Monday, October 13, 2008

The Towpath

So I haven't been posting alot recently but I have been getting in some riding.  I've been putting on some miles and if all goes well I should finish the year with roughly 3000 miles.   A decent number.  I'd love to ride more but I don't seem to make enough time to ride.  Really need to focus on my time management skills.

Anyway though, the C&O Towpath is my latest great DC discovery.  I've lived in the DC area for ~10 years and while I've known the towpath existed - heck I would see the first mile or so of it on the zillion times I headed out the CCT - I've only been on it once.  The only time I was on it was a few years ago was on my road bike.  A road bike just simply isn't well suited to handling the C&O.  Its a hard ride and takes a toll on your arms and neck and is generally unpleasant.  

A ride on the C&O on the Yaakov (the new name for my bike) on the other hand is wonderful.  Josh from the Proteus team lead a practice ride with me last week after work and it was a blast.  Yaakov is able to mute the bumps from the towpath, but you still get a decent paced right that doesn't raddle your fillings out.  Its really the perfect ride for the path.  The hard-pack makes you work, but the ride is super enjoyable.  I went back during the day a couple days after the ride with Josh and the scenery was beautiful.  The water in the canal was scerene and mirrored the folliage above that was starting to turn.  After you get a couple miles out of DC the trees and the distance quiet all the city sounds and you feel like you're in a the middle of the forest.  Its really a wonderful ride and its a shame I hadn't done it sooner. 

The only downside was that a recent storm cut out part of the towpath and a portion of the canal had to be drained.  Its not the end of the world and the area is still beautiful, but it is a little odd to see trees and grass growing in the bottom of a canal.

All in all though its one of the most beautiful places in the district.   I'm certainly going to be spending more time on it and maybe -- maybe --  next year I will endeavor to take on the whole 184 miles of the C&O in one day.  Maybe.

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