To Hilltop Hostel

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 04/04/2005 - 08:58

I tried to sleep in after staying out late last night, but I'm so used to waking up at dawn I couldn't help myself.  I packed up and left Gallaudet for All Souls Church, riding through the neighborhood Marisa had warned me against last night, and I have to admit it looked pretty questionable in the daytime, too.


Submitted by Ben on Sat, 04/02/2005 - 08:51

Today's weather was just miserable: cold and rainy and windy.  I stayed indoors as long as I could stand to -- Marisa let me use her computer while she was in a study group all afternoon -- but then I insisted on going out.

Marisa thought I was crazy, not only because of the weather, but because the neighborhood is considered to be very unsafe.  I figured I had seen worse weather and worse neighborhoods, but I didn't make it off campus.  By the time I got back to the dorm, my pants and shoes were soaked with shockingly cold water.

To Washington DC

Submitted by Ben on Fri, 04/01/2005 - 11:19

I only had to ride about 2 miles on the highway today; near Mount Vernon I picked up a bike trail that parallels the Potomac River all the way into town.  I stopped at a place called Gravelly Point for a first view of the Washington skyline, and I wound up watching a mother trying in vain to get her son as interested in the airplanes at Reagan National Airport as she was.

To Pohick Bay Regional Park

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 03/31/2005 - 11:17

The wind shifted at bedtime last night so that I had to listen to the Interstate and railroad all night... they weren't loud enough to justify wearing earplugs, but the trains were loud enough to wake me several times.  I got up bright and early, irritated by the highway that wouldn't leave me alone even in my sleep.

Through Richmond

Submitted by Ben on Tue, 03/29/2005 - 11:12

The storm clouds continued to glide overhead all night, but today was dry, and the sky cleared beautifully in the afternoon.  I took time to repack my troublesome bearings this morning -- caught them before they rusted this time.

I rode right through the middle of Richmond, Virginia, because I couldn't find a good way to go around it.  I probably should have given the town more than a passing glance, but I didn't know where to start.

To Pocahontas State Park

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 03/28/2005 - 11:10

When I saw the rain outside, I was tempted to stay a second night in the cheap motel, but then I felt how warm the air was and decided to ride.  I made great time along US-301 (practically an access rode for I-95)  into Petersburg, and the rain stopped.

I decided to take a chance and go to Pocahontas State Park, out in the middle of nowhere southwest of Richmond, rather than camp by the Interstate.  I had a notion that the park might have a historical connection to its namesake princess, which would have been interesting, but their only connection is that they're from Virginia.

To Emporia, VA

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 03/27/2005 - 16:48

Today was gray and sunless, but aside from a little drizzle it stayed dry.  As I rode through Roanoke Rapids, NC, a man and two boys rode alongside me on their bicycles.  They asked me where I was going and where I'd been about 5 times before they were willing to believe my answers.  They had more trouble believing I was bicycling to DC than that I had already ridden thousands of miles... it's the Florida Effect all over again: DC is Far Far Away.