Oxon Hill Bicycle and Trail Club

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2/17 Presidents' Day at the National Arboretum

Mon, February 17, 2020 10:30 AM | Stephen Palincsar (Administrator)

At the Washington Sailing Marina

Ride leader:  Steve Palincsar

Members:  Barbara Wilson, Ron Altemus, Jane Hudnall, Jim Hudnall, Gil Dutchover, Kirk Fedder, Linda Blackman, Marc Blackman, Sue Gunter, and joining us at Gravelly Point, Sarah Clement

Weather: Incredible. Astonishing.  Sunny, Breezy, chilly at the start (40s, as predicted) but getting warmer and warmer as the day wore on, until by mid-afternoon it felt as though it was in the mid-60s. 

Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/9992300  25 miles, more or less: a bit less due to the Eagles detour in the Arboretum, a bit more for those who rode to the ride start.  We added a stop at Lincoln Park to the many already planned, and skipped a stop at Eastern Market (closed on Mondays).

Mishaps and mechanicals: none

AMS: 9. something

It felt windy on the way to the Sailing Marina.  Out of the wind I thought I was over-dressed, but the wind made bundling a necessity.  It might have been only 5 mph, but riding directly into it made it seem stronger.  Dodging root heaves and runners we made our way to the District, through the Mall, around an empty and nearly-deserted Capitol Reflecting Pool, heading east on D and north on 6th - on new protected bike lanes until we came upon the workmen building the protecting barriers blocking the bike lane with their truck - to Union Market, teeming with people and alive with a festive air at noon.  Several in the group had never been there before, and all enjoyed it.

Riding through Gallaudet and northeast on West Virginia Ave we entered the Arboretum to discover Azalea Drive is closed to all but pedestrians.  It's eagle nesting time and they don't want them disturbed.  (No worries; if you really want to see eagles, come riding on Woodburn Hill Road in the Amish area in St Marys.)  Before leaving Arbor House to tour the grounds I warned the group about the road signage in the Arboretum (often hard to see, harder to read and better placed for confirmation than direction) especially about Conifer Road that people always miss, and sure enough once we successfully climbed Hickey Hill (almost half the elevation gain on this ride is in the Arboretum, most of it on Hickey Hill and up to the Columns) people missed Conifer.  A bit farther on almost everyone missed the road up to the Capitol Columns, but a timely hallooo  brought them back before they found themselves exiting the Arboretum onto New York Ave.

At the Capitol Columns

We stopped for a few minutes at the Bonsai Museum even though it was closed (no doubt for the holiday). 

Closed for the holiday at the Bonsai Museum

To make up for the lost touring opportunity, we decided to visit Lincoln Park instead of skirting around it on our way back,

Image may contain: 1 person, bicycle, tree, sky and outdoor

Lincoln Park

and since we'd spent so much time already decided to skip the stop at Eastern Market, which is closed on Mondays. 

What a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday!

Jim posted a photo album of the ride on the club's Facebook page.

Oxon Hill Bicycle and Trail Club
P.O. Box 81  
Oxon Hill, MD 20750-0081

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