Tuesday September 1
This would be our final day of cycling. To start it off a feeding frenzy at the best complimentary breakfast of the trip was truly appreciated. While there wasn’t any meat provided, there was a mulltitude of pastries and the selection of fresh fruit was incredible. I spent an hour in there grazing while consuming a couple cups of decent coffee and fresh orange juice. Lewis ate his usual bowl of cereal and a pastry and was ready to go. We forced him to drink a glass of juice. Donna has already been cutting back on her consumption in anticipation of the reduced calorie burn that we’ll soon experience. I’ll have to do the same but not just yet. We took our time getting ready to leave as our easy ride today would be our last and our host would not be home until 6:30. Pedaling away at 11:00 made this one of our latest departures for the entire trip. And 20 minutes later Lewis was asking “what’s for lunch?”.
My conversation with Ted last night was going to be beneficial as he gave me directions to put us on a bike trail that would take us the final 20 miles into Arlington. But first we had to finish our ride on Route 1. It didn’t get any easier today. Most of the time the traffic was light enough that there was room for the cars to get over as we were mostly riding on the edge of the highway. When we could the shoulder was utilized, but this route has never been intended for bicyclists to use.
About an hour into our ride, we passed the army base Fort Belvoir. I was born at an army hospital here and had premonitions of being struck by an ignorant driver and dying in the same general vicinity. That would have not been good! Fortunately my premonitions proved false but that doesn’t mean the traffic was any better. Shortly after Fort Belvoir we left Route 1 for good. We veered off and headed for Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. Our first and only stop at Mount Vernon would be at his Grist Mill and Distillery. We learned quit a bit about George during the hour or so that we spent there. And then we moved on.
Immediately after leaving the tourist trap that the Official Site of Mount Vernon was, we encountered the bicycle trail. This 18 mile route would get us within a couple of miles of our destination tonite. We spent the remainder of the day casually cycling the Mount Vernon trail that would get us to the outskirts of Arlington. This trail was utilized by more cyclists than I could count. Most of these being commuters who leave the car behind and ride to and from work. What a novel idea! If more people did this the health of our nation would improve drastically (with the exception of the injuries sustained during bicycle-bicycle collisions). There needs to be a speed limit and police presence on these trails as the racers race while the tourists (us) tour. An analogy would be letting Indy Drivers drive 210 mph while little old ladies are driving just 35 mph. There were no collisions involving us or anyone else that we witnessed but the recklessness that we witnessed made it apparent that collisions do occur on these trails.
We came to the end of the Mount Vernon trail and immediately found the Custis trail which would take us really close to Ted’s place. We found another cyclist who helped us stay on the trail as this one is predominantly sidewalk or shoulder of the road type trail. We would have easily lost it if we were left to our own devices. Our escort eventually took us right to Teds driveway. We pedaled in as Ted was arriving home from work on his bicycle. A total of 54 miles ridden today. They were the worst of miles followed by the best of miles. Life is good and we're all glad to be alive!
Ted welcomed us into his gorgeous house in Arlington Virginia. He had 2 bedrooms available for us to use while we were there. Unfortunately his wife (I think I remember her name as Anne) wasn’t present as she had left earlier to begin a long Holiday weekend at the beach. Ted would be joining her on Friday. In the meantime, we felt priveledged to enjoy her cooking as she had prepared a delcious Curry that we shared with Ted that night for dinner. Lewis even had a little. It was scrumptious. Thank you Anne for the wondeful dinner, and thank you Ted for taking us into your home. It is experiences like these that have turned this trip into a net positive as the negatives occasionallyr piled up on us.
We unwound from our day and relaxed the remainder of the evening. We were done! We did it! Now what? Of course we have several days in which to sightsee in the DC area; which will be a pleasant change. And we’ve yet to meet Anne and Carl Wick, but our adventure is basically over. I am going to update this blog once more in a couple days to show pictures taken while in DC. But the riding aspect is Kaput! Finished! Done! Over! If you want to see some pictures taken while in DC, do check back. But there won’t be anymore cycling shots to the best of my knowledge. See you in a couple days. Bye!