Tour de Nabes

I wrote this Journal entry almost a year ago (3/5/09).  Today, facing the training paralysis of snow-covered streets, I’m putting it on my blog as a reminder of how things are supposed to go this time of year.  The average high temperature for the date is about 48°, a mark we have not hit for weeks.  So our snow is melting slowly.  There’s more bare pavement now, but not a street to ride on.  Streets showing asphalt are heavily traveled, their lanes narrowed or occluded by plowdrifts, and piles of well over 10 feet grace many intersections.

With the weather finally thawing after an uncharacteristic 5” March snowfall on Monday, I needed to get outdoors on my bike.  I checked the bike trail, knowing that I would find it impassible.   But it was even more daunting than I thought, with no bare spots at all and a good 3” [layer of snow], marred only by the tracks of the Park Authority pickup truck that patrols regularly.  So I went into street mode, riding a neighborhood route with a good number of short up-and-down pitches, and some enjoyable short descents too.  I picked out this route years ago, and dubbed it the Tour of the Neighborhood,” or “Tour de Nabes” for short.  It’s about 20.7 miles long, and takes me about 1 h 20 m to ride unless I am going all out. The ride winds in and out of cul-de-sacs, repeats a couple of good leg-stretching hills, and gets me around most of Stonewall Manor and Dunn Loring Woods, with a final run on Cottage Street all the way from Gallows Road to the Vienna end, and then back on Park Street to Cedar, jogging over to Stonewall Manor Drive to begin one last loop around the 3 outer cul-de-sacs.  I time it to miss the various school dismissals along the way, as well as rush hour traffic.  Most of the road surfaces are good, except for Cottage inside the Town of Vienna, which is horrible, with truly dangerous potholes some of which just recently have been roughly patched.  I don’t like to ride my racing tires on this stuff, so I usually use one of my “slower” bikes.

Love the sunny weather.  Now let’s see some serious melting!

[Editor’s note:  Since this was written the horrible part of Cottage Street has been repaved.  Thank you, Town of Vienna.]

Serious melting is what we most need.  Right now, though, an Alberta Clipper is bringing moderate snow and more possibilities of slipperiness and closed schools.  These kids are going to be at it until July at this rate!  And I am going to have a problem matching my 2009 distance total of 3200+ miles unless I really hit the roads hard once the snow melts.

©Arnold J. Bradford, 2009, 2010.

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