A friend in Ashburn hosted a Girls Night In Friday night and, after checking the mileage from my house to hers, I decided to bike over. There were two route options: 1) 8.5 miles which was half bike trail and half not-so safe 35+ mph surface streets with no shoulders or sidewalks and 2) 10.8 miles which was almost all bike trails and 15-20 mph neighborhood streets. Being a big ol' chicken, I chose the longer route and enjoyed the relaxing ride up and down a twisty path to my friend's neighborhood with a basket and pannier full of my offerings for the evening's potluck.
I tried to go slow to keep from overheating and being all sweaty when I arrived, but I appear to be incapable of doing so. I'm hardly the fastest rider out there, but I can't stand riding slowly. Even on the single speed cruiser, I do a pretty good job of keeping up with Scott on his hybrid and keep fighting against the urge to get into a more aggressive posture on that upright bike. Competitive much? Oh yeah.
My girlfriends were shocked and amazed that I had ridden over. On the one hand, I felt pretty chuffed by their awe. On the other hand, it was only ten miles or so which, of course, made them even more awed. False modesty? Maybe... it's more like I enjoy the approval but I'm also embarrassed by it. It would be noble to say that riding my bike to a social engagement is no big deal and could be accomplished by any able-bodied person, especially considering the bike infrastructure that I am privileged to live near. But the reality is that in my circle of friends it is a big deal and my commuting and transporting by bike is amazing to them, if not also kind of kooky.
Now, I did punt on biking back home at midnight-thirty and got a lift from a friend who keeps a bike rack in her trunk.