taking photos while riding, so I had to stop every time I saw a street sign I wanted to shoot. This caused me to fall in and out of different groups of riders. It was nice to chat with people as we rode through DC.
I skipped eating lunch at the pit stop in Eastern Market, but I had some iced tea and shared a peanut butter cookie with Mr. T. I also met the lovely Pirate Queen Kate in person for the first time.
It started to rain in earnest sometime after I had passed the White House. I kept putting on and taking off my rain jacket from overheating, but I kept it on for the duration of the ride after that. I felt resigned to getting wet.
One last climb, and we arrived at the finish. I picked up my t-shirt, and chatted briefly before heading out again. I wasn’t in the mood for pizza, and I didn’t want to get chilled from sitting in the air-conditioned bar like I did last year, so I went to a place a little less cold, downed some food, and headed home. Again, I inadvertently took a roundabout way but I made it– just as the sun broke out of the clouds. sigh.
My rather blurry and not very well composed set of photos of the street signs are here. Thanks, as always, to the tireless volunteers and staff of WABA for organizing the ride.