Friday, November 7, 2008

Turns out....


....my commute home is a little scary. Riding for over three hours in an isolated area through the dark of night is a little nerve wracking. However, it is interesting how the fear of rape and murder can really shave down your commute time (maybe I can simulate this same feeling while racing?). As I write this I wonder if perhaps I should not put any ideas in some one's head ...which is why I would like to make it known that I will now be heavily armed with pepper spray,kitchen knives, and a pack of rabid raccoons. (photo: zamboni's photo stream) I was surprised to see two different groups of campers. I think they were equally as surprised to see me. With about ten miles to go my light ran out of batteries and the slow leak I'd been nursing along was losing air at a more rapid rate. So, I rode the last ten or so miles holding a red Knog Gekko light out in front while trying not to lose traction from my rear flat. I suppose I could have changed the tube ...but that would have been a perfect opportunity for Jack the Ripper to hop out of the woods and have his way with me. Hmmm ...not really sure that I should be advertising my vulnerabilities, but it is an interesting commute to document for the sake of posterity. All in all, it was a good ride. Anybody wanna move to Frederick and still work in DC? We could keep each other company for the ride home!!! (photo: talkin.nl)

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obvious question...Have you looked into working in Frederick? If you were a 250lb NFL linebacker and did that commute I would still have worries. I can't help but to think of Chandra Levy. Don't mean to scare you but watch your *ss. Stuff happens around here.
-K.N.

gfm said...

I live in Frederick and work in DC, but never gave much thought about riding the trail to commute to or from work. Do you take the MARC train to DC with your bike in the morning and ride home in the evening? I didn't think they allowed bikes on the MARC train - they do on the red line during certain times of the day which is what I take every morning to DC from Shady Grove. Anyway, I might be interested in joining you one evening to make the trip from DC to Frederick. Maybe I can take advantage of the new tax-favored bicycle commuter benefit which goes into effect January 1, 2009 (though hardly enough to compensate me for 3 plus hours on a bike).

Anna said...

I would love the company! Here's my current commuting strategy:

Day 1: ride in, train home (leave bike at work)
Day 2: train in, ride home

On the mornings that I ride in I have to leave pretty early (5:15ish)...but I think I'm gonna start driving to the trail (about 12 miles) rather than riding in order to shave some time off the commute. This will involve leaving my truck at the trail over night ...but it's a crappy little truck that is on its way out anyway.

Oh, and the whole thing about no bikes on the MARC really sucks. I got away with it once, but then got turned away trying to get on the 5:15am train ...that really sucked. I recently bought a soft bike case am interested to see if they take issue with it.

Here's my e-mail address.
annakelso@hotmail.com

It's also great training miles!!!

Anna said...

Oh, and I have thought about working Frederick. If you know of any jobs in Agricultural Extension, soil and water conservation, or forest management let me know!!!

Blue-eyed Devil said...

Anna, I could be good for about 15 miles or so (from Georgetown heading out) most evenings, but that's on the safe/lit end of your trip and thus wouldn't give you much comfort.

Still, if you want some company for part of the way some time, give me a ring. I promise to keep both hands on my handlebar. ;)

You kick ass for taking on commute!

Stephen Wahl said...

Anna,
You got me stoked to try commuting once a week to work in Reston, but I would be leaving much earlier than you to make it in by 6:30am. I am currently looking for a safe route from Point of Rocks to the WO&D in Leesburg (no way would I have enough time to start from my house). I was thinking the canal would be my best bet to White's Ferry. Any thoughts?

Anna said...

Hmmm ...I'm not too sure I understand the route you want to take. Are you thinking about driving to White's Ferry and then riding from there? That sounds like a good plan. I've been getting on the trail in Tuscarora. As for the WO&D ...I have a loose understanding of where it goes. I eventually hop on it as I get closer to DC and take it all the way to Water Street. Maybe I'll see you in the gym soon and we can talk in person. Maybe crazy jump rope guy will be there again for our amusement!

Anna said...

Icon O. Clast: 15 miles of ride company would be great. I'll give you a call!

Jordan Kahlenberg said...

How many miles is that commute? I was doing 36 one-way from Golden to the Denver Tech Center, but got a job in Boulder, so it's down to 24'ish depending on the route I take. Maybe I can ride your commute when I'm home over the winter?

Stephen Wahl said...

I was thinking more like ride from Point of Rocks to White's Ferry. White's Ferry to Leesburg is no problem, I wasn't sure what the best route from Point of Rocks would be. Meh, shouldn't be too difficult to figure out.

Anna said...

Kahlenberg: So good to hear from you! The total commute is about 65 miles unless I drive to the trail ...then it's about 52 miles. Let me know when you're back on the east coast, it would be great to have some company on my commute! Oh, and we'll also have to go to the watershed! You're welcome to stay with us.

Stephen: I'll look at a map and let you know if I have any amazing thoughts.

Jan said...

As for lights, some thoughts: Bring two. Use one full time, but as it gets dim, turn on the second. That next day, charge up the one that was getting dim. Having two lights means you always have a reserve, and always having one bright beam kind of feels more comforting on dark routes. I have two one-watt LED PrincetonTec Bike EOS, and use rechargeable AAA batteries. If my route were longer like yours, I'd probably set myself up with three lights on the handlebars, with two on at all times, one as reserve. Always having bright lights with reserve makes the commute so much more pleasant.

Anna said...

Yeah, good point. I was trying to cut down on weight ...but I think I'd rather be heavier with light than lighter in the dark.

Blue-eyed Devil said...

Stephen, the C&O Canal Trail is the best way; take it to White's Ferry, a dollar gets you across, and it's a short ride to Route 15 from the VA side and not much further to the W&OD Trails. One-way distance from P of R to WF is about 13 miles.