On Sunday, K and I struck out for a day-long bike ride to do a Washington classic – the loop to Leesburg, Virginia via White’s Ferry and the W&OD trail. With a small detour planned for a winery.
- The weather was amazing; we couldn’t have asked for much better. Mid-60s, and hardly a cloud in the sky. This was October weather at its finest.
- Route: MacArthur Blvd. was flat and quiet on a Sunday morning, and then we switched to the C&O towpath at Falls Road to avoid some of the trafficky segments of River Road near Potomac, MD. I was nervous about riding the unpaved towpath on skinny road tires, but we took it slow, and were rewarded with 10 car-free peaceful miles with spectacular views along the banks of of the Potomac River. As an added bonus, we were now fully awake and could ride side-by-side and chat. We slogged back up to River Road after Blockhouse Point, and took that all the way around the White’s Ferry. On the Virginia side, we rode through Leesburg to pick up the W&OD trail.
- Food: Had great sandwiches and coffee at West Loudoun St. Cafe in Leesburg.
- Wine: After lunch, we made a stop at Dry Mill winery, just a quick jaunt off the W&OD. We had wanted to go to Fabbioli, but the biking conditions on Route 15 north of White’s Ferry looked pretty bike-unfriendly. After a tasting, we lazed on their sun-drenched back porch, sipped Chambourcin (just a little bit!), listened to a guitarist, looked at photos from the incredible scenery on the Maryland side, and relaxed. It was a great spot – we hardly wanted to leave! But we still had 45 easy miles on the trail to go, so we bought two bottles for the panniers for dinner.
- Foliage: the leaves are just about to peak here inside the Beltway, but outside the city, the colors were amazing.
- Total – 96 miles, according to my phone, with 7 hours moving in the saddle, and 3 hours spent sitting still for lunch, wine, and sightseeing. I like that ratio!