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  • Writer's picturePatrick Baechle

A loop around Jefferson

Leaving Washington DC Thursday morning was a treat. Other than the fact that I lost my cell phone charger and one of my cycling gloves and had to go to a bike shop, which I then walked out

of with, new gloves, new bike shorts, a new GPS computer, a free tee shirt and a huge bill, other than that, everything went great.

I was very very impressed with the bicycle transportation network in DC and the surrounding region. Washington has an amazing labyrinth of paved bicycle paths with dividing lines and designated lanes. The cycle traffic flow on these paths is intense.

Yeyerday, I found myself lazily circling around the Jefferson Memorial before heading over to the Pentagon Memorial where I visited my second milestone.

The memorial was an open at park on the attacked side of the Pentagon with an arrangement of precast concrete benches cantilevered out of the pavement. The names of the deceased are engraved on the benches and there is a pool of water below each bench. If the bench is oriented, to read the plaque, away from the building, toward the sky, then that person was in the plane when they died. If the bench is oriented toward the building, then that person died while inside of the building. The remains of many of the deceased still remain in the ground below the memorial site.

Upon leaving the grounds I made my way back across the river, wound myself one more time around the Jefferson Memorial. Then slingshotted my missile up the banks of the Anacostia River. I was blown away by all of the development, on this east side of town, leading up to National Stadium. It was a whole side of DC I had never seen.

After I crossed the river, made a few bad turns, I found myself on the East Bank Bike Trail. This was a beautiful two lane paved bike path which runs a along the Anacostia River for 25 miles and I remained on this trail, for pretty much most of the day, moving in the direction of Annapolis. There where many spin off trails so I had to pay attention but, they had a very good signage system. Later, as this giant river had diminished to a trickling stream, the trail ended and I had to start navigating streets. The good thing was, many of them were side streets and there was a new signage system. These signs were marked ECG - East Coast Greenway. I followed these like looking for blazes on trees in the woods. When I came to an intersection I would search the landscape for the next marker. Unfortunately, this did not was work out so easily but, I made it to my destination.

Yesterday was a nice rest day. I am being fed well and taken care of by our good freinds and relatives Bill and Mary Jo, in Crofton. Sleep is good. Today I have ridden over 500 miles. I did some maintenance on the Kenworth and I am heading North now into Baltimore. I see from the map that I will again be riding on separated bike trails for a good part of the way. Lookin forward to getting back in the saddle.

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