Wide Open Spaces

Two weekends ago, I joined two local shop rides for back to back Saturday/Sunday group ride fun for about 110-miles total. While I love being able to ride on someone else's wheel in the headwinds and having friends to chat with on the flats, it definitely gets frustrating dealing with the constant tap-tap of brakes and the excessive fuel stops. So this past Saturday, with cold morning temps, I decided to sleep in and ride on my own in the afternoon. This turned out being a terrible mistake... It started out great, including a 10-mile rolling section of closed, car-free highway that was phenomenal:

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I then decided to ride off the beaten path some, which ended up being my downfall. I had only planned to ride for about 4-hours so at the 2-hour mark, I turned around. I was actually on the right path back but a few checks of the iPhone, paired with some unmarked roads and back Google maps directions, made me second guess my gut reaction and make a turn down what would end up being a road headed in the complete opposite direction of home.

Lost but still no cars for miles:

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Yeah, I could get used to this.

Finally, with the help of another rider, I managed to get back on track and heading in the right direction. By this time, the winds had shifted and my 20-mile trek back South into the city was into a complete headwind. My 20mph average coming out plummeted to 11mph and I was completely out of water and nutrition for the last 90-minutes, with no gas stations to been found.

There were, however, plenty of livestock to keep me company on the route back, including these longhorn steers.

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By the time I made it to my final destination, I had ridden 86-miles and it had taken just over 5-hours. I blame the slow time on the terrible headwind and dehydration/bonking at the end ... and maaaybe the fact that I'm just now getting back into "riding outdoors" shape after the past few months on the trainer.

The next day it was a 6am flight to DC for work. Since I got into town early Sunday, I was able to run around all of my old Washington haunts, including the Tidal Basic, Jefferson Memorial and through Georgetown.

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And of course the cherry blossoms (or are these blooming Magnolias? Not 100% sure...)

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