All posts in category The Solo Ride
Where I get back on the bike
Do I look like I just rode 30 miles? Because I feel like it.
Like Iowa. Except more trees.
Today I embarked on a epic journey (for me, anyway). I decided it was time to tackle a longer ride by myself. So I decide to do the Patuxent Wildlife Preserve Loop, found on the Bike Washington website (and pointed out to me by Shannon). It’s marked at 25 miles, but I went about 30, thanks to some unexpected detours. And I think it went pretty well. The route was great- it was hilly enough to challenging, but not hilly enough to be soul crushing. It followed some well traveled roads with nice wide shoulders and empty back roads. I didn’t do the whole thing without stopping but it still only took me 2 hours. I was a little nervous- I’d never ridden that far before and it was a country road route, so I’d be a long was from anything if something happened. But it was great. Discovered a chapel founded in 1861. Took a break by a cabin built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps).
It wasn’t all awesome, though. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken a longer route and I forgot to bring any food. I did eat lunch before I left, but it clearly wasn’t enough! I did make one wrong turn, but only one and I quickly realized my mistake. The last 8 miles were pretty yucky. I was tired, there was a nasty crosswind whenever the surroundings opened up and I just kept wanting the ride to be over. Then on the metro home, I found a slice in my tire. Whatever it was didn’t puncture the tube, thank god, but now need a new tire. Boo.
But I made it and in the end felt pretty good! I was happy I hadn’t tried to ride the trails today- my friend Olivia did, and said it was crazy busy with the nice weather.
Posted by TheBloomingCyclist on April 19, 2011
Today the weather was beautiful. This was a good thing because a) who doesn’t love riding in perfect weather and b) I was super stressed out when I left work. To be honest, I’d never really used the bike as a stress relief before. But today when I left work, all I could think about was getting on my bike.
I find biking to be, in turns, contemplative (when I mull over an issue that’s been bothering me), meditative (when I commune with nature and the bike), and relaxing (when I listen to a podcast and just ride). Today’s ride was definitely in the relaxing category, as I rode to leave behind all the bad jou-jou of the day. I listened to an episode of The Flamme Cast and remembered what really matters in life.
Posted by TheBloomingCyclist on April 15, 2011
I rarely bike in regular clothes. I think this is mainly because I rarely go out on my bike for errands. Even though I don’t have a car, I often just walk to places I need to go. Right now I mainly see my bike as exercise. And I’m still a little nervous to take my bike places and leave it locked up for long periods of time!
Anyway, all this is to say that I indeed did use my bike to get groceries last night and rode to the store in jeans. Mainly because I wasn’t in the mood to take a longer ride nor did I have the time- I needed to go to the store, Survivor was on at 8, and Shannon was coming over for gourmet grilled cheese. So I rode to the store in jeans.
Posted by TheBloomingCyclist on April 14, 2011
After one day of summer weather, we went right back to winter. It was a yucky one to be sure, but I almost prefer it when it’s cold, overcast, or a little rainy. This is because I have the trails to myself. The trails have a different feel when it’s overcast. As the clouds come in and the temperature drops, those who venture onto the path become few and far between. With the low hanging clouds pressing down, the deserted parks and paths, I feel all alone out there. They become my trails, where I can go as fast as I want and where there is no limit to my ability. I know these colder, cloudy days will soon be over, so I’ll take advantage where I can.
Posted by TheBloomingCyclist on April 14, 2011
Today we got a taste of summer- hot and humid. Although only a fraction of what summer is capable of producing, it was enough. Surprisingly, I wasn’t dreading a ride as much as I normally would in such heat. I think this was because I was excited to try out my new jerseys I had just received.
The warm weather of a couple of weeks ago motivated me to finally order some short sleeved jerseys. I hadn’t been looking forward to this moment. I was nervous about finding tops that fit me after my experience trying to find a new riding jacket (I couldn’t find a single cycling specific jacket at the store which fit both my hips and my boobs- men’s or women’s). But after massive amounts of research and obsessive checking the sizing, I ordered some jerseys online and once they arrived, I was pleasantly surprised that not only did they fit, but they didn’t look too bad either! I mean, they aren’t the most flattering pieces of clothing I own, but I can’t expect too much from cycling clothing!
Posted by TheBloomingCyclist on April 13, 2011
I took up my #30DaysofBiking quest again after my parents left town. Despite going through withdrawal, I was surprisingly uninterested in going on a ride. But I pushed on in my quest to bike 30 days.
One thing I’ve discovered in riding the trails in my area are the number of parks there are along the way. And not only are there a lot of parks, but there is a a lot of usage of these parks! This makes me happy. I love seeing people out enjoying the outdoors. This lovely Sunday afternoon, there were countless cookouts and soccer games being enjoyed along the whole route. There are also these little workout stations along one section which are always being used. And unless it’s wicked cold out, there is always someone using at least one of the park spaces!
(yes, I know I’m behind. I’ve been busy, okay?!)
Posted by TheBloomingCyclist on April 12, 2011
Day 6: Not much to say for today. It was nice. I rode my bike. I did ride further than I had planned because it was too nice to stop. Nice enough to ride in shorts again. Nasty headwind coming home, though. That sucked.
In other news, the jerseys I ordered online came today, and, much to my surprise, they fit pretty well. So I’m excited to have some good tops to ride in. I imagine they’ll be an improvement over t-shirts.
In other, other news, 30 days of biking will be taking a short break. My parents are coming into town through the weekend and I’ll be staying with them at their hotel in Virginia. The logistics of getting my bike there and back was too much, so the bike stays in Maryland. But I will be live-tweeting my weekend adventures, so there is that to look forward to.
Posted by TheBloomingCyclist on April 7, 2011
For one brief day, we in the DC area got a taste of summer. According to my phone, it got up to about 90 during the course of the day. This meant one thing: shorts. I have admit, I felt a little naked in just shorts and a t-shirt. The entirety of my cycling existence so far has been in the colder winter months- I’ve become comfortable with my tights, hat, gloves, jacket. To take all that off and ride without leaves me feeling exposed. I feel as though I had to peel away a comfort level I’d become accustomed to while I ride and I have to find it again. I know that’s a lot to read into a pair of shorts, but there it is.
In other news, I don’t like the heat. Some people function best in the cold, others heat. I’m most decidedly a cold girl. This isn’t to say that I love it when it’s negative 10, my boogers are freezing and I can’t feel my legs. It just means that when it is 10 below, I just put on another layer of clothes and get on with business. When I see that it’s 90 and humid, though, I’ll bitch and moan and try to avoid going outside at all cost. Suffice to say I’m dreading summer.
I rode to Lake Artemesia today. It’s part of my regular route- the Northwest Branch Trail to the lake, a lap around the lake and home. Although as it gets nicer, I might have find something new, as I spent more time yelling “on your left!” than I did actively riding.
Posted by TheBloomingCyclist on April 5, 2011
Day 3: Took a ride to Silver Spring, went to a movie (Source Code, if you’re wondering), rode home. I like to go to Silver Spring because they have a couple of nice movie theaters, a bookstore, lots of places to eat, SHOES, etc. And I enjoy riding there because the trail is gorgeous, even if it is uphill the whole way. The trail itself has just a slight uphill grade, but it’s once you get off the trail to go back into town when the road really turns up. Long, steep uphill, slight break at a stop sign and busy road, then a slightly shorter, no less steep kick in the butt. Surprisingly, the trail wasn’t very busy, even though it was a Sunday afternoon, with half-decent weather. Riding on the Sligo Creek Trail makes me anxious for green again. It’s very nicely wooded, but everything is brown and dead. I’m ready for leafy green trees, thick grass, and colorful flowers. If only spring didn’t have to come with hot weather…
Posted by TheBloomingCyclist on April 4, 2011
My riding partner, Shannon. It's raining. We're wet.
Day 2: To try and avoid the rain, Shannon and I went on the trails near my house. Failure. Did not beat the rain. It started pouring right in the middle of our ride. It was kind of a relief, actually, to finally ride in the rain. It really wasn’t that bad, except for not being able to see and the lake in my shoes. Kinda fun, even. Made me feel like a true cyclist.
Posted by TheBloomingCyclist on April 2, 2011