Many of my friends say they wouldn’t bike in DC because of the traffic. This is even when I explain to them that DC has many trails and dedicated bike lanes. Within a couple of miles I’m on the Metropolitan Branch Trail and coasting towards the U.S. Capitol Building and National Mall, car-free. It has easily become my most traveled road.
I’ve biked the Capital Crescent Trail and part of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, but I took a Metro to a starting point and headed home. A lot of wasted time on the train. I biked Rock Creek, but I still have to cross the city dodging traffic before I reach an access point.
It never dawned on me how close we live to accessing trails in Maryland. Perhaps only a mile away and we’re on the Rachel Carson Greenway Trail. For Memorial Day, I planned a trip to District Hardware & Bike, but mapped out a long route checking out these trails. And I was in for quite the surprise.
From the Rachel Carson Greenway, I got on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. These two trails are very green, have paved and smooth roads and have many scenic views of the Anacostia River.
And then, the trail takes you through the Kenilworth Marsh and Aquatic Gardens. Saw a Great Egret, a few other colorful birds, and a peaceful scene that makes you forget that you’re even in the city. As I was crossing over Benning Road to get on the west bank [the plan was to go to Kingman Island but the gates were closed] I saw a Metro train with the first two cars in all yellow. Interesting.
I got on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail and when RFK Stadium came into view, I was surprised to see how decrepit it looks. Being a die-hard Redskins fan, the place is a temple to me. Seeing it like that was sad.
The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail continued the scenic views along the river. When I got to Navy Yard, I noticed the large gaps between the sidewalk slats, but for whatever reason, I still got my wheel caught in one, leading to my most serious crash yet. This one was a bit unnerving considering I can’t swim and thought I was about to go over the chain and into the river. Fortunately, there was someone out there who might’ve been able to jump in and save me; unfortunately, there was a witness to what had to look like a rookie biker [relatively true] still learning how to ride.
The route from there to The Wharf is pleasant. Made the scrapes and bruises not ache as bad.
This has become my new favorite route. Now if I can only convince some of my car-fearing friends to get on two wheels and join me.