Recently I made the decision to finally learn how to ride a bike. I know what you are thinking. Why did you not learn how to ride a bike much sooner or as a child? My answer is quite simple, riding a bike did not interest me. Now that I am interested and hooked on all things cycling. I wanted to do something that was challenging. One morning I woke up and said "I'm going to ride my bike to train my clients today." The distance between my home and my clients is 18.7 miles, 37.4 round trip. Crazy right?
Feeling determined I plugged my destination into the handy app Komoot to map my route. With my fitness level, intermediate, Komoot calculated my trip would take an hour and forty five minutes at a pace of 13.9 mph. According to Komoot there's a large amount of uphill climbing so I added ten minutes to my travel time.
My adventure started at 6:30 am for my 9:00 am client. Since this was my first time traveling this route and this length distance. I knew I needed to feel as prepared as possible to ease my nervousness. This trip was a perfect opportunity to try use my nifty pannier rear bag and bike cargo rack installed onto my bike a week prior. I packed my bike with water, training equipment, lunch, Aftershokz headphones and I was ready to go.
Here's a few things I learned during my ride:
Drivers Are Not Always Aware Of Bike Lanes.
During my ride I noticed drivers not adhering to the painted bike lanes. As a driver I know the painted buffers with flexpost delineators could be a little frustrating but as a bike commuter, we need them to keep vehicles from intruding on the bike way. Could we get more of those? I'm just saying..... When I have no choice but to share the road with vehicles, I like to air on the side of caution. Therefore, I freshened up on on my hand signals. After showing off my fancy hand signaling skills, a driver lowered his window and said "You made sure I saw you, didn't you?" I simply stated " I sure did. I would like to make it home for dinner." Always remember you are responsible for your own safety.
Stop And Smell The Roses
Not literally because roses does not produce a pleasant aroma but you get the gist. I live in Maryland where there are some beautiful trails. This particular day I got the opportunity to ride on Beach Drive into Rock Creek Park in D.C and the route was gorgeous.
It's Okay To Take A Coffee Break
I would say so myself, I have it easy. I could schedule my D.C clients back to back because they are in the same neighborhood only blocks apart. I was pretty beat from the bike ride into D.C and training clients. I took a break at a local coffee shop where I ate my packed lunch, consumed a large amount of caffeine, met some amazing people and surfed this thing called the world wide web before I hopped on the bike.
Overall, I had an amazing adventure. Would I do it again? Without a doubt. Creating a route with Komoot, freshening up on my hand signals, being prepared and having a great playlist added to the enjoyment. I am happy I allotted additional time to my travel because things happen. I encountered countless detours my app Komoot did not detect. There's always construction in my area. Komoot was a great app to use. I do have a miniscule gripe about the app, it is not aesthetically pleasing and the navigational voice is cringy. Nevertheless, the app gets the job done.
What's the furthest distance have you guy rode in a day? If you're in the D.C/ Maryland area, what are some cool routes you'll suggest? Let me know in the comment section below!
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