Sunday, September 21, 2008

100 Miles and T.I.T.S.

To add a little variety into our training, and to get consecutive days of T.I.T.S. (time in the saddle), we did an overnight to Leesburg and back home.



It seems to me that M knows most every major trail and neighborhood bike path in Northern Virginia. He led us on major and minor roads and trails, through three counties, all the way to DC.

Through the not-so-scenic.......

.......and the more scenic.
This is the Key Bridge heading into Georgetown.


While M popped into a couple of bike shops in Georgetown, I stood guard as a human bike lock. Georgetown is so quaint, but traffic is always thick there. In the ten or so minutes I stood there, I probably heard ten car horns. (I also saw a guy roller blading in traffic and talking on a cell phone. You don't see that every day.)


Ah, lunchtime. We wove our way through streets and alleys in Georgetown and had lunch at Dean & DeLucca. On bike rides through the city, we often make sure we hit this spot for lunch. This was about 21 miles from home.



The bottom of these steps put us on the C&O Canal towpath, on which we would remain for the next 35 miles.

A couple of miles outside of DC.

This is one of the lock houses on the canal. In the 1800's and into the early 1900's, goods were sent on barges up the canal. These boats were pulled by mules who walked on the towpath. Locks were run by families who lived in these houses. They were located about every 7 to 10 miles or so. The locks flooded with water in order to carry the boats to higher elevations. Many of these houses and locks still exist along the path.




There was a detour at Great Falls. I think some of the trail got washed out during the tropical storm. We had to ride up and around and then go down these stairs.

There are some breathtaking views of Great Falls.......that we missed because of the detour. (grumble, grumble)
This is a view of part of the Potomac Gorge.


This is how most of the C&O looks. (The C&O Canal towpath, by the way, is the longest and narrowist National Park. It runs 183 miles from Georgetown to Cumberland, Maryland.)


At around the 55 mile mark, we arrived at White's Ferry, Maryland. To cross the Potomac into Virginia, you take a ferry ride across. I always enjoy this crossing.



Finally, at 63 miles (a metric century!) we arrived at Leesburg. Here's my blue beauty in the hotel room.

A night of deep sleep later, we're back on the trail. This time we are heading home on the trail we train on every weekend. The W&OD trail. This trail is paved the entire way, which was much easier than the bone rattling dirt trail we rode the day before.




The oddest thing we saw on the trail today was a "roadie" carrying his bike on his shoulder. (A "roadie" rides a "road bike"....usually rides fast, as if he/she is training. They often have high end bikes and the clothing to match.) This roadie wasn't wearing shoes and he didn't have a rear wheel on his bike. Oh how we wanted to know his story!


Our county is in the process of building a beautiful trail called the Cross County Trail. It's a paved trail that runs 40 miles, from one end of the county to the other.

These bridges on the trail were just built within the last two or three years. When we got the tropical storm a couple of weeks ago, the railings were decimated. I just hate seeing this.


I'm not sure what happened to this bridge during the storm. It looks as though the ramp dropped down a foot or so.


Finally, home.

100.17 miles. Hallelujah.

Weekend after next, we'll be riding 100 plus miles in one day, in the Seagull Century.

Here's a shot of my feet once I took off my bike shoes and socks. 50% tan. 50%dirt.

After a nice hot bath and a long nap.......I'll still be pooped. But it was a good weekend.

4 comments:

Chan Bliss said...

That looks like a fun weekend.

diana said...

Wow, that's alot of riding. Sounded like a great adventure though. The longest ride I've done is about 6 hours and I had the sorest bum at the end - ouch!

Jackie said...

Oh but look at those toenails! What a really great photo journal of your trip. And I love all of your bicycle jargon T.I.T.S, etc. When the kids are grown I can see Brian and I doing more of this, and when I see your pics and read your stories I get excited by that prospect.

Blogging Molly said...

what an awesome trip! just read about jackie's recent bike trip. now i'm really motivated to make one of my own.