Sat, Jun 4 2005 - Bike Ride on the Capital Crescent Trail (View Original Event Details)|
|Participants:||Rita Fabian, John Putman, Paula Parlow, Jame Parlow, Michael Eppert, Michelle Williams, Maria Maranto Dickey, Cary Tepper, Keith Ellis, Lucas Fisher, Walt Meyer, Patrick Haas, Kimberly McCue, David Robare, Jackie Putman, Dennis Baba, Norma Baba|
Wow! What a perfectly beautiful day. I will take full credit for the weather. I made some calls to the CIA and they were kind enough to use their satellites to rearrange the weather. Thanks guys!
After we all met at Greenbelt we tried to see how we could consolidate into fewer cars. Because of circumstances beyond our control, everyone took his own car anyway. There was no consolidation of bikes or people. Good thing there was a carpool set up for this event. To make it even better, the carpoolers hit some pretty good traffic on I-495 on the way to the trailhead. When we finally arrived, the remainder of the group was already there and anxiously waiting to hit the trail.
Once we finished the introductions, we saddled up and got under way. Did I mention the weather was perfect? We rolled along the gravelly trail for the first few miles at a good pace, stopping occasionally for busy intersections. Once we hit Bethesda, we were rewarded with a Barnes & Noble bookstore. The pleasure was two-fold: the bookstore contained both a desperately needed restroom AND a Starbucks! This is indeed a blessed nation.
Oddly enough, an entire block was shut down in front of the bookstore for some sort of street festival. There were food booths, balloon animal creators, face painters and kids. Lots and lots of kids. Initially, we thought the festival was for us. It could have been, I guess.
Heading toward Georgetown from Bethesda, the Capital Crescent Trail turns from eroding gravel to smooth pavement. Also in this direction there is only one street crossing. This is also the more crowded section of the trail. Even with the increase in trail users, especially on the perfect day, the group opened up the throttle a little and we flew down to Georgetown at warp speed. Yeehaw!
On reaching Georgetown, the group split into two groups. There were those of us who had brought our own lunches and those who decided to eat out. The first group parked our bikes and sat along the Washington Harbor and looked out on Roosevelt Island, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and, ripped from the day's headlines, the Watergate Hotel.
As we sat and discussed work and travel and the import/export business the harbor was buzzed not once but twice by large, official looking helicopters, both with U.S. Air Force markings. They must have known everyone was watching because both choppers made some dramatic maneuvers that seemed entirely unnecessary. We had more uninvited guests in the form of some pigeons. They liked Rita best and spent a good amount of time sharing her lunch.
Eventually the group reunited and we were off on the return trip to Silver Spring. We stopped on the C&O Canal at Fletcher’s Boathouse to use the facilities. Among the crowd of people on an easy stroll or a casual bike ride were several young men dressed head to toe in black robes. They had little white collars and black dress shoes. Priests, right? Close. They were Gregorian monks on a pilgrimage to Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. They had big backpacks and walking sticks and several of them carried placards with images of Mary on them. They must have been awfully hot in those heavy black robes. I mean, the weather was perfect, but the sun was pretty high and they had quite a hike in front of them. My feet hurt thinking about the monks making the trek in those black dress shoes.
We continued onward to Bethesda and beyond. We stopped again in Bethesda on the way back to enjoy the continuing street festival and some well-deserved ice cream. We enjoyed more interesting conversation and a violin concerto performed by some local school kids. Getting back on our bikes, we rolled on to Silver Spring and our waiting vehicles.
I hope everyone had as pleasurable a time as I did. A big thanks to all who came out and you're welcome for the weather I provided. It was my pleasure.
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