A long day of riding today… began with a trip up to College Park and back for some work-related stuff. The Anacostia NE and NW trails in Maryland are really a hidden gem in the region, and I thoroughly enjoy every time life takes me that way. For example, this morning I swerved to avoid, and nearly whizzed by, an awesome-looking turtle crossing the trail. I stopped, threw the bike down, grabbed my phone, and lay down on the pavement to get a picture of this amazing creature. If this had been any trail in Arlington, it would’ve been way too busy – but then again, if trail users in Arlington faced anything like the conditions on the Anacostia trails, they’d be up in arms and protesting loudly to the government. Just a difference, I guess.
This evening, I rode out of the office to the farmer’s market (I’m addicted to strawberries, especially this time of year. Fresh local strawberries in season are just a freakin’ universe better than the stuff you see at the grocery store year-round – no offense, California), thinking I was heading to Clarendon for a joyride. But, I was confronted with a stiff south wind, so while crossing the 14th St. Bridge, I decided to head upwind towards Alexandria first. Destination – a certain restaurant I’d ridden by a million (well, that’s hyperbole) times but was never convinced it was a real thing, until I saw this meeting notice. Turns out, the restaurant is very real, with tables and waiters and whatnot, and a great view of the river. There’s even a more casual section that’s a snack bar that serves beer until 8pm! Another hidden gem, perhaps. One of these days, a beer while overlooking the Potomac at sunset might be in order. On the way home, I rode a wicked tailwind back up to the 14th St. Bridge, watching an ominous storm to the west, and a nice sunset to the east. It was great.
In other bike equipment news, my racing bike is now sold, and I am left with Clyde as my main steed, plus the awesome Linus when K isn’t riding it. But, I got some money for it, which I’ve already spent on some new fenders for Clyde, and some stiff-soled bike shoes. Yes, I’ve made another step towards biker-dom and purchased bike shoes. After 5 years of riding in tennis shoes, I started getting toe-scrunch-bending pain (a technical term) recently on longer rides. So far I’m still using them on flat pedals, no clips yet, but I’m resigned to the fact that it’s only a matter of time before I install clipless SPD pedals too. The shoes are great – no toe scrunch, much easier uphills, etc. And they’re walkable – I can even walk Abby around the Cemetery in them in the evenings. I’d love to get pedals that also function with regular shoes, since half the time I’m riding in dress shoes for work and because I don’t want biking to be a “special” inaccessible thing you need “special” gear for.
All in all, a great bike day. Plans are in the works for a longer ride this weekend – details TBD.
P.S. Who’s up for a snack and a drink overlooking the Potomac one of these fine evenings?