What a gorgeous day in the DC area—temperatures in the 80’s, humidity LOW—felt almost like a Colorado summer. I picked up a mountain bike on Craigslist that I want to use to hit the local trails, and decided I wanted to get the ‘feel’ of the bike by doing a long ride. So I decided to go to Harpers Ferry for lunch.
First I ride the W&OD trail (paved)—I was feeling the uselessness of a full suspension mountain bike on a paved trail. Really not made for that, but that’s OK. It is a breaking in for the bike and me anyway, so I can live with it. Rode to Leesburg, VA and followed Rt 15 to White’s Ferry. There I waited for the ferry to come across the river and chatted with 2 women who were doing the Great Alleghany Trail and C&O Canal (total of 340 miles). They were on their 8th day—riding enjoying the scenery, averaging around 50 miles a day. They just had the last leg of the C&O Canal to do—White’s Ferry to Georgetown, in DC—about 35 miles.
I headed west on the trail after leaving the ferry. Very quiet, very solitary. Occasionally (I saw 7) I would see a rider coming towards me—all of them with panniers and the look of cyclists who were doing days of riding. The distance from White’s Ferry to Harper’s Ferry is 25 miles. I had forgotten how nice it is to ride alone, in complete solitude, with no cars around. I saw deer, squirrels, chipmunks…
As I approached Harper’s Ferry- probably 4 miles out, I started to see people—on bikes, walking, running, with kids, with dogs, alone. All very pleasant.
I crossed the river into Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and decided to go up the hill for the view. I had just ridden over 50 miles of almost flat terrain. The hill going up to Hilltop House is very long and very steep. (The bike handled it flawlessly). I took a couple of pictures from the top and headed back down. A quick lunch and back to the trail and home.
All in all, it was 105 miles of riding on a bike that was new to me. I definitely need to replace the saddle on the bike. I haven’t been that sore in a long time. Otherwise, the bike seems to work pretty well. We’ll see how it does offroad on Saturday.