Friday, April 27, 2012

Northeast Branch Trail and Anacostia River

We camp in Greenbelt Park, only fifteen miles from downtown D.C. I leave for an evening cruise out the back road, blocked to motorists. The foliage is lush and damp. I chase a woodchuck for ten seconds down the asphalt, it's brown body galumping ahead of me before veering into the forest.

Northeast Branch Trail. For three miles, this gem travels past several parks before fusing into the Anacostia River Trail. Families were out strolling and exercising on the trailside equipment. I ring my bell at two tykes riding bikes with training wheels. The girl returns with a tentative ding of her own.

Along the Anacostia Waterway. Folks on the riverbank. Poles tipped in the water. It's leisure time. I recall rapids when I was here years ago, but the river level is currently low.

A smiling mom...taking photos, enjoying the evening air. Riding the man-made embankment. Wondering if it's easy to bike into the D.C. Mall area to see the sights. Tired of taking the Metro. But not feasible this vacation as I'm the only one with a bike. Dreaming of cycling the C&O Canal...

Oh yeah. I think I once took this bridge. It leads to a park on the other side. I bypass it this time to see what's on the alternate route.

Not used to the bumps, curves, and short uphills. I come upon a couple standing in the path, wavering in the middle. The camera in my right hand. Unable to brake effectively. Or ring my bell. Oh baby. I lost control and caught my front tire on the edge. It always surreal when I go down—how embarrassing. Left hand whacks the pavement. Bike crashes. Loud noise. Somehow I give with impact and still maintain a grip on the camera, holding it in the air like a hockey goalie after a crowd roaring save. Profuse apologies to the teenagers. Sorry to scare. Not stopping. They help me up. Profound thanks. They retrieve batteries that've fallen from my pocket. A quick body check. Tiny knee scrape. Thank goodness for leather palmed gloves. All is okay and I go on my way. Phew!

The return trip was uneventful. Really.

6 comments:

  1. Yikes, a camera-related tumble. I've come so close myself that you'd think I would learn. Nah.

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    1. I need to rig a neck strap for my camera so I can use both hands on the bar. Why do they make the hole so tiny for the strap? It's limiting.

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  2. It's so interesting learning about these trails in other parts of the country. Thanks! Glad to hear you're o.k. after your tumble. My last fall was during my first week in clipless pedals. Did a slow motion fall at a red light. Talk about embarrassing!

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    1. I've done that one too, but with toe clips. I thought you were supposed to cinch the strap!

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  3. Oh, well done on the camera save! You must have looked like a cricket fielder catching the batter out. Very professional. Condolences on the being witnessed thing. There are just some things you prefer to happen when you're alone :-) Hope your knee is better.

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  4. Glad your accident wasn't any worse.
    How nice that on a non cycling family vacation you can still take your bike and take time to ride and go exploring by bike.

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