A Sad Excuse for a Trail

I can’t wait for warmer weather, but at the same time I’m not looking forward to the spring rains. Because with the downpour comes the inevitable muddy trails, leaving part of my commute in semi-misery and potential falls.

Shifter out of wack after my fall
top view of my shifter after my fall

Which is what happened not too long ago.

Maryland seems to be stuck in this weird weather cycle funk. We’ll have warm, spring-like days which then drop to freezing wintery days, then rainy miserable days back to freezing days.

This itself isn’t so bad, but what IS bad is the sad state of the Georgetown Branch Trail after each bout of rain/freeze cycles.

When I first took my brand-spankin’ new bike out for a ride, I got caught in this rain-stream ditch. My knee has a nice scar to remind me of how crappy that part of the trail is but how awesome biking can be (adrenaline!). I took my bike out a few weeks ago to commute (after inconsistent bike rides to work since Thanksgiving), but it had rained for something like two days, then froze overnight.

Well, in my mind I keep thinking that whoever is in charge of the trail will fix it. But no.

Lo- and behold I come up to the same spot I fell last summer and too late. My front wheel gets stuck in this deep recess of tire marks of cyclists past and—tip! bang! crash!

front view of the shifter after my fall
front view of the shifter after my fall
No blood but nasty bruising all up the right leg. The frozen mud felt like falling onto concrete or something equally hard. Uncomfortable. And I fell with enough force that the left side of the drop bar got wedged under my top bar. In an effort to get it unstuck, I panicked. It wouldn’t move. I was freaking. Upset. Embarrassed. Got it unstuck.

Two cyclists rode past asking if I was okay. I was. Nothing seemed broken. I continued on my way to work.


I noticed my shifter was in an awkward position.

I freaked again. Stopped mid-commute to take a photo and sent it out to the Twitterverse. I tried to rotate it back, but my weak hands could do nothing. So I kept riding to work, hoping that my workplace bike guru was in.

AND HE WAS! (and he’s awesome)

After looking at it, he rotated my shifter back and all was awesome. The day was saved. I felt good.

That part of the trail needs some mega TLC though, and fast. Just because it’s not on the D.C. side (Capital Crescent Trail) doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get any less love and care.



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