Tour de DCPL VIII

National Bike Month Book Display
I come back to the Tour de DCPL every year because I think libraries are important to highlight, and because the route always changes. Really, you should do this ride. You get to explore different parts of DC and you get to visit libraries. What’s not to like?

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Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

Signs.

I wanted to take a sneak peek of the newly completed part of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail near Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens before the official opening tomorrow. It was a warm and gorgeous day– perfect for riding. There were already groups on the trail even as crews were putting the finishing touches.

New bridge.

It’s a beautiful trail. There is plenty of signage, although I would have liked to have seen one closer to home. It is simply fantastic to ride along the water and wetlands. The new segment that goes through the Kenilworth area has a bridge that follows the river. It reminded me a little of the Big Slackwater area of the C&O Canal.

I’m looking forward to using this trail as a commuting route, which will be helpful when WMATA’s SafeTrack comes to the area.

Here is my Flickr set.

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Tour de DCPL VII

Library-themed bike racks, each says "read" in different languages.

This is my third year doing the Tour de DCPL. This ride continues to have appeal for me because it’s a ride that highlights libraries in the area, and the locations change every year.

This year, we went to a couple of libraries outside the DC Public Library system, in nearby Montgomery County, Maryland. We started at the Takoma Park (DC) branch, the oldest in the DCPL system. We then made our way to the Juanita E. Thornton Shepherd Park library, and received a special police escort to the Takoma Park (MD) Library in the town’s community center. We took the scenic Sligo Creek Trail over to the newly built Silver Spring Library.

The tour went on to the Chevy Chase and Tenley-Friendship libraries, but unfortunately, I had some pressing matters at home to take care of, so I cut out early and made my way back home.

I took pictures on Instagram, and my Flickr set is here. As always, many thanks to the DC Public Library staff for organizing this ride.

Freezing Saddles 2016

freezingsaddles2016
(website) (forum)
2015: 293 miles in 45 days
2016: 282 miles in 48 days

  • All of my rides were either commutes or running errands.
  • I biked to work more times this year (5 times, compared to only twice last year).
  • I managed not to get majorly sick this time, which is a plus.
  • The studded tires mostly worked. Putting them on was a pain- I ripped my hands on the studs, and messed up my derailleurs. Riding on them when there was no snow/ice on the ground was not pleasant, either. If I use them again, I would either put them on a winter beater bike or buy separate wheels for them so that I can put them on my bike more easily.
  • Wearing a mask did help on the really cold days.
  • MG wrote up a very nice interview.
  • I didn’t enjoy my experience nearly as much as I did last year, though. I will likely not participate again. I will, as always, keep riding throughout the winter.

I took photos on Instagram. I’m particularly proud of the shots I took that chronicled the lengthening of the days.

Great Pumpkin Ride 2015

Warrenton Branch Greenway.

I loved this ride from last year, and originally signed up for the 48-mile ride. I had also unwittingly signed up to work that evening. argh. I wanted to do both, so I opted to do the 30-mile ride instead so that I could have time to go home, change, and go to work.

At first, I was having some doubts as to whether this was a good idea. Was it worth it to drive all the way to Warrenton, VA for a 30-mile ride? I needn’t have worried. The answer was yes.

The Fauquier Trails Coalition’s Great Pumpkin Ride remains, hands down, as one of the best rides of the region. The ride is well organized: the autumnal countryside route is beautiful, there are police on hand to direct riders at some of the trickier intersections, the volunteers are fantastic, and the riders are friendly. Oh, and of course, the food at the rest stops is awesome.

Pumpkin pie and other baked goods.

As last year, one of the rest stops was at Old Bust Head Brewery, where they were giving out free samples of their beers and a coupon for the taproom. They were also at the finish line with more beer for purchase. I really did like the two samples for this year, their Oktoberfest and Old Jail pumpkin-peach brown ale.

For the 30-mile ride, that was the only rest stop, so I made sure to stock up on food. Alas, there were no pretzels.

I was feeling a little stiff throughout the ride, but I managed to make it in fine time, so I skipped the festivities at the end and hit the road, stopping at my favorite Red Truck Bakery for a snack before heading home.

I made it to work at a reasonable time. I hope to be less rushed and do the ride again next year.

My very small Flickr set is here.