Updated on May 12, 2019
Weekend Cycling in Washington DC
It was a great autumn day in Washington DC, as I cycled along Capital Crescent Trail and Mount Vernon Trail from Bethesda to National Airport for the last bit of nature colors before winter kicked in.
As it’s converted from abandoned railroads, Capital Crescent Trail was level and mostly straight and well-maintained, making it almost the most casual-rider-friendly bike trail around Washington DC. The downside was that, it got pretty crowded during weekends.
Since the (unpaved) segment from Silver Spring to Bethesda was closed for Metro purple line construction, I started my trip in Bethesda, among a diverse local crowd ranging from professional cyclists to toddlers. It just seemed everybody was treasuring the year’s last few good days as much as I did.
Oh, I got my new phone (Samsung Galaxy S9) just a few days before, so this was the first trip I took with it. Amazingly, algorithms behind its camera way exceeded my expectation, so that I would have the following stunning pictures on a wonderful day with minimal post-processing. However, slightly to my dismay, I won’t get as much satisfaction from my hobby of Photoshopping as the photos were already too much to my taste.
Near downtown Bethesda the trail had mere 15mph speed limit, which wasn’t much to my liking. Unfortunately, that’s as far as one can reasonably weave around traffic without knocking people over.
With the help of gravity (that I later figured out), it was a pleasant cruise reaching C&O Canal from Bethesda. After that, the trail runs parallel to Potomac River.
From now on and occasionally, the line of bushes broke off giving way to views of the mighty Potomac River on a bright sunny day.
An hour or so after I started in Bethesda, I reached Georgetown Waterfront, where I took a break in gentle breeze from Potomac River, caught a few Pokemons and had my lunch there. My next stop was Roosevelt Island across the river.
Roosevelt Island was connected to Rosslyn via a footbridge and no bikes were allowed on the island. Its parking lot was pretty much filled, just to show how much the locals loved nature when weather’s right.
So after spending an hour an half hiking and Pokemon hunting on Theodore Roosevelt Island, I went back to cycling on Mt. Vernon Trail. Again, this segment of Mt. Vernon trail has all the good attributes, level not curvy and well-maintained, with wonderful views of Potomac River and nice buildings of the nation’s capital on one side.
Half an hour after that, I reached Gravelly Point, just to the North of National Airport’s runway, which was an favorite spot for local families for picnics and plane spotting.
Well, I shall say plane spotting here would be more spectacular should National Airport be under south-bound operation as Gravelly Point would be right below its landing path. Nonetheless, takeoff’s were still great to watch.
So everything went right this Saturday, my bike didn’t break down, my new cell phone were taking spectacular pictures, and the weather’s perfect if not a bit too windy. That is, right until the last moment, when I entered Washington Metro Crystal City Station and watched the information board displayed “delayed” for half an hour. Ok, I understand why people in Washington DC hated its metro.