Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Exploring a New Area

It's that time of year again when the cherry blossoms are in bloom and a frenzy of tourists come into town to look at all the pretty pink trees. 

What does that mean to me, it means that the tidal basin is filled with tour buses, people, and cars who are not used to cyclists. With that said I am avoiding Haines Point during lunch and when I get off work. I'm not even sure how bad it is down there with the tourists, but I don't want to take my chances and get annoyed. Plus you all know I need hill work anyhow.
Yesterday I went into work early in attempt not to get stuck in the thunder storm, but I had no such luck. But something good did come out of coming in early even if I did get soaked, I got to leave at 3:30! This would give me plenty of time to ride home, jump in my car with boomer and make my way the 13 miles up to the Greenbelt metro station.
It only took me about 20 minutes to get there going straight up 295 which isn't too bad. I parked basically across the street from the metro near some apartment complexes that had street parking. I had spent half the day stalking and looking at other people's routes in the Greenbelt area. I came up with a nice 35 mile loop, printed out a cue sheet and a map and was ready to check out a new area to ride in. Of course though once I parked my car, I realized I forgot my map and cue sheet at home and would just go off memory and hope I would not get lost!
The ride itself was great. The route I took was filled with a nice variety of rolling hills. It was so much more interesting than Haines Point. 

The streets were not too busy and some had a nice shoulder to ride along. I managed to only go about 10 miles before I felt lost and thought I had missed the road I was suppose to turn on. So from this point on, I really just started riding on roads that didn't look super busy and did a lot of little loops. As you can see my ride was a little crazy. 

I did like a nice little private road that went through some research laps and was restricted to traffic. Although the pavement sucked on this road and I thought my teeth might fall out. I'm not sure if I was allowed to be riding here, but I did so anyhow. During this part of the route I saw lots of cows and it actually stunk pretty bad. It's weird to think all this country landscape is just 15 miles out side a major city.

Once I got back to my car 32 miles later, I threw boomer in my trunk and did a 20 minute brick run around the apartment complex I had parked at. I was very thankful that greenbelt road (which is busy with lots of stores) was only about a mile from where I was. This gave me an opportunity to run into a gas station for a potty break during my run. Also there is a Chipotle right on the corner!!! This means on longer rides in the this area yummy food will await for me :)
Overall, I felt like I had a pretty good ride and it went so much better than Sunday's ride. I will def. be back in the area to cycle and love that's it not far to get too. You could even bring your bike on the metro and just take the metro up if you wanted. It's really a win win. 

Happy Wednesday All :)


  1. What a great idea! It looks like you found some great routes for future training.

  2. I'm glad you found a new place to ride. Hains is definitely jammed with tourists right now.

  3. I love the cherry blossoms! Sorry you have to deal with the tourists though. I also love Chipotle so maybe change isn't always bad...

  4. Nice! It was a great day for a ride! I think the area with the bad pavement, restricted traffic, and cows is the same place the GW Birthday Marathon is run each February. I ran up there last month and desperately wanted Chipotle when I finished - good to know there is one around there for next time!