It was a gorgeous mid-November Saturday, with sunny skies and temps in the mid-60s. After doing some laundry and hanging it out on the clothesline to dry, and enjoying my lunch in the back yard, I was inspired to check out some of the cycling trails around the area.
I first had to pick up my bike at the local shop run by two Filipino brothers, who are considering turning the business into a member-owned co-op, like the food co-op across the street. My derailleur had gotten bent sometime in the past month, and was making a horrendous noise, so I had taken it into them a few days earlier.
One of the co-owners got on his website and showed me how to get to Rock Creek Park, where there’s a network of trails as well as roads closed to car traffic on Saturdays and Sundays. He suggested a route down to the National Zoo.
It was an easy ride on city streets to the park, and then a lovely slightly downhill run on the closed-off road, which wound alongside a creek and through woods just past their fall foliage peak but still with plenty of colors to admire. I could see hiking trails cutting through the terrain as well.
There were lots of runners, walkers and skateboarders out, in addition to cyclists, so there was some tricky maneuvering around them when I had to get on the narrow path after the car-free road ended.
I got to the zoo in about 45 minutes. With no admission charged, there’s no formal entrance way, really, just a series of parking lots and then walkways into a parklike setting. I barely went in, just to use a restroom, wanting to save a visit for when I’d have company with whom to enjoy it.
I extended my ride back, with a detour on a hilly, narrow path through the woods, which was quite fun, like mountain biking but on a paved surface. Then a good hill out of the park, and back on the city streets toward home.