I may have procrastinated a bit too much in writing my last post about the last nice weekend, as it seems winter will return, just in time for St. Patty’s Day. You evil Winter, you. Why can’t you just go already?
The weather this past week was pleasant. So much so that on Tuesday I opted for commuting by bike. finally!
But knowing the Georgetown Branch Trail was anything but pleasantly passable—what with all its swampish mud piles on either side of the Rock Creek tressel, and mud ruts carved from passing bikes past—I decided to take the nice morning temperature as an opportunity to try out a new route suggested by Ricky, who goes by the Twitter handle @bikeeveryday.
The GTB trail is nice in that it’s a convenient, straight-shot route from Silver Spring to Bethesda. So until I tried Ricky’s alternate suggestion, there never really was a strong enough incentive to test a new route, however much hate I expressed for that damn trail.
But sometimes, the extra 10 or so minutes is worth the difference between hating the trail and struggling on it, and having a really great commute.
On Streets, Through Quiet Neighborhoods
I’m not a very big fan of biking on the sidewalk. So I felt weird biking on the sidewalk along East-West Highway, which was the first bit of this route. But after a while, I realized that this was ok. Just don’t be stupid.
If East-West wasn’t as hectic as it is, I may have considered biking on the road. But knowing East-West as it is, during rush hour and non-rush hour, it wasn’t even a consideration. Nope. Not doing that.
So I biked on the sidewalk to Beach Drive, then entered a quiet, still-slumbering neighborhood which also ended up being quite hilly.
Despite the hills though, riding through the Chevy Chase neighborhood was a welcome change from the muck and mire of the GTB trail. I love riding on asphalt. Its smooth, no-surprises surface. I didn’t have to worry about hitting a mud rut, or getting stuck in mud. All I had to focus on really, were any cars that passed me in either direction. Sure, I kept an eye out for the occasional road debris, but other than that, smooth sailing.
There was a point, going up a small hill, where I had to stop and take a break. As I drank some water and looked around at the darkened homes, I was wondering if, any one who was looking out at me, thought I was some suspicious being scoping out homes or if the sight of a cyclist, with a blinking red light and bright white light, was just something of a regular occurrence. Even in the darkness of morning hour.
I did consider trying the route for my commute home, but decided against it. Instead, I trudged through the GTB trail, hating every bit of it. Knowing there some of those downhills were quite steep in Chevy Chase, I was not about to embark on trying to go up those hills on my way home.
That will be for another day.