Monday, July 9, 2007

Tour de Leesburg

There is nothing more depressing than the first day back at work after a week off. With the 4th falling on a Wednesday and with out compressed work schedule, it was easy to take over a week off with minimal vacation time taken. We didn't do anything special, but oh how nice not getting up at 3:30 or long ass commutes.

Yesterday I got into a celebration of the Tour de France and sort of did a Tour de Leesburg. I usually bike on Sundays to give myself a break from rowing. Originally it was also something Ann and I could do together although that seems to have come to an end. Anyway, The Son needed to be dropped off at Dulles to make an 8:30 flight. He's off on another two week business trip to that place in California that has actual missile silos. I dropped him off around 7:10 and continued on to my usual parking place off Rt 28 to access the W&OD Trail. Have I mentioned how nice it is to have a place where you can bike to your heart's content and not have to worry about sharing the road with cars? If I haven't, I do. I started out just planning my usual ride to Leesburg and back, which is about a 20 mile round trip (mile markers 24 to 34). However, it was a gorgeous day (well it was before it warmed up in the PM), I had gotten to the trail earlier than usual, so I decided to ride further out. I rode through Leesburg, past the townhouse that Daughter#2 lived in for a year and over Rt 7. I had been on this portion of the trail just once before. I obviously forgotten that coming out of Leesburg heading west, its a steady climb as you head toward Purcellville. The scenery in Loudon County is just gorgeous, which took some of the sting out of my tired legs. I biked to mile marker 39 before heading back to my car. I made the 30 mile trip in just over two hours. I've been telling Ann and The Son that sometime around Labor Day, I like to ride the entire trail from Shirlington to Purceville. I figure if i started around 8:00, I could finish the 44 miles in about 4 hours or so, including breaks. I'm up for it, I just need Ann or The Son to drop me off and pick me up.

In two weeks we have our first race (rowing) or regatta as its known. Its the Capital Sprints hosted by the Capital Rowing Club. Its held on the Anacostia River. Its not nearly as much fun as racing on the Georgetown Waterfront, but Capital puts on a good show. Its not a regatta heavily attend by out of town clubs, but consists of mainly the local clubs. Every one brings some food and drink to enjoy after the races and Capital fires up the grills and provides hamburgers and hot dogs. They use to have kegs of beer, which made it really fun, but I didn't see them last year although plenty of us brought out own adult beverages. We, the men, don't usually fair all that well, but at least we know how to party. In preparation for the sprints, we did four 2,000 meter pieces during Saturday's practice. We had an 8+ plus two Quads. I was in bow in one of the Quads. If your in the bow, besides rowing you're also steering the shell. The rudder is attached to a steering mechanism in the boat attached to your foot stretcher. I use my right foot to steer the boat. I turn my foot in the direction I want the shell to turn. I like to think I do pretty well at it. We didn't hit anything out on the water - oops let me correct that, we sort of hit one of the water monitoring stations that Fairfax County has put out. Not really hit so much as a glancing blow with our starboard oars. Nothing broken and we made a good docking at the end of practice. After practice we had one of our social get togethers with the men supplying the goodies. We served pancakes (plain, blueberry and chocolate chip) cooked to order along with the usual bagels, donuts, fruit, juice, coffee, etc.

This week weather is promising high 90s all week. Summer really is here. Rowing should be fun this week.

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