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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Cherry Blossoms and Cold Fingers

mtd:88 ytd:222
Rode today from Leesburg VA to Falls Church, VA along the W&OD in cold rain. I have a formula to determine "what sucks" and the answer is: cold, wet, dark; 2 out of 3 sucks. Today was cold and wet.

In Leesburg I stopped at Plum Grove Cyclery, which has just relocated from the outskirts of town into the core of town. I think they're the closest bike shop to the hotel complex. They were excellent; I went in complaining of too much play in the front wheel, which I couldn't diagnose, and they found the culprit, fixed a few other things that needed attention, and asked a very reasonable price. I was so appreciative they'd take a walk-in off the street. They started off in downtown, moved out to the perimeter, and now they've moved back into town, so they're presenting as Plum Grove (Re)Cyclery during the transition. Very nice people; recommended.

The entry from the hotel complex to the W&OD Trail was extremely easy. The W&OD is a paved, signed, well-marked trail. The only problem is: there's an at-grade crossing about every two miles. There's lights and crosswalks, and the locals were very courteous. When in doubt, they stopped.

I got to see cherry blossoms in Reston. (I have it on good authority that wet cherry blossoms on the street are very, very slippery).

It wasn't a very bad day, it just (whine) hurt. I didn't bring waterproof, low-temp gloves and I suffered from it. This is my paradox; I carry too much stuff, and I end up wishing for some gear I intentionally left at home. Operator Error in Judgement.

I did stop at GreenLizard Bikes and Coffee in Herndon, immediately on the W&OD trail. Hot soup and coffee on a cold day; so excellent. Nice people here, too; celebrating their third anniversary.

This section of the W&OD has three new breweries adjacent to the trail, and they each have a sign out: Water, Bathrooms, Tools. That's really tremendous. (Caboose Brewing, Old Ox Brewing, Loudoun Brewing Company). And there's a Whole Foods, what more can you ask.

Today I'd ride for an hour, and then find a place to get warm for probably the same amount of time. The traditional problem with the W&OD, that it's unshaded and very hot, just wasn't a factor today.

In the news today: autonomous Google car chases cyclist for three miles after obscene gesture. (hat tip: KC)

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