Lynne arrived Friday night and we planned to head down to Falls Church Metro Station Saturday morning and bike to Purcellville on the W&OD trail. Sounds like a flawless plan, right? RIGHT!
We ate breakfast and headed down to the car to install the trunk bike rack that I assured myself (and Dennis) that I knew how to install. Nope, I did not. So we tried loading both bikes into the trunk of Lynne's car and they didn't fit, shocker. So we attempted the bike rack again and from what it looked like, we were able to secure the rack and my bike to the car without it falling.
Our first stop was Starbucks and we parked next to a car that legit had the same bike rack as us installed, properly. But it was too late to try to fix it and after getting some caffeinated beverages, we were ready to go!
We entered the parking lot the wrong way and ended up in a bus loop and it just spit us back out onto the main road. Once we figured out how to get in the metro station parking lot, we unloaded our bikes, packed our stuff and we were off! On the wrong path, none the less, but we were off!
We finally figured out where we needed to be (with the help of some bikers) we were on the W&OD trail, heading the correct direction.
The day couldn't have been more beautiful. The sun was out, the path was semi shaded and the temperature was slightly warm, but nothing unbearable. This is when our joy ride started to take a turn.
Lynne started to notice that her chain would randomly become slack for no real reason. We decided to stop and take a look at it (which is pretty funny since neither of us know how to fix a bike) but I did the only thing I knew how to do which was turn the bike upside down set it down on the seat. And what do you know, the problem magically fixed itself! I am amazing!!
However, a few miles back into the ride, the chain kept acting up. We were just at Reston Town Center by this point so I suggested we stop at the only bike shop I knew to have the bike looked at and hopefully fixed.
So we turned off the trail and headed to the bike store. The mechanic looked at Lynne's bike, made a few tweaks and we were good to go. After they sent Lynne's receipt to her aol account (LOL) we were back on the trail!
Well sorta. In order to get back onto the trail we had to go through a development and for whatever reason I assumed that Lynne knew where she was going and this caused, let's call it, crash #1. Lynne was on the inside of me and I started turning right and there was contact. Luckily not enough contact to cause either of us to fall, but in any case it was not good.
We laughed it off, commented how it was crazy that neither of us fell and started back on the trail.
So now it was about 1pm, we hadn't eaten since 8am, and the day was getting warmer and warmer and little did I know, the trail in the direction we were biking was basically uphill. Not like you can see how steep the hill is, it was so slight that to the naked eye, you wouldn't think it would be challenging, but with all the previous elements I just mentioned, it was getting bad. Fast.
Fast is a bad way to describe it because at one point a person jogged past me. I was on a BIKE and a human being running, was running faster than I was biking. We had about 10 miles to go and at the rate I was biking, it was going to take over an hour. So Lynne shouted some encouraging words and I powered through as best I could. Until we got to the 40 mile marker and Lynne saw a sign that said "Purcellville 5 Miles." We wanted to die. But we had no choice but to keep going.
At this point it was legitimately up hill. Like the kind of hills that you see and say, oh fuck. This was just horrible. On we pedaled until we got to an area with some road traffic. We as bikers had a stop sign so I came to a halting stop, with Lynne close behind me. Obviously neither of us were thinking clearly, because that was stupid to do and there we have crash #2. Lynne hit me and "bounced" off into the stop sign, nearly missing another fall to the ground. It was clear that we were hungry, fried from the heat, and tired.
After what seemed to be forever, we made it to our final destination and ate at the first place we could find. A horrible mexican restaurant. We were both starving and inhaled our food reguardless and we decided to treat ourselves to ice cream.
After indulging, we waiting for Dennis to pick us up and the bad day and the bad food was catching up with us and this is how we felt for the rest of the day.
Even though we both thought were going to die at some point in the ride, we enjoyed each other's company and I was happy to have a kid free long bike ride. We learned many things on this trip and are looking forward to our 100 miler in early October.