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First Time Cycling Into Another State

Posted by on October 2, 2012

Took the easy route down Custis, but decided I would head to Haines Point and do a couple laps just to see what it was like there. Took the wrong turn at the Lady Bird Johnson Memorial, and had to turn around, though it was neat to see a wedding party taking pictures with the tidal Potomac and the Lincoln/Jefferson/Washington memorials in the background.

Got across the 14th street bridge, and made my way down to the park, and learned why it’s a great and boring and nasty and wonderful place to train. First, people who drive there are at a 25 or 15 mph speed limit; I myself was speeding at one point in time. Second, there are a lot of cyclists/roller bladers out there, so there’s a strength in numbers going on in that you don’t have to worry about being the lone cyclist in traffic. Third, it’s a great view of DC on the north side of the island. Looking across at the colonial homes and buildings is quite interesting, and then the view of Regan National Airport is unique. Forth, the headwind. Today it wasn’t going in a direction that would help on any long stretch of the ride, so coming back on the south side of the island was a bear to overcome. I did get passed by a paceline of three inline skaters (they were skates, not roller blades) on the headwind side of the route. And then got passed pretty handily by someone in a DC Velo kit.

Left after two laps, as the Garmin had me at 20 miles towards the end of loop two. I did stop by and see my boy TJ on the way back up to the 14th street bridge:

Jefferson Memorial and my Trek 7300

I almost… and it was a 50/50 toss up… turned off at the little sign on the ground that would lead me to Crystal City and to the Diamond Derby, but I had promised the wife a 2-3 hour bike ride, and not a rest of the day event.

That same headwind on Haines Point was barreling down the lower end of the W&OD trail, so that was a major slog to get back to the car, but I put in my first 26.2 miler (well really it was 28.06 miles), at a rate that I would still have beaten by the winner of last years Marine Corps Marathon. (Charles Ware ran it in 2:19:16, I hit 26.2 at 2:14:02, except Charles ran the entire way, and I had a bike.)

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