One of the things I wanted to accomplish early was to get some long time in the saddle. Get my butt used to the pain of that bike seat for more than the little 20-30 minute rides I had been doing.
Since Spokes Etc. is my local bike shop, and my friend Brian recommended looking for regular rides with the local shop, I went to their website to figure out what I could find. They really don’t have much for the Vienna area, as they seem to organize more advanced rides out of their Alexandria branch; which is funny, since I can remember their Alexandria store back when I originally went to high school in the area. It’s in a section of Shirlington that is right near Lindsay Cadillac (where my uncle tended to get cars serviced), behind the Radio Shack (on the corner of Quaker and King St, where we used to go for batteries), and there’s a Baskin Robins we would get ice cream from after dinners in the area. I even think I might have biked by it at least once, as my friend Adam from high school used to live in the area.
But what Spokes had was a good listing of local resources. There I discovered the Potomac Pedalers, a DC area cycling club. One of the big draws to the group is the large number of organized rides they have, though to be honest, most are way out of my league at this point.
It is, so far, the longest (in miles and time) that I’ve spent on a bike, ever. 17.2 miles, almost an hour and a half riding. And it was tough… Uphill both ways. Nothing better than getting left behind by two women, both older than yourself. But I had fun, learned how to ride on the W&OD trail during a busy time, and chugged it up some long hills.