All day Friday, I watched the little temperature number on my computer screen, but stuck inside the office. Past the 50 degree mark, and then, remarkably, past the 60 mark. As the day wound down and my co-workers trickled out, I was itchin’ to get outside. I had been thinking about a trek north, but opted to save that for Saturday. Out I went around 5:30, just watching the last light of the sunset fade into twilight and darkness, and into the strangely warm night. To the Mall, across to a Mt. Vernon Trail mobbed with ninja joggers, and up to Rosslyn. It was probably 6pm and I was feeling great, sheer exhilaration at the crazy warmth. Keeping pace with the other Virginia commuters, I huffed and puffed up the Custis hills, shedding gloves and a fleece layer en route. Turning onto the W&OD, traffic thinned to nearly nothing for big stretches in the dark. The moon shone bright. It was quiet and still, except the faint whirring of my new chain.
Back down to civilization and headlights along the Shirlington Connector, I pushed towards the airport and the glassy-still waters of 4-Mile Run. The southern winds pushed me up along the Potomac, under the roaring jets of the airport, and towards home. Crossing back to DC, I veered right to follow the Miracle on Maine Avenue to Water Street, and through Southwest to home. To top off a summer-like ride, I had a post-ride summer-like gin drink!
Unfortunately, I realized my favorite black fleece bounced out of my panniers somewhere between East Falls Church and home. It may be time for seal-able panniers.
Saturday K and I ventured out together, bound for College Park and with errands on the agenda taboot. After a leisurely morning with the dead-tree version of the Washington Post, first stop was looking for my fleece (no luck), and second stop was Fort Totten transfer station to e-cycle some household waste. (Yeah, I hauled a broken toaster and hair dryer to the dump by bike. What?) Then, lunch at the Brookland Grill, and up to College Park metro station and Lake Artemesia. The Anacostia trails and Lake Artemesia were mobbed in the afternoon warmth. A flock of Canadian Geese on the lake looked very migratorily-confused by the spring-like conditions.
We cruised down the beautiful but currently-dead-end Anacostia Trail to the Route 50 terminus, and wished it continued down to Benning Road and home. Since it didn’t (yet), we returned via Brookland and made a pitstop to refill our growler with smooth Copperhead Ale from Chocolate City Brewing on the way home. (Yes, I also hauled a growler that whole time). 44 miles later, we were home, tired and happy.
All told, the Met Branch Trail was our gateway from Capitol Hill to lunch in Brookland, e-cycling/dump in Fort Totten, beer in Brookland, and the link to the Anacostia Tributary Trails. Thanks, MBT!
Sunday was a little cooler, and much less mileage (10), but included yard work and football-watching.
A wonderful, warm weekend.
Just in time for a Monday complete with slushy sleet and snow. Yuck.
Is it summer yet? 🙂