Sunday, March 11, 2007

The W&OD

The W&OD, which presumably is the acronym for "Wham And 'Oh Damn' " (an inversion of the two basic sounds you make when you get doored by a cab), was worth the wait. It is the most westerly segment of the Washington metropolitan area's justifiably praised effort to repave unused railroad right-of-ways for bikers and runners, and appears to be an example of the government doing something constructive for We, The People. I reeled off only about seven miles on it today, but do plan to go back--perhaps tomorrow--and invest a more significant effort; perhaps drive my car to the entry point in Lansdowne (thus eliminating 8 roadway miles), then ride the twenty or so miles through Leesburg to Purcellville (pronounced Percy Ville)--the end of the trail, so to speak--and then back.

I've been hit or doored by cabs twice in my life and let me tell you, neither of the experiences was the least bit pleasant. There appear to be no cabs on the W&OD, which already makes it seem like a good place. At one point during the ride, having stopped at one of the trail signs that dot the thing (for purposes of vomiting), I was interested to read that there are more badgers alive today than there were in colonial times. Many of which live, apparently, near the W&OD. Hmmm, interesting. Who knew?

Me? I don't view badgers as particularly dangerous. Certainly not as dangerous as cabs. But that's not to say that biking around Leesburg is not without perils.

To wit: I remember--just to rewind a little--several years ago having survived a 5 Boro Bike Tour in which there seemed to be an abnormal number of wrecks, only to later be hit by another biker on the streets of Manhattan, en route to the traditional Chinese post-tour meal.

We like to eat at the Great New York Noodle Town. They fry chives like nobody's business, and the salt-baked shrimp is certainly worth a spin, should you go.

This would, of course, be a map to help you get there:

Back to real time, earlier today I found myself riding past the guardhouse, back toward my Father's apartment, thinking "Ah, home free," only to be nearly run over by a white haired lady driving and talking on her cell phone.

It's the same concept, except there are no fried chives at Dad's place.

W&OD actually stands for Washington and Old Dominion. The bike path runs from Purcellville to Georgetown, which my brother describes as "the hub." What he apparently doesn't understand is that, what's the point of getting to "the hub" if you are so tired you know you will only barely make it home in the first place? Makes all those other routes--the "spokes" stemming from "the hub"-- seem almost abstract.

Maybe if you started early and stopped for a beer and sandwich in Georgetown. Maybe chili at Clydes. Maybe you come out of Clydes and your bike is gone.

Maybe I'll just ride to Purcellville.

There's also been some talk of riding to Bob White's house.


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