I used to come home from work in the summer, grab something quick to eat, and head straight out for the bike trail. With increased code orange air quality days, I had to reduce my riding schedule and a soul-sucking job got in the way as well. In the past year, I fell almost completely away from cycling, but recently I went riding on one of those beautiful rare days with a temperature in the mid-eighties and low humidity. It reminded me of the time I baked bread after a long hiatus and wondered “Why did I ever stop?” as I ate a piece.
Water holds a real attraction for me and that means that I head for the river, either by way of Rosslyn to Roosevelt Island, or past Arlington Cemetery and across Memorial Bridge. The cemetery route gives me the opportunity to ride along both sides of the river. I cross Memorial Bridge and turn right, riding past the monument to the screw propeller. Then I head down the river toward the Jefferson Memorial and the 14th Street Bridge, where I cross back to Virginia and pass the Navy and Marine Memorial still following the river.
Just before Memorial Bridge on the way back there is a series of benches, and I like to stop there, sometimes near a crab apple tree, and watch the water. It affords views of the bridge, which can be lovely as the sun goes down.
There are also cruise boats, wave runners, kayaks, canoes, ski-boats, and sometimes water craft that are mysterious. Once I saw an osprey hunting the shoreline go into hover mode, then drop, grab a fish, and fly off. But usually, the birdlife is represented by Canada geese. Regardless, the ride gives a respite from the day, a cleansing dose of beauty, and something to wonder about on the way home.