15 April 2012

40 mile dust off ride

This morning I decided to enjoy the amazing DC weather with a bike ride. Since moving here in October my bike hadn't moved out of the corner of my studio apartment. I always get a little nervous biking with traffic, but really I was being silly, because DC has tons of bike lanes and I the last two years I had been biking in Queens where there were just suggestions of where you should bike. Anyway I had been getting pretty excited about the trails around the city and especially the idea that you could bike all the way to Mount Vernon.

I don't know if it was the sunshine or my lack of plans or the fact that I ran yesterday, but I woke up and geared up and pumped up my tires and headed out the door. The plan was to ride as far as I felt good riding. I packed two bottles of water, a banana, and a bag of craisins (clearly I need to go grocery shopping) and some things I didn't need, like a long sleeve shirt. 

The first part of the trip was pretty smooth, from my apartment down to the mall there are dedicated bike lanes. Across the mall and around the Thomas Jefferson memorial its with traffic on the street or traffic on the sidewalk. I had to ask a fellow cyclist how to get to the bridge, but from there on was smooth sailing.

Shortly after entering Virginia I reached the airport, and the cool park where you can be freaked out by planes landing right over your head (oh is the freaking out just me?). 

Cleared for landing... and for tanning

This is with no zoom.
The trail has lots of bridges some of made me worry a nail or splinter would give me a flat tire. Luckily nothing happened.


The trail went along the Potomac the entire way, but the terrain changed quite a bit. Marshland, woods, city, country...

Enjoying the marsh
The trail winds through Old Town Alexandria, the end next to the water, which I had never reached. Turns out it is quite lovely and I think it deserves a return visit.

River cruise
 After Old Town the path was a lot less busy, but there were several access points along the way so there were walkers and runners all the way. Most of the bike trails I've road in the past were old railroad tracks and therefore pretty flat and straight. The Mount Vernon trail is neither flat nor straight and the last mile to Mount Vernon is a tough uphill climb. I credit my weekly spin class to my ease of climbing the hills, but we'll see how my legs feel tomorrow on how much the spin classes replicate biking.

Proof that I made it
Better proof
The entire trek with several stops for food, water, and pictures took around 4.5 hours and I covered about 40 miles. Route below...

Recovery included a shower and pizza. If I can't get out of bed in the morning we'll know that a dust off ride shouldn't be 40 miles.


  1. ooh sounds like fun! i don't own a bike but i wish i did. i only learned to ride a bike in college though so i probably need more practice: http://lachapstickfanatique.blogspot.com/2010/08/i-need-bike.html

  2. quite impressive. It looked like a beautiful ride. It makes me want to get my bike out. Still waiting for the Chilhowee part of the Kedy Trail. MOM

  3. That's a great path, I've never biked it but I have run most of it at some point.

    I'm taking my bike in for a tune-up tomorrow and hoping to do a dust off ride on Sunday of maybe 20 miles? Maybe we should take a bike ride together!


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