Arlington Hills - August 20, 2005

As part of a discussion of hilly bike routes Debby Bowman suggested that she and I do part of the "Urban Hills" route that can be found on the Babes on Bikes web site. We decided to invite others on the BikeWashingtonDC list to join in and so we had a nice little group of four, Debby, myself, Sami and Wesley, for this 26-mile hill fest.

It was a warm steamy day--we were glad we had come out in the morning and so did most of the ride in warm and cloudy, rather than hot and sunny, conditions. Complementing the BikeWashingtonDC list, Sami commented that our early start was characteristically intelligent. Coming from someone who used to work for the League of American Bicyclists, this is high praise.

Debby, Wesley and Sami pause for a picture before Debby realizes that she's the only person lacking a blue jersey and is forced to abandon in a failure of color-coordination. Just kidding! Her fashion sense was just fine, but she was feeling under the weather.

That left me as the only person with a granny gear--Wesley was on a Lemond racing bike and Sami was on a Rock Lobster cross bike--and so I was forced to stop slacking and try to keep up with the racers.

Jonathan (me), Debby and Wesley. Neither the MORE jerseys nor the goatees were arranged in advance. I'm not active in MORE these days, but I do like their work. It took me a few seconds to figure it out, but that thing that appears to be attached to Wesley's head is a stop sign in the background. And, yes, my own bike, a Bike Friday light touring/travel bike (it folds/disassembles to into its suitcase), is indeed lacking a top tube. As indicated by the nearly 800 miles I've put on this bike since it arrived in May, it's a great ride.

Sami, Jonathan and Wesley, after a tasty lunch at The Italian Store. After about 22 miles of hills (the course is relentless), we were nearly out of water and so we skipped the last few hills in favor of lunch. Just before bailing out, we took a wrong turn--onto 26th St instead of 26th Rd--taking us back to the site of the first pair of photos above. That route has lots of cue points.

All in all, everyone was friendly, upbeat, and all our equipment worked. Hopefully I'll get to ride with them again soon. As for the course, I plan to do it again. It's a crazy route with lots of twists and turns winding through some lovely neighborhoods. It will get more fun as I learn it.

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Arlington Hills Ride / Jonathan Krall / revised August 2005