This morning we participated in the Vasa Ride (something we first did back in 2008). Our friends Alex and Lindsey rode with us this year — the boys did the 60 miler, the girls did the 15 miler. It was nice to have company along the way — friends to endure the chilly weather with and also to enjoy the blueberry soup at the end (always the highlight). Maybe next time I’ll try the middle distance race. oh yeah… and Happy St. Paddy’s Day!
Just got back from a bike ride to Alexandria. We left a little after noon, got there about an hour later, ate some lunch and bought some baby shower gifts, then rode ourselves on home. The weather was pretty warm for January, so there were tons of people out on the trails — runners, bikers, walkers, 1 rollerblader, strollers. It made me wish for spring to come early.
I stopped for a second on the bridge on the way home to take this pic.
C & O Canal Bike Trip and Lockhouse Tour, 2012
September 4th, 2012
This weekend we went biking along the C & O Canal path with a bunch of friends, staying at Lockhouse 10 and Lockhouse 28 along the way. We left DC on Friday evening with Sandy, Olly, and Josh, and did a short 12 miles out to our first stop at LH 10 for the night. It had AC and running water and a sweet back porch with rocking chairs. We had sandwhiches and gin and tonics and cupcakes (somewhat smushed) for dinner, then walked down to the river to try and catch a glimpse of the full blue moon through the tree cover.
On Saturday morning, Ty, Greg, and Val joined us for the next 40 miles out to LH 28 in Point of Rocks, MD. We made good timing and stopped a couple times along the way — to see the river at Great Falls, to have some lunch at a campsite, to fill our camelpacks and bottles at the water pumping stations along the route. Around 4:30ish in the afternoon, we arrived in Point of Rocks and got unloaded for our second night – no running water or electricity, just a few trundle beds and a roof – our “stone tent” as one of the C & O Canal guides called it. We relaxed for a few before setting off in search of some well-deserved pizza and beer in town. We were all majorly hungry after 40 miles.
That night, Olly made us a campfire and we made s’mores and drank Natty Bohs – the perfect kinda-camping experience.
On Sunday morning, we were up bright and early and hitting the trail homeward. It rained a bit on the way, but we made even better timing than on the way out since we were going slightly downhill, and all of us eager to get home to showers. I was nervous about trying to make the whole 54-ish miles home in one day since I have never biked that far at once, but somehow I made it and my legs did not even fall off. Wahoo! I think we will need to make a repeat of this trip again soon!
Matt’s bike, fully loaded and ready to leave!
just a few miles out of Georgetown
the state of the cupcakes upon arrival, but this did not stop us from eating them
It was so very nice outside today. I met Matt down at the Wharf this afternoon after work, and we went on a little bike ride up the towpath a ways. It was quite peaceful, not your normal June-almost-July weather in DC where you can hardly breathe. No, it was pleasant and breezy and beautiful out, just our kind of evening for a ride.
We just got back from a 4-day visit to Iowa to attend Matt’s Grandpa’s burial and spend some time with family. Trip highlights: stopping in Pella for Dutch letters at Jaarsma Bakery, taking a long walk at the Vanderlinden farm at sunset, Matt’s first motorcycle ride, visiting the Historical Museum open house, an early morning Flower Power 5k race in Des Moines (I think we had the largest family of participants there!), walks around the square in Centerville, ice cream, poking around in Possum Lodge, reading on the patio swing, the storm clearing and the sun emerging right as the burial ceremony began, playing Horse in the park in Confidence, a late night bonfire with S’mores and scary stories, taking over a whole row at Sunday morning church, and an intense game of Dominoes with cousins. good times!
bike art in Des Moines
decisions, decisions at Jaarsma Bakery in Pella
Tulip Time in Pella
the Vanderlinden Farm
Uncle Steve giving a motorcycle lesson on the farm
Roselana looking cool and tough
Seth’s purple ride!
pretty sure this was my shot since it’s going in
crazy clouds after a summer storm
a sale in Centerville
bonfire! and a small sliver of the moon
sunrise on the way to Des Moines for the 5K race = sooo early
I haven’t taken very many pictures lately, but we’ve still been up to some stuff here and there. Over the weekend we finally went to see Hugo and loved it! It’s hard sometimes to drag Matt to the movie theaters, he claims there is always something better we could be doing with our time, but he obliged by taking me anyways. YAY! I thought the movie was beautiful visually and actually meant to be seen in 3D, especially all the amazing scenes inside the clock tower. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should. Maybe it’s out of theaters now anyways, I’m not sure, I’m usually really late to these things.
On Sunday, we biked out to Del Ray, VA which is a little bit north of Alexandria. Neither of us had ever been there, but it’s just a quick little trip on the Mt Vernon trail to get over there. We walked around a bit, despite that fact that it was pretty windy and cold, poking our heads into the VeloCity Bike Co-Op, Cheesetique where we picked up some cheddar cheese rubbed with Turkish coffee (it is delicious), and Dairy Godmother for a ice cream treat. I took this sad picture of the ice cream cones hanging from the ceiling. It really was a much cuter place than this bad photo might lead you to believe. I want to go back during warmer weather.
Last night, I finally checked out a class at District Yoga on H St. They have a really great space there – small but comfortable and cozy. My arms are a bit sore today though! Must not let three weeks go by again without yoga…
That’s about all I have to report on for now. Slow news week at Juxtaexposed.
As promised, here’s the video that I put together for Bicycle Space for the Tweed Ride. It was good fun running around to capture as much footage as I could. I’m used to being on the editing end of things, so it was a good change up to actually be behind camera. If I did anything differently, I might not have worn heels for this task, as my feet were killing me by the end of the day. But, I did get lots of compliments on my shoes, so I suppose it was worth it in the end. Well, check it out… and yes, Bowser does make an appear or two. That falls well within my editorial rights.
Yesterday was the DC Tweed Ride, which we participated in again this year — this time with Bowser in tow! He was pretty popular with the crowd. I was busy filming the entire time for a short movie I put together for Bicycle Space (video coming soon!) so Matt took the little guy, in his orange coat, around for most of the ride. Don’t worry guys, he was strapped in to the box to assure there were no accidents. I hardly took any pictures at all, so I didn’t think that machinedance would mind if I posted this shot of the two dapper looking gentlemen that I love so much.
On Friday, we took off on our bikes a little after lunchtime and headed northwest towards Leesburg, VA. It was BEE-YOO-tiful out, maybe a little on the windy side, but cold enough to wear a pair of gloves and ear-warmers, two layers, but still not ever really break a sweat while riding OR start to freeze. Perfect! And with all the leaves doing their best autumn colors, it made for a prety backdrop to our ride. We made it a bit past Shirlington, only a few miles into the W & OD Trail , when we pit-stopped at some benches to eat the lunch I packed – turkey sammies and pita chips. Good fuel.
From there we pedaled on at my somewhat slow pace and enjoyed a pretty empty trail for the most part, passing a handful of other runners and bikers. I’ll admit that after about 15 miles or so, I had to stop pretty frequently to stretch out. I was getting horrible cramps in my neck, back, and shoulders that only felt better when I stopped to bend in the opposite direction of the way I sit on my bike. By the time we got to Herndon, about 30 miles in, I was pretty much ready to break my new bike in half and throw a tantrum on the side of the road out of frustration from my neck pains. I may or may not have done one of those two things, I’ll leave it at that. Matt suggested that we find a Holiday Inn and just stay in Herndon. I was pretty ready to do just that, but the thought of staying in a Holiday Inn was majorly disappointing to me. I certainly wasn’t going to make it all the way back to DC that night, so we decided that the best option was to continue the last 13 miles to our intended destination. It was pretty nice watching the sun go down to our west as we rode along, slowly, and yelling WOMP-WOMP-SUCKAS! at all the commuters stuck in Friday traffic as we biked across the overpasses at the Dulles Toll Road. I guess that part was actually earlier in the trip, before my breakdown in Herndon, but I didn’t want to leave it out of the story.
Anyways! By the time we neared Leesburg, it was getting pretty dark and cold, and the only thing that was worth quickly stopping for was a handful of peanuts. As we went on in the dark, we saw lots of little bunnies and critters scampering across the path, illuminated by our bike lights. Matt thought that the pattern of the lights on the ground looked like scary clown faces, his light more so than mine. It was mesmerizing to watch them move along the pavement. It is actual pretty peaceful to ride at night like that in the middle of nowhere. So we were about a mile from our destination, and my legs were totally turning into jelly, when I saw some lights off to our right, which I thought was Leesburg, but Matt informed me that it was actually some sort of small power substation. It was at this moment that I understood how a desert mirage works, when you are looking so hard for something (our destination) that everything starts to look like it. Funny how that works.
At milepost 34, we arrived and turned off to the right to go uphill to the Leesburg Colonial Inn. YAY!! Matt carried our bikes up two sets of stairs to Room 2. It was a funny little colonial-inspired place with a “washbasin” on the nightstand. I’m not sure it had ever been used for that, but I liked it anyways. We took hot showers and immediately felt better and ready to devour some pizza and beer at Fireworks, the place across the street. It sure hit the spot after all that riding. I think it was only about 10:30pm when we crashed for the night. Tired muscles! It was a good sleep. In the morning, over breakfast at the hotel, we strategized about a couple things. First, I admitted that it was a bad idea to up and ride 40+ miles on a new bike that I had only ridden about a collective 20 miles on before, and never more than 5 or so at a time. That was dumb, for one. It may have made more sense to try a shorter distance to check the fit. And yes, we had already tried adjusting the seat up and down, changing positions, etc. Matt thinks that next we will order a little adjustment piece to raise the handlebars a bit and see if that helps. Anyhow, at the end of our strategizing session, it was determined that we would bike 26 miles back to the Dunn Loring Metro, and metro back home from there, and call it a trip until I can get better adjusted and lose the neck pain. Before we departed, we explored a few of the antique shops in town. We hadn’t even opened the door to the first place yet, when Matt must have seen my eyes and declaredquicly, and with definity “The panniers are already full.” – meaning I wasn’t allowed to shop. So of course the thing that we found and loved happened to be an oversized sepia-toned print of a city-scene. This thing had to be about 4′ by 5′ or so. We asked the lady working there if they shipped things, telling her that we came by way of bike. “Oh!!” she said, “You’d take flight if you strapped that thing onto your bike!!” Then she proceeded to tell us that she had once sold a mannequin to a couple that came in on motorcycle. She said they rode away with a third person (the mannequin) strapped right on the back, and that she wishes she’d taken a photo because it was such a hoot. Well, she was a hoot. We got her business card and are contemplating driving back there next weekend to get the print. It was that good of a bargain.
It was a really nice ride back, warmer, sunnier, and less windy. Lots of people out enjoying a Saturday morning on the trail. The mileage somehow felt a little more doable. I was thinking about how nice it is to get away for a quick trip like that, and not pack anything except one change of clothes. I can’t remember the last time I went anywhere without my hair straightener and 4 times the amount of outfits that I actually needed. And that makes me sound high-maintenance, which I don’t really think of myself as being. It was kinda like “all-you-need-is-the-shirt-on-your-back” (and a bag of peanuts) feeling.
We stopped off in Vienna to get lunch. First, we wandered by the bike shop, and stopped in to look around. We talked at length to a lady about recumbent bikes because they had a ton of them sitting out front. She was telling us how much she loved hers after having problems with neck pain herself. It was interested to hear her talk about all the places she’d ridden before — Sugarloaf Mountain, Skyline Drive… She told us that many of the recumbents can actually go as fast as a regular diamond frame bike, though they are a little heavier and require a little more effort on really big hills. She recommended we try the little shop next to them for lunch, and so we did, and we had two little meat and veggie pupusas and they were tasty.
And then we were at the Dunn Loring Metro with our bikes, cutting out the last 14 miles, and my neck thanks me for that. It was a great success of a trip! As soon as I get my bike fitting a little better, I’m ready for the next adventure. It has me wishing for spring weather already, since I feel like there are some cold ones coming up. Where should we bike next??
annnd we’re off!
chugga chugga choo choooo
the road ahead
pizza upon arrival!
hotel sign, in the light of next morning
a funny little room
complimentary parking is a nice touch.
Vintage finds in Leesburg. (Kristy, you would have been in heaven here.)
spotted some horsies along the trail. i think she caught me taking her photo.
this is, without a doubt, the largest bicycle sign in the world.