It felt good to get back on the trail after 5 days off. Got home early to pick up the bike and haul it over to the Vienna Community Center. Picked up some wife aggro since she was expecting the standard 20-30 minute neighborhood ride, while I wanted something of a little more substance.
With the VCC nestled in the middle, there are two short but steep climbs on either side of it on the W&OD trail. To the west is the hill at Buckthorn Lane:
This hill is approached after a nice relaxing 2.5 mile gradual downhill slope, followed by a half a mile easy climb, topped off with a short ~8% grade. I made this my first goal of the day; to climb up the hill and come back.
Of course, the short climb is nothing compared to the 2.5 mile gradual uphill slope on the way back. The last time I rode this it was on a Saturday morning. Tonight’s ride featured less runners, so less breaking the cadence and focus. I was able to get up the trail a full minute and a half faster this time.
I didn’t attack this one very hard, as I was contemplating just turning around, but figured for completion’s sake, I should climb up it. Strava has it as somewhere around 7%, but is a longer climb than the Buckthorn climb.
Somewhere along the Idylwood Park climb, I realized I was probably closer to my home than I was to my truck. And there is nothing more satisfying than riding 15mph on an overpass over I-495.