Bikers Blow Into Nations Capital

Mount Vernon to D.C. Ride
by Mary Stump

On Sunday April 9, 2000 (one of the windiest days in history) the Richmond Area Bicycling Association hosted a ride on the Mount Vernon Trail. The trail goes from the parking lot at George Washington's home into D.C.. 21 people pedaled the 5 foot wide paved trail for a total of 41 miles.

While most people were on road bikes I am glad I chose to ride my mountain bike with its fat tires and suspension. In the morning there was ice on the wooden bridges and branches had blown down on the trail from the storm the night before. It was so windy, at times I felt like I was going nowhere and other times I was being blown across the trail almost slamming sideways into pedestrians and my fellow bikers. It was windy as the devil! Once we got going though, it really wasn't that bad. The sun was out and the spring blossoms really brightened up the trail. All you could do was laugh at the wind (I dared not be the first one to suggest turning around).

We stopped in Old Town Alexandria, picked up some subs and proceeded to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to have lunch. On the way, we stopped at the end of the runway at National Airport and watched huge airliners fight their way through the gusting winds. After we ate, we visited the Viet Nam Wall, Einstein Statue, Korean Monument, Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument. Our ride leader, Bud Vye shared some interesting facts and historic tidbits, which added to the enjoyment of the ride.

Out of 42 wheels we only had one flat (one of those skinny tired fancy road bikes) and the two minor crashes didn't even claim any skin. It was great fun but perhaps the best part was the return trip with the "monster" tailwind. Can you believe it didn't change directions? It made the struggle on the way up worth it!

Copyright ©2000 Mary Stump. All Rights Reserved.