Friday, December 07, 2007

Fall & Winter Combo

Well, we got our first taste of winter the other day! :) Here's a picture I took on my way into work - showing the bit of snow, and a couple of trees still hanging on to Autumn! :)
It was snowing quite a bit when I got off work on Wednesday - I had ridden my mountain bike because they predicted 1-2 inches. Usually my hybrid can handle that, but sometimes we get a little more, and then it has a hard time. So I played it safe and just took the mountain bike -- and I'm glad I did. Riding in the snow is fun, though when the snow is coming down right into your eyes, and your headlight is shining into the flakes, making it look like a "Star Wars" scene, it makes it a little difficult to see. I turned my head slightly to the right and turned down the brightness on my light, so those actions helped. I was a bit covered in snow by the time I got home.
The next day, things had frozen up, so I put on my studded snow tires I bought recently. I was curious to see how they would do. The studs are not in the middle of the tire, but on a couple of rows next to the center of the that anytime you ever-so-slightly turn your wheels, the studs kick in and save the day! :) Though the snow was a bit thick on the bridges/overpasses, and the tires got a bit squirrely, the studs kept me upright and moving. :) On parts that are covered with ice or snow that is hard-packed, the tires roll right over the stuff as if it's not even there. So I'm happy with them. :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

End of Fall

The end of Fall has arrived - the Autumn leaves were pretty again this year - even though we had a dry summer. People said that the leaves wouldn't be pretty due to the lack of water, but that wasn't the case. We had some nice Indian Summer days of temps in the 60/70s, which was lovely. Riding in the Fall is so pretty - with leaves scattered all over the bike path. Last week, I saw a Park Service employee driving a lawn mower vehicle that was blowing the leaves off the path, which is helpful, because when they get wet, things can get dangerously slippery.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pass the Buck!

I was heading home last night in the dark, using my new headlight. I was nearing the end of the bike path, and I looked up to see something standing up ahead on the path. I thought for a second it was a person - but then realized it was a full-sized Buck with antlers!! He saw me and turned around to run - he took a few steps and found a good place to duck into the woods. As I passed, I shone my headlight into the woods and saw his eyes glowing back. Neat!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 9/11....

This morning as I was biking over the 14th Street Bridge, I saw that someone had duct-taped small American flags every 10 ft. or so on the bridge railing. I remembered that I had seen this on that bridge last September 11th... Up ahead, I saw a lady who looked like she was fixing or applying more flags, so perhaps she was the Flag Lady. Perhaps she lost someone that day when the plane crashed into the Pentagon... I think in a way, we want to remember that awful day, and in another way, we want to push the painful memories away.... I was just beginning the day at work on that fateful day...and one of my bosses arrived and told me what he had heard on the news. I couldn't believe it, and logged onto CNN...and there it was, the World Trade Center with smoke coming out of it.... Later in the morning, the office had a television available in a conference room to view the news. Several people decided to leave work, to be with their family. Our office closed at noon, and looking outside the office window, the traffic was TOTALLY gridlock. One lady in my office said she was jealous that I had a bike that I could get home and out of the city easily... Some people said the next day that it took them up to 5 or 6 hours to get home, due to the traffic and subway problems! I headed out and wound my way through the tight traffic, and where necessary, hopped onto the sidewalk, but even then, there were a lot of pedestrians because a lot of people decided to walk home if they lived nearby. They felt the subway wasn't safe. As I exited Georgetown and turned the corner to go over the Key Bridge, the traffic was blocked by policemen on either end of the bridge who were evidently checking drivers licenses and not allowing people to come into DC unless they showed proof of residency. Here I was, riding right down the middle of a 6-lane bridge with no traffic at all - how odd!! I got on the bike path and headed to Falls Church. Traffic had been totally clogged on the roads for 6 miles straight before it eased up. I got home, arriving about 15 minutes later than my normal commuting time. I was very glad to be a bike commuter that day, for sure! I suggested to some people in the office that they ought to think about keeping a bike at the office or in their car trunk, so they could have a way out of the city also, in another definitely comes in handy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fly Like An Eagle!

While I was biking home last night, I saw a large bird flying over the GW Parkway - I looked more closely and saw its white head - a beautiful bald eagle. :) I know that they are around the area, but I don't see them very often. So it was a nice sight. I'm glad that they are off the endangered list.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sailing thru Summer

It's been a quiet summer - no nasty thunderstorms - in fact, we're in drought conditions. The only water I see is along the Potomac River. I pass by this peaceful marina along the bike path. In the winter time, there are people who put Christmas lights on their sail masts, which is pretty.

Here's another peaceful photo, taken on my ride into work recently. I really enjoy nature along my commute, and the peace and quiet. It's a great way to start and end the day. To just take my time rolling into work, breathing deeply, hearing the birds sing, seeing the sparkling water, while all around me, people are busy getting everywhere via plane, train and automobile.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The First Day of Summer '07

As I was riding home on the first day of summer, these storm clouds came out of nowhere. Often in D.C. in the summer, about 4:30 or 5 p.m., we get thunderstorms. I've outrun many of them, making it home just in time before the skies let loose. Other storms, I've waited out in my office or garage entrance as the worst hits. I don't mind rain, but lightning has my respect. :) Sometimes, like this storm, it moved slowly and stayed to the north and I never get wet. Other times, I head on out, and see how far I can get before taking shelter. Most of the time, the storms move through fairly quickly and I can head home safely.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bike to Work Day 2007!

Here I am with my folding bike, the Bike Friday, at Freedom Plaza in D.C., where things were beginning to be set up for the many bikers participating in Bike to Work Day 2007. I got there early, so that's why there weren't many people there yet. However, the total number of people who biked to work that day was 6,600 - which is 400 more than last year!! Yea!
You'll see that I have a trailer attached to my Bike Friday. The Bike Friday folds down into that suitcase/trailer. I was flying out that evening to go to Providence, Rhode Island to attend a college graduation, and wanted to bring my bike with me to explore Providence. The airline fees for bringing a regular bike in a bike box, can be up to $150 EACH WAY. I bought this Bike Friday a couple of years ago, after being tired of paying that exorbitant fee. In taking my Bike Friday on a plane four times, it would pay for itself! The Bike Friday is a GREAT bike - it has good low gears to get up just about any hill/mountain, and was custom made to my body specifications, so it fits me like a glove. I would highly recommend a Bike Friday to anyone who loves to travel as I do!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Cheery Cherry Blossoms!

It's April in D.C., and the Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom. :) Living in the area, a lot of people kind of take them for granted, and pass by them without stopping. I'm guilty of that too sometimes, but this Spring I was drawn to them like a bee. Especially on the day I took this photo, with the bright blue sky in the background. That's one of the benefits of biking to work, you can stop anywhere and take pictures along the way, and really appreciate the scenery. No parking problems either - just lay your bike down in the grass. :)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Feeling Foxy!

Spring is making her first appearances, with some flowers blooming - always nice to see the colors!

This morning as I headed down the bike path, I was surprised to see a big red fox galloping across the path just ahead of me - what a beautiful animal! I didn't know they have "black sox" on their legs! I mentioned it to some of the regular biking guys I see, and one guy said he's seen the fox with a couple of kits before. That'd be neat!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Frozen in February

Here are a couple of photos I took on my bike ride to work the other week....some chunks of ice in the Potomac River, and a nice sunrise. We've now gotten a few inches of snow/ice in the area, so I won't be able to bike on the bike path for a week perhaps. I've thought of buying studded snow tires for times like this...but we don't get too much snow/ice usually, and it's not around that long it doesn't seem worth it for the expense of the new rims and tires. In addition to the safety factor of biking on the rutted roads/bike path. So I take the subway to and fro work - usually after 3 days, I'm dying to get back on my bike instead of dealing with the MASSES of people, delays, rude people, etc.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Tailwinds and Turkey!

This morning, I had a nice tailwind to bring me to work. Usually in the winter, the winds are from the North, but it was blowing from the South today, which makes for a nice start to the day.

I had just finished riding over a long boardwalk that goes over a marshy area, and then there are woods to the right. A bicyclist was standing there, talking with a jogger, and they were pointing to something in the woods. So I stopped to see what they were checking out - and the cyclist said it was a Jake turkey (a male turkey)! Sure enough, I peered into the woods and there it was, calmly walking around! It was pretty big. The cyclist said he has seen several hen turkeys, but never a Jake turkey. So that was pretty neat and unusual sighting!