Day 7: Washington DC to Warrenton, VA
May 23, 2011

In DC we went out to Ethiopian food for dinner with the logic that the availability of ethnic food would quickly wane. It didn’t rain! We sat outside! After impressing the Pearls with our yogurt-eating abilities, we set off south. Washington was so sad to see us go, the sent a motorcade to follow us out to the Key Bridge. Leaving DC was really easy–the Custis Trail to the Washington and Old Dominion Trail took us at least 15 miles on dedicated bike paths. Things went downhill quickly with busy, 4-lane, divided roads. But, there were often roadside paths or sidewalks. The scenery was pretty blah–sterile suburbs, strip malls. The fact that stumbling upon a Costco at lunchtime was a highlight pretty much sums up our day. Pizza! After Manassas the roads were much more empty and nice.Warrenton even had a bike path in to town. At this point, we present our ode to railroad grade bike paths in haiku: Railroad grade bike paths Can’t you go all the way West? Oh so flat and smooth Today’s mileage wasn’t too high and the hills weren’t bad but we had our first actually windy day–mostly in our face and side to side. Not looking forward to wind + hills.

  • Starting point: Washington, DC
  • Ending point: Warrenton, VA
  • Slept: motel
  • Miles: 55.98
  • Average speed: 9.9
  • Notes: wind. Saw our second hawk holding a snake in its talons (large)

Day 8: Warrenton, VA to Charlottesville, VA
May 24, 2011

Today ended up being longer than planned. First, because Google maps failed us by sending us down a 4 lane divided highway and then left on a dirt road through private property. Later, we were diverted by poor adherence to directions because we were busy shaking our fists at Google. We had our first experience with dogs chasing us today. We had been advised that the best thing to do is slow down and get off the bike on the opposite side. Totally worked…dogs lost interest really fast. Our knees are a bit sore. Legs are tired but ok. Butt pain has plateaued, hopefully. In Charlottesville we stayed with an old friend of Hillary’s. It was great to catch up, forage at Whole Foods, and hang out with her cats and fish.

  • Starting point: Warrenton, VA
  • Ending point: Charlottesville, VA
  • Slept: friend’s house
  • Miles: 75.13 Average speed: 9.7
  • Notes: Andrew is really tired. Both of our knees were sore at the end of the day. Lots of turtle roadkill.

Photos: our gracious DC host David, leaving DC, Andrew in farm country, railroad grade path into Warrenton, and seeing Tiffany in Charlottesville.