Ride leader: Steve Palincsar
Riders: Holly Carr, Loretta Troen, Larry Peed, Ken Williams, Ron Altemus, Jim & Jane Hudnall
Route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2187878 and the Mount Vernon Trail to and from Jones Point Park & the Jefferson Memorial, with diversions to visit Union Market on the way to the Arboretum and Eastern Market on the way back
Weather: high 40s and windy at 10, rising to low 50s by mid-day, moderated by clear skies and bright, warm sun -- in all, a perfect fall cycling day
Mishaps & mechanicals: none
AMS: no point in even looking.
What a grand time! This was a real change of pace: fairly brisk riding on the Mount Vernon Trail from Jones Point Park underneath the Wilson Bridge through Old Town and across the 14th St. bridge to the Jefferson Memorial, and then a leisurely tour up Raoul Wallenberg Place, through the Mall and across town on D St and north on 6th through a very pleasant townhouse neighborhood up to Union Market, one of the more interesting food courts I've visited lately, where we stopped for coffee and raisin buns. After a leisurely break we went up to the Arboretun on West Virginia Ave to the east of Gallaudet University and past Mount Olivet Cemetery. It's an industrial-looking area, but, as with the rest of the route, surprisingly low traffic volume and low intensity as well.
As always, the Arboretum is beautiful and a lot of fun to ride through. It's not very large, but several roads wind through it, almost entirely without road markings. Even with a map and a cue sheet you never really know exactly where you are once you leave Azaela Drive, but it doesn't seem to matter much because sooner or later you end up finding a sign that leads you to the Capitol Columns
(Joan Oppel's photos, taken on a trip to the Arboretum this spring). Some think it's hilly in the Arboretum, but nothing too severe - a bit like the Gettysburg Battlefield at Little Round Top and the Wheatfield. (What a marvelous criterium course it would make!) We stopped at the columns for a while, and Jim and Holly took photos and Larry tested out the camera he found on a ride a few weeks ago. I hope there will be links to these photos soon.
The way back retraces West Virginia Ave, then heads south on Tenth and turns onto North Carolina, which runs right by the corner of Eastern Market. We stopped there for lunch, then continued past the Congressional office buildings and back through the Mall, over 14th St Bridge and back to Alexandria on the Mount Vernon Trail, this time passing through the Wilkes St. tunnel.