Yeah, it’s been a while. The last WABA ride I did was in 2015, and it was the Vasa ride. When I heard that this year would be the last time they would offer the ride, I decided to sign up to give it the last hurrah.
The weather pattern was so temperamental that the forecasters couldn’t make up their minds as to what was going to happen that day– rain? snow? sleet? wintry mix? Given my luck with WABA rides and bad weather, I had preemptively decided that if there was precipitation of any kind when I looked out on my porch, that I would not do the ride. Last night, it looked like we would be spared, so I prepared to go out.
In the past, I had done the Half Vasa (Halvvasan), and was intending to do the same this year. But because I was unsure what the weather was going to do, and because I have not been biking anything longer than 5 miles lately, I opted to do the Short Vasa ride (Kortevasan). Waking up later was also a plus.
The start location was at REI instead of the Swedish Embassy this year, which is a shorter ride to get to for me. I went with the 15-mile group, and we took a leisurely pace. Somehow, I became the leader of this group because I was the only person with a cue sheet. (How did this happen?)
The route started as a lovely tour of the Mall, going around the Washington Monument, the WWII Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. There were lighter crowds than I had expected, probably due to the colder weather. We then wended our way to the Tidal Basin and did only part of Hains Point– I kind of regret that I didn’t diverge to do the entire Point and take photos of the cherry blossom trees in full bloom. We then headed to the Wharf, Yards Park, and the Riverwalk. The final leg of the route was the Anacostia River Trail, then back to the Northeast to REI.
Waiting for us at the afterparty were the obligatory blåbärssoppa (which was weak), plus Swedish meatballs and Swedish fish. It was not during the ride, but here when I came across Mr. Rootchopper, and my friends J and C, with whom I’ve talked about bikes but have yet to go on a ride. Unless you count the short jaunt to Dangerously Delicious Pies, which I don’t. The pies, however, lived up to their name.
This is my fourth time riding the Vasa ride, and I’m sad that it’s the last. I had forgotten how much I enjoy this ride, and I’m glad I got to experience it one last time.
Photos are on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/p/BhR05bmht09/