Posted by: jdantos | February 14, 2012

Utilitaire #5 and #1 (again)

Spring Mill Bakery - mmm, bread...

#5: Any Store that is Not a Grocery Store. The other day I made a run out to my new favorite local bakery, Spring Mill Bakery on Barracks Row.  I’m working on sampling all their breads, because they’re always selling something new, and it’s always yummy. This time it was a loaf of dill onion rye.

Learned on this ride: Bread from a bakery beats a grocery store every time.

Total mileage: 2 miles round trip




Canadian geese swarm the Mt. Vernon Trail

#1: Work. Okay, I know I used this one already, but last weekend I had a couple of pretty interesting rides to and from work.  I was again out in a different location for work, but thankfully it was right near the W&OD trail, so I decided to ride.  On Saturday heading home I left Falls Church around 2:30pm, and had a very pleasant ride over the rolling hills of the Custis Trail, down to Rosslyn, and then on to the MVT.  The banks of the Potomac River were littered with Canadian Geese:Maybe I should have noticed that the geese were all hunkered down, because as I popped up to the 14th St Bridge, I noticed to my left that I couldn’t see the National Cathedral. It was shrouded in white mist. Odd.

Where did Georgetown go?

A few minutes later, Rosslyn has also disappeared. Then, it was suddenly snowing sideways.

By the time I got to the other end of the bridge, I could no longer see Georgetown, or Roosevelt Island.

Then, all of a sudden, it was snowing sideways as the squall pushed through.  The wind whipped up, temperatures dropped, and I had to brace my knee against my bike to keep the wind from pushing it over to take this photo:

Back on my bike, a gust shoved me so hard I lunged right and my knee ricocheted off the guardrail on the bridge. At that point I decided I wanted to avoid going into or across the wind as much as possible for the rest of the trip, so bailed on my earlier route over Capitol Hill, headed down Maine Ave. and through SW to home.  Brrr…

Winter sunrise over the Memorial Bridge

Then, the next morning, I headed out in all 23 degrees and was back out towards Falls Church. I was close to bailing on the bike altogether, but figured it’d be an adventure, and could always hop on the train if it was too slippery.  I went over the Memorial Bridge, and stopped to catch the sunrise (I really should watch these more often).  I had warmed up enough to shed layers.

Climbing up the Rosslyn hill

The trails were in okay shape, sometimes covered in a thin layer of snow, but the bike did fine. The bigger bummer was the incessant headwind, and all the over-salting on the roads, alas.  But, I got it back on the ride home, and had a niiiice tailwind pushing me home.

Saturday one-way: 13.1 miles

Sunday round-trip: 25.2 miles

Things I learned:

  • Cycling in the cold won’t kill me.
  • Winter sunrises really are quite pretty.
  • Take it slow in the snow.
  • Wind can be fun, but really strong gusts can be dangerous to cyclists perched on two skinny tires.

Snow in the fenders.


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