I opted for the route from school down towards the CCT, which takes me down Loughboro Road and then down Glenbrook and Macomb Streets in posh upper Northwest. The homes are, if not palatial, chateau-al, but not in a chintzy McMasion kind of way. I wonder if higher-end burger chains are in some sort of bidding process to for the prefix to be used plus mansion to describe homes like these. Anyway, the houses are veritable ShakeShacks and the kind of places where the kinds of people David Brooks would deign to write about would probably deign to live. I highly encourage DC bike types to ride around here. I even saw someone riding uphill on Macomb, which is a first for me.
The path from the CCT down to Canal Road should be called the "Rocky Crag Path of Doom." [Something about Mordor]. I started wheeling my bike down, but I eventually chose to lift it on account of the various jagged boulders that protruded from the muddy brown sick soil. At least there were some safety logs (my term) turned into something I call "nature's guard rail" to perhaps prevent (or maybe bring about) my tripping head first into the strewn brambles and saplings. If you ever wanted a hint that the NPS doesn't care for bicyclists, look no further.
I was initially fretful that I wouldn't be able to cross Canal Road, but this proved less a challenge than I anticipated.
There's a reason no one bikes over the Chain Bridge. Two reasons, really. The first being: where the fuck are you going? Unless your high stakes bridge club does home and aways (aggregate tricks with away tricks counting double in case of tie?), it's not really close to anything. The other reason, more to my concern, is that horrible hill that awaits you on the other side of the Chain Bridge. I'm not so good at description (proof of that is that I used the word good to describe my ability) so I'll spare you my attempt at elaborating how truly nasty this stretch is. Instead, I'll tell you that it's just the worst feeling in the world when your bike stops moving forward and you're deciding between falling left onto the roadway or right into the branches. I'm not a slouch, but it was touch and go for a bit and I almost didn't make it up. I supposed I could have dismounted and walked the bike up, but what would I blog about? Tales from the sidewalk? Seriously? I just barely made it and that was about enough for me.
The rest of the way through Arlington wasn't especially remarkable. I guess I forgot my Cervelo, because that was the ride of all the other bikers I saw. I'm pretty sure my fork weighs more than their whole bike. I never know how these people are out on the road while I'm still biking home from work. Do they work from home? Do they come home and immediately get into their spandex to hit the road for their training runs? (Also, if you've ever been passed by a super-biker type, remember that they're training on the hills of North Arlington and are subsequently extremely badass) I just don't get it. They're definitely not commuters. Weird.