Washington

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I’m in Washington ! For the first time in the US capital 🙂 A complex ride to avoid all major roads in the suburbs, and end up directly in the center !

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It was due to be a difficult task to go from Manassas to Washington, only 25mis/40kms away, but a 40mis/65kms in the end. There are a lot of roads, most of them very busy. Also a lot of bike lanes, most of them very hidden !

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But I had my own special guide, Margaret, riding with me and knowing about these bike lanes. I would probably have gone through the busiest streets, as I have often done up to now. Ill advised in France, deadly in Russia, but quite feasible here.

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The weather was great once again, and we set north to go back towards Manassas, and then east. Bike lanes, sidewalks, some roads, it was ok although we were riding on a lot of concrete slabs, which are not often perfectly aligned with pavement : treacherous angles for a bike wheel. At some point I felt like my seat had suddenly switched forward, which was very surprising. Nothing seemed wrong on a close look. Then my back wheel seemed to weaken, but didn’t go flat. I put some air into it, as I had done before leaving. After some time, it was clear I had yet another flat tire…

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But I’m in a civilized area now ! The closest bike shop was a mile away, and not 50 or more. So we stopped there, and I had the whole thing replaced, tube, tire, derailleur adjusted. It felt great once again. The roads are more and more flat around here, and it’s better not to have to worry about mechanics.

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After this technical stop, we went in search for the Washington and Old Dominion trail, a pedestrian and bike trail that leads directly into the heart of the city. We found it with the help of the shop mechanics, and it was like riding in the countryside – except for the interstate noise just close by 🙂

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Then I started seeing the George Washington memorial ! I was there ! It was exhilarating 🙂 I was even closer to the east coast now, almost there 🙂 We crossed a bridge and were in DC, the smallest US state, designed only for the capital city.

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We did a tour of the most famous buildings around : the Lincoln memorial, the White House of course, the Capitol… All places where I’ll go back to tomorrow. Time was going fast and I parted with my guide / host to find the next place where I’ll be for a couple of days 🙂

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As in London or New York, squirrels are friendly around here !

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