Shane rated this day as "hard and you gotta stay focused." I can see why, because the first 30 miles or so were in traffic that was whizzing by and very close. I didn't like that part. It was quite stressful. One of our riders (Steve) came around a corner where the asphalt pavement had a sudden dropoff. He was launched over his handlebars and luckily landed in a grassy patch just off the road. His shoulder hurts but nothing appears broken. He was able to ride the rest of the day. At about mile 32 we stopped at a convenience store---not quite time for a full lunch so I downed a diet coke, a bag of potato sticks, and a Reese's peanut butter cup. Mmmmm....probably the same stuff Lance Armstrong uses for energy, right? Turned out it was just what I needed because we never did get a lunch stop the rest of the day and I felt pretty good.
|Good to be out of the traffic.|
I'm told that arriving by car to Washington, D.C. is difficult and complicated. By bicycle it's a different story. We connected to the Rock Creek Bike Trail about 25 miles out of the city and it took us to within a couple of blocks of our hotel at Dupont Circle---which is within walking distance of the White House. The trail is lots of pieces all connected together. We rode thru city parks, wooded areas, over several bridges, and past an old, old cemetery. Amazing that the trail is so close to the city.
|Rock Creek Bike Trail|
The highlight of the day: At one point along the trail we saw a sign that said "LDS Temple Visitors Center." We were excited to look up and see the bright white spires of the Washington, D.C. Temple poking up out of the trees. Just up a steep-ish hill and we were there. It felt like I was home! A great feeling. The missionaries in the Visitor Center let us stow our dirty bikes and filthy shoes in the back room. They were amazed to hear that we started in Maine. And more amazed when we told them where we are headed. The Visitors Center featured a special sculpture exhibit of stories from the life of Christ. It was great to be there.
And just in case you have a spare boat laying around, we saw this sign in a yard in Maryland:
Day 10 is a much needed day off the bikes in Washington, D.C.