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Published: August 19th 2005
Mile Zero - Dulles Airport
Note the coffee cups in the foreground, caffeine is becoming a staple part of our diet
This will be a fairly simple (and boring) entry until we get the hang of this blogging lark.
Day 1, Heathrow
All is going well, we made it through the traffic to Terminal 3 with hours to spare; then the fun began, my left pedal wasn't coming off, not for anybody, many people offered advice - "You're tightening it, you need to go the other way " mainly, a small group of children enjoyed the show (bending spanners with Uncle Vernon), unitl we gave up and wrapped it in a sarong and lots of gaffer tape.
The check in queue was supremely sloooooow, we ran to the gate and got there with oooh minutes (2 of them) to spare. Our gaffer tape was confiscated and much discussion was had over our h*lm*ts, but they were allowed on when I redefined them as hats. The flight was good (we can recommend Virgin Atlantic, even though they pinched my gaffer tape) and we landed in Dulles at ~15:00 local time. we eventually retrieved the bikes and rebuilt them in the baggage reclaim area, then got through customs and grabbed a coffee whilst trying to sort out a route into Washington.
The Ducks of Eternal VigilanceWe were advised to take a taxi and the bus, but cycled North to the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, which we followed to Herndon. Took a room in the Holiday Inn Express rather than pushing on to DC, the heat and humidity were oppressive and Clare's legs stopped working.
These birds have stood guard at the WWII memorial in Constitution Gardens since its inception. Their constant watch has ensured safety from surprise attack by bread based products.
Day 2, Herndon
We took the W & OD trail to Shirlington, and then took to the roads to work our way into Alexandria, where the heavens opened and we dripped into the visitor centre and booked a couple of nights in the Old Colony Inn. The p*ncture fairy visited at 16.9 miles and the legs were still sluggish.
Day 3, Washington DC
Did a whistle stop tour of the sights of DC and got mistaken for locals, as we shot down 21st somebody asked for directions and was surprised by my best posh accent and reply of "I'm so sorry, we're not from round here"
Washington has a number of car free routes for cycling which we made use of. There are signs all along them to show who has priority, basically horses come first, then walkers, then cyclists and bladers together, nobody has explained what happens in the event of a cyclist and a blader meeting at an intersection. I still haven't got the hang of cross walks, it seems that when I'm standing at one no traffic yields, yet when I'm cycling over one I am supposed to yield to peds.
Sampled one of the local brews - Foggy Bottom Ale - ver' nishe.
Day 4, Alexandria
Took the Mount Vernon Trail to (surprise!) Mount Vernon, had a wander round to avoid the heat of the day and moved on towards Fredericksburg later in the afternoon. The suggested cycle route was down Route 1 which was heaving with traffic; for the first time we encountered blaring horns and cat calls as well as some very large American cars passing us with inches to spare. We stopped at Stafford, about 9 miles from Fredericksburg as the light was fading and neither of us fancied riding Route 1 in the dark.
We have finally cracked the ton, having done a total of 103 miles so far - I think we need to speed up a bit!!
Tot: 1.772s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 18; qc: 97; dbt: 0.0292s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb