Bike commuting from Rockville to Tenleytown

In light of the gas prices, my upcoming tri, and my absurdly expensive “commuter” bike, I decided that it was high time I start biking to and from work…..well, at least biking some of the days of the week!  I loaded up my bike (I really need to come up with a name for her) in my car (another thing that needs a name) on Wednesday morning.  After work, I left my car in the parking lot and took my inaugural 12 mile (planned) bike ride home.


Some highlights:

  • The Bethesda Trolley Trail (BTT) is awesome!  It was very easy to get from Rockville to Bethesda.  I thought my biggest hurdle to biking to work would be finding a safe way over the 8 lane highway of 495…note I said “thought”!
  • I got a side stitch in Bethesda when I started biking the Capital Crescent Trail (CCT).  This is the second side stitch this week while on the bike and I’m worried about what this means for my race on Sunday.  
  • I never found the turn off for Massachusetts Avenue.  So I ended up riding the CCT into Georgetown.
  • It is 14 miles from where I work to Georgetown. 
  • The side stitch never went away.  So obnoxious.  The good news is that it’s all downhill from Bethesda to Georgetown!  The bad news is that it’s uphill from Georgetown to my house!
  • I had been on my bike for two hours by the time I made it to Georgetown.  I decided that I had had enough fun for the night, so I caught a cab! Thank you DiDi for my birthday money. 
  • I’m worried that it took me two hours to go 14 miles.  The race is 16 miles.  Of course, I won’t be battling traffic lights, uncertainly of path, or strollers on the trail at the race, it’ll just be other riders, some hills, and myself!

 Things I learned: 

  • I had my heavy purse in my backpack.  There is nothing I need in my purse that can’t be carried in my backpack.  Next time I’ll leave the purse at work!
  • I need to keep an extra gu in my saddle bag for those times that I get lost.   The trip home should have been about an hour.  It was actually 2.  I had some left over carrots, but they are not as tasty as sport beans!
  • I need to make sure that I have water for the ride home.
  • When I take off the front wheel of my bike it will fit in a cab’s back seat!

 Future plans:

  • I want to find a neighborhood route from the BTT to the CCT.  While Old Georgetown has a sidewalk to ride on, I would have preferred neighborhood streets.
  • I think I know the mistake I made for missing my turn off, but I’d still like to drive the Mass. Ave route to see the turn off and to confirm that there are sidewalks.
  • I like the plan of riding my bike home one day a week. I’m not comfortable yet with the idea of riding to work.  There are lots of logistics to figure out so that I’m not a soggy sweaty mess all day at my desk!
  • I need to install the light on my bike.

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