Posted by: jdantos | October 24, 2011

Vienna and Back Again

To Vienna, and back again.

After an important but hectic morning involving a new canine friend  (topic for another post), I headed out on a bike ride.  It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, and I was just sensing that I should savor any shorts-and-teeshirt weather that comes around.  So, I struck out towards Vienna metro station – a venue I may be visiting frequently in the future.  I didn’t really know how far it’d be, only so much as I vaguely remember Vienna town center from a longer ride a few weeks ago along the W&OD.

The Mall was of course mobbed with tourists, and I rode along Madison Dr. just as the various Smithsonians were emptying out, causing general mayhem with taxis, tourbuses, and hordes of signal-ignoring tourists.  Mt. Vernon Trail was busy with joggers, but fine, and the sun was peeking out from the trees.  The Custis began thick with pedestrians from Rosslyn to Ballston, but thinned out towards East Falls Church.  Man, the Custis is punishingly hilly, but good training I guess.

Picked up the W&OD, where I was shortly passed by two spandex, racing-bike-type dudes who cut me off as I was trying to make a pass myself.  Dear racing dudes – please only pass when you know you have room to do so. All the more needless because they stopped a mile ahead, and were only going a little faster than me.

I never seem to go the same way twice through East Falls Church on the W&OD.  There are a million signs all pointing variously towards the Custis and W&OD, and inevitably I end up doing something different every time.

Anyway, the rest of the ride out the W&OD was beautiful, straight and fast as usual. Crossed the Beltway and turned left at around mile marker 11 to Adahi Road, and picked up Tapawingo Road, a quiet bike-friendly street through a neighborhood of insanely large houses and three-car garages, not to mention some really sweet over-the-top Halloween decorations.  I’m talking skeletons posing on the lawn, smoke machines, the works. Crossed Nutley St. on Tapawingo, and had to use the ped actuator because the crossing is activted by car sensors, and wouldn’t ya know it, a bike doesn’t trigger the sensor.  Around a strangely short park trail, and I was at Vienna Metro.

On the way home, the sunset over the Tidal Basin.

On the way home, I took W&OD all the way to the Airport.  Witnessed a bike-bike crash on the trail just south of Columbia Pike (whose ped buttons are working again yay!), where another spandex racing-type swung out to the left hand side of the trail around a blind corner, and hit a woman going the other way.  He knocked the woman to the side, and she ended up in the brambles in the median along 4 Mile Run there.  He wiped out too. The offender was very apologetic, and admitted he was wrong and made sure the woman was okay. Everyone stopped, including me, to be sure that everyone seemed to be okay, no bleeding or broken bikes. But still, it was an avoidable situation and a head-shaking moment.  Please, to the folks who go out on the trail to go fast and who seem to care more about their “time” or whatever more than the rules of the road, please, remember that it’s not a race, call your passes and make them thoughtfully, and be safe and courteous to your fellow trail users. Okay, end rant.

Back up MVT to the 14th St. Bridge, over the Mall and Capitol Hill to home.  On the way home I caught a gorgeous sunset over the Tidal Basin.  Ascending Capitol Hill my legs were tired and lifeless, so I dropped to my granny gear.  Oof.

45 miles and just under 3 hours later, I arrived home.  Now, time to do it again tomorrow?

Alas, no #coffeeneuring this weekend, since my only ride was in the late afternoon. But, I’m only at 2 anyways and won’t make the official goal.  I did of course drink coffee, it just happened to be at home over the Washington Post.

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