My quest for superbikers took me down to the Capital Crescent, perhaps against my better judgment. And I was sort of decked out superbikerly myself, at least so far as I was very matchy- black shorts, white shirt with black sleeves, white helmet, black socks and shoes, and black gloves (I'm trying the gloves again because I forgot them on my last weekend ride and I'm trying to ex-post extract value from them). I looked like I was wearing a team kit (Team Kit in the name of my Knight Rider-themed bike squad, though I suppose my outfit could also be part of a Knight Ridder bike squad on account of it being black and white and my being red all over) and I normally try to avoid this. One of the hallmarks of being a superbiker is matching your outfit to your bicycle. Another is measuring the weight of your bicycle in grams.The path to the stairs from Potomac Ave, NW down to the trail are quite obscured by the untamed arboreal growth alongside of it. I almost biked past and I know where it is. Can someone put up a sign? DDOT?
|Replace church with bike and make this sign if you are woodworking inclined. Then post by CCT entrance.|
|The first tree down.|
|Three trees down on the trail. Towpath puddled.|
There was one tree so long and so horizontal that it managed to block both the trail and the towpath. You can see it in the two-part picture that I've poorly arranged on the left. While the first trees merely required riders to dismount and walk/carry their bikes up a steep embankment, this one required bicyclists to hoist their bikes over the trunk. Remember the last time you had to carry your car over an uprooted tree that hadn't been cleared almost two days after a semi-moderate storm? It's not like anyone uses the trail or anything. Seriously NPS? Srsly?
The funny thing was that no one talked. We each just suffered the indignity in silence, barely even making eye contact or realizing how messed up the whole situation was. Just pick up your bike and pedal to the next disaster and there were plenty more along the way. A lot of branches blocking half the path and one more blocking the whole path. At this one, there was room around to pass, though it was a sandy, steepish incline that I probably should have taken slower than I did. I didn't know whether I should tell the people I saw coming in the other direction what they were in for. A guy on a recumbent asked if it was bad and I said yeah.
I saw a tandem that consisted of a recumbent upfront and an upright bike in the back, welded together in some sort of unholy union of sheer preposterousness.
Upon leaving the trail, I decided that it might be a good idea to start telling people how bad it was, so as to give them the opportunity to maybe go a different way. The first woman to whom I told "there's a lot of branches down" brusquely brushed me off with an "ok," so I decided I needed to step up my Cassandra-ing and say that there were "LOTSA TREES DOWN." The results of this might have been deterring people from riding the trail or it might have been convincing them that I was a crazy prophet of doom. In the end, I don't think my hectoring (see what I did there? I'm so sophisticated and thematic) did anything. Oh well.
No cars on K until closer to Rock Creek and that's always a good thing. Under the Whitehurst can really become a pain for bicyclists because of the stop-and-go traffic from the backups from K and the onramp for 66 and the lack of space really isn't fun to ride in, especially after coming off the trail.
Four bike "breakaway" on the TR Bridge. Rode at the back, behind two guys who might have been racing eachother, but doing it slowly. Yellow vest vs. white shirt was an epic duel with all of the elements of a dramatic bike race (posing, dickishness, looking over shoulders) except the going fast part. If you're going to race, actually race. Don't take up the whole trail weaving back and forth. When yellow vest made his move, I decided to make mine as well and I left them both behind me in a way that left me winded, but satisfied. I'm not bragging- these dudes were going slow.
Sorry to the guy in one of the traffic circles on Key that I might have cut off. I guess I should have yielded to you in the circle, but I didn't know that you were executing a full 270 degree left turn. My bad.