Sunday, May 22, 2011

Muskrat love

Scott pulled out our bikes and made them safe for the road. We hit the trail yesterday and rode towards Ashburn. The air was thick with the perfume of honeysuckle along the trail. It was glorious! We came across a mama muskrat with two juvenile muskrats trying to cross the trail just before Loudoun County Parkway. Mama and kid #1 crossed the trail but kid #2 freaked out and dove back over to their originating side. We stopped on the LoCo overpass and watched Mama try to herd her babies many times as bikers and walkers zoomed past.

We continued on to Smith Switch Station and I mentioned that this would be where I'd dive off to go to the campus. The 'fink asked if I wanted to go to work and I said, "Sure!" Most of that road is closed to through traffic for some construction project and the ride up to the light at Waxpool/Farmwell was fairly safe. We even crossed Farmwell without issue and stayed in the far right lane as cars whizzed past on Waxpool. Finally there was a break in traffic and we were able to dive across the road for the left hand turn into the campus' back entrance. We hung out in the shade of the parking garage for several minutes as a breather and sweet respite from the blazing sun.

After the short break, we headed back out for the open road which was very busy all the way to the light. I've watched cyclists leave the campus on workdays and I knew which lane to stay in and where to stand at the light. We didn't have any problems and it felt like most of the ride back to the trail was downhill. Yay, coasting. Unfortunately, once we got back on the trail pretty much the entire ride back to route 28 is uphill. Our booties were sore, especially Scott since he doesn't have nearly the amount of natural padding that I do. I was able to peddle about halfway up the incline for the rte 28 overpass and then had to push my bike the rest of the way. Same thing for the last hill up Holborn. I should be strong enough to get up Holborn in a few weeks. 28 will probably be another month or so.

We collapsed in the yard with water and a banana (me) and a gatorade (him), very proud of and amazed with ourselves for our ten mile round trip on our first bike outing of the year. And the best part? I now know for a fact that I can fairly easily ride my bike to work. I'm going to start out one day a week and I'd like to get where I bike Monday and Friday, drive Tuesday and Thursday, and telecommute on Wednesdays. I'm practically salivating over the gas savings and how buff I'm going to get.

Oh, and Mama Muskrat was STILL trying to herd both babies across the trail when we crossed Loudoun County Parkway the second time.

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