Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ok this week features something a little different. I have been on vacation in the hive of Politics, Law, and Death this week (Washington D.C., The first two are obvious, the last because there is a rather large amount of monuments to dead people in this down). The purpose of the trip was to see my brother graduate from Law School but since we were spending a whole week there a few perks were in order. I did a lot of running out on the old Mount Vernon Trail until one day it occurred to me that my running shorts were really triathlon shorts, and my Brother’s bike was just sitting alone and forlorn in the front room of his condo. So with my brother’s blessing and a hybrid bike betwixt my legs I set off into the early morning light to ride to Mount Vernon and back on the Mount Vernon Bike path.

The trail features quite a few wooden bridges that are very picturesque as they cross swampy inlets and bogs. I could not believe how green it was here. I had to keep reminding myself I wasn’t in Arizona anymore. Due to having a hybrid as opposed to a road bike I got passed a few times by some roadies but kept pretty good time. It felt kind of funny to ride around in a near vertical position without clip in pedals, but as the trail was beautiful I didn’t think about it too much.

The trail crosses several parks along it’s path. I saw numerous runners and if you can believe it dozens upon dozens of commuters. Of course, I think if we had a trail like that in Arizona more people might consider commuting.
The morning I had decided to ride (the last one possible) was just a stellar morning. The temps were perfect, the sky was clear, and the trail was not too crowded owing to the fact it was Monday and everyone else was either going to work (the other direction from me) or were already there. I decided not to push things as this was my last day in DC and it was time to breath in the last deep breaths of the experience and I was bound and determined to enjoy the ride fully.
I paused to get drinks everywhere I could as I had no waterbottle, fortunately there were water fountains all along the trail. Riding this trail was a vacation in itself as it was quite different from my usual rides. Most of the trail was forested and within earshot of the nearby road but a few sections went by houses. I had ridden the whole trail expecting the last mile to climb up some sort of mountain seeing as it was called MOUNT Vernon after all. I also had read that the last mile had a bit of climbing and had to laugh when the climb turned out to be about comparable to well, hmmm, it was comparable to, …. Well, that is to say, aah, hmmm, well It was such a small climb that there really isn’t anything to compare it to except a medium size roller perhaps. Anyway, imaging my surprise when I passed a sign that said there was a hill behind me that was steep enough to require dismounting! Well, I thought that funny enough to take a picture so there you go. The ride back was even slower due to a desire to drink everything in fully and to make the moment last. In a few short hours I would be back in the desert and riding my bike down hot dusty stinky roads with faded buildings and cracked parking lots filled with faded (but rust free) cars.

It amazes me the amount of effort Washingtonians have gone to to make decent bike paths to ride on. There were multiple spots along this trail that just took your breath away for beauty.

Much of the trail went right along the shore of the Potomac river. At this point I can kind of see where the easterners get their mirth when we point out the San Pedro River or the Agua Fria river as rivers.

Here is the house next to President Washington’s swanky digs

Here is the sign in front of Washington’s swanky digs. The digs didn’t open until 8 and I didn’t have $13 so I had to be content with seeing the wall around Georges Mount Vernon Estate. Incidentally, there is nothing Mountainous about Mount Vernon. In fact, it is not even the height of a decent roller back in Arizona so perhaps we could say that westerners know their mountains and easterners know their rivers.

Here is the mighty trek hybrid! Not a pinarello but surely not a roadmaster either! It offered a very pleasant and comfortable ride!

OH NO Mr. Bill! We’d better watch out for that STEEP hill! We want to make sure we dismount in time like the sign says.

OK we are going to hit the steep hill anytime! Better be ready!

We must be getting close now! Keep the hands near the brakes folks! Prepare to dismount!

Hmmm, Now where did that STEEP hill go to? I know it has to be around here somewhere. Otherwise why would we have a sign warning about a steep hill?

This was kind of a cool little section of windy trail several miles down the trail from the “STEEP” trail sign.

Here is a swanky neighborhood on the way back. Politicians and judges and lawyers OH MY! Politicians and judges and lawyers OH MY!

Um, be sure to be careful of sliding sideways on your bike in a wiggly pattern

The Jones point lighthouse (kind of small don’t you think? You think think the federal government is compensating for something?)

I think this guy is a bicycle tourist stealth camping due to the bicycle on the other side of the stairs but he might have been a bum. I wasn’t feeling adventurous enough to wake him up and ask him though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cool pics, Dude!