Woke up bright and early (6am) and hopped on the Capital Crescent Trail, making my way to the DC Bike Ride starting point near the Capitol Building. It was interesting to ride through the National Mall so early in the morning with no hordes of tourists. The DC police already had shut down traffic on Constitution Ave, and it was cool riding on the open road. Keep an eye out for my upcoming video!
There was a fine mist blowing over the thousands of cyclist gathered at the starting point, and it started to rain just as the ride began. For the first few miles, the pace was extremely slow, almost walking speed. There were just so many people and a few bottlenecks! But after about 3 or 4 miles the pack thinned out and felt a lot more comfortable (my first group ride!) I couldn't really stop and take pictures during the ride, but I did capture a good bit of video; stay tuned!
I had a really fun time in this ride, despite the less-than-ideal weather. I'm definitely already thinking about coming back next year! After the ride, I tooled around a little bit, eventually making my way across the Potomac to the Mt Vernon Trail.
The Mt Vernon Trail goes all the way down about 15 or so miles to George Washington's home Mt Vernon. This trail was unexpectedly challenging, but still a great ride. The cold and rain added to that challenge (I can still feel cold rain hitting my face) and so did the wet, wooden bridges. I saw 2 people wipe out! The trail is paved asphalt, and often swoops up and down with some tough hills but is mostly an easy ride.
I finally made it to Mt Vernon, but you can't really see anything without paying to enter.
I turned around after reaching Mt Vernon and rode the 25 miles back to my Airbnb. Planning on riding the W&OD Trail tomorrow, a rail-trail hall of famer!