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Old 06-15-08, 10:27 AM   #1
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Pleasant ride on the National Cresent Trail

DW and I have been getting out most mornings for the past week for a quick 15-20 miler before the heat gets too much. This morning we decided to ride from home on Capitol Hill in DC to Bethesda, MD ~ 13 miles each way. We usually ride that trail on weekdays when it isn't crowded so it was an interesting experience to ride it on a summer Sunday. It is quite a scene, walkers, runners, fathers pushing kids in carts, roadies (a few), first time cruisers, tandems, bents; you name it. Still, despite the crowds, it was a nice ride. Heading out through the Mall and Foggy Bottom there were next to no cars so we flew through much faster than we would on a mid-day weekday. The trail was crowded but not so bad that we couldn't maintain a decent pace. In Bethesda we dropped in at the landmark Tastee Diner for breakfast - waffles for her, sausage and eggs for me. The return trip was an obstacle course. The crowds were out in force on the trail. I can see why serious riders would avoid that scene like the plague but if you just want a pleasant ride for some exercise it wasn't too bad -- you just have to be prepared to slow down when you approach a pack. I didn't see any really bad behavior although there were a few riders pushing the edge of the safety envelope while passing and quite a few non-thinkers stopping in the middle of the path to do whatever. All-in-all a very pleasant Fathers Day morning ride. It is up around 90 now so I am glad we made it early.

Last edited by donheff; 06-15-08 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 06-15-08, 03:43 PM   #2
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Good ride...I don't mind riding the 'paths' with people cause I am out for exercize anyway.. there are times when I like to push it but those are the times i am on the 'non-busy' streets. I enjoy the crown sometimes just for t he fun of it.
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Old 06-15-08, 04:31 PM   #3
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I got out twice this weekend. Trail traffic is definitely up on summer weekends. I've ridden so much on lightly used trails that I've had to be careful to reign in my bad habits. I tend to wander a bit, from left to right to left, as I ride. When you don't see anyone else on the trail over 10 miles, and get passed like once a ride, it doesn't make much difference. But when the trails are busy, you can get run over.

I've been in that DC summer heat, it is brutal in the afternoons.
"Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post
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Old 06-15-08, 04:48 PM   #4
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Sounds like a good ride.

The DC area has some trails I would like to ride. Hope I can get over that way in the next year or so.

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
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Old 06-16-08, 03:47 PM   #5
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Hey Don,

We live just off the trail in Silver Spring and while it is close, we don't use it that often because of the traffic on it (we'd rather do Rock Creek Park). Anyhow, there's a fair bit of controversy with bikes on the trail, the Post had the following article a couple of weeks ago:

Hope to see you out there some time!
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