I had a really excellent time in Washington for almost a week. Not only did I get to spend some good time with my brother, Andrew, but also get to check out a bit of the city and its sights. I roamed through most of the free Smithsonian museums with the Freer/Sachler art museum being my favorite (same as Andrew). I stopped in some coffee shops, bike shops and looked at monuments. Plenty of time was spent biking as fast as I could through heavy city traffic (which is fun and novel actually). Andrew and I took a day trip on bikes down to Mount Vernon which turned out to be 50 miles roundtrip. He put his brother to shame by making me chase him in both directions.
It was with a little reservation that I left the city for the unknown, but I've been feeling better with each passing moment. On my way out, I rode alongside a girl on her morning commute who shared with me her experience biking from Kansas to Ohio. Then I ran into a guy who biked across Iowa. Even better yet, I talked to another dude who for two years biked around the world through 28 countries. This helped encourage me.
As my friends Scott and Ieva say, "Just as soon as you're feeling good about yourself, a German will come along and put you in your place." Well, just that happened (sort of). I caught up with a German fellow, Flo, who was the first long distance bike tourer I met on the trip. We asked each other where we were headed and laughed when each replied "Seattle". It turns out that this is his first ever trip to the US and he's biking across it solo! Flo is on a slightly faster schedule than me since his travel visa expires at the end of August. Also, he has no qualms about covertly camping where ever he decides to stop for the night. Fortunately, we did get to ride together for about 20 miles that day. We discussed jobs, the US, Europe, bicycle touring, and the book Into the Wild which I had fortunately (and finally) just read.
In the next week, I will be riding towards and then up and over the Blue Ridge Parkway and beyond. Here goes.
|I ate a lot of breakfast burritos, burritos, and beans in general at Andrew's. Good protein!|
|My Schwarzenegger-like brother working out in his underground lair with a treated 4x4. Seriously.|
|Finally on Virginia bicycle route 1!|
|Flo admonishing me that "this better not show up on Facebook". No. Just my stupid blog.|
|My first diner below the Mason-Dixon line of this trip. How befitting... and excellent!|