A Sunday Afternoon Bike Ride

Danielle and her new bike
Danielle with her bike

There were a few things we were excited about being able to do once we had a house – do laundry without sharing the machines, get away from noisy wall/ceiling neighbors, BBQ in our yard, and own bicycles.  Being extremely clean, we were unable to own bikes at the apartment because we had nowhere to store them.  Last Sunday we finally got around to buying some bikes.  After getting them home to tune them up and get the tires filled with air, we contemplated where we should go for our first ride.  Mind you, this would be our first bike ride in at least 3-4 years.  Insanely, I suggested the BWI airport loop trail.  My main reason:  I knew where it was and we had run on it before.  We had never run more than 2.5 miles of the trail, but we had been there and were familiar with it.  So we set off on the trail.  We didn’t know it yet, but it looked like this:

About halfway through the trail (according to my GPS we had made about a half of a loop) we asked someone if we were going the right way.  In the course of affirming that we were, they told us the total trail was 11 miles.  I checked my GPS and we had gone a little over 5 miles so we decided to just keep going.

Me and my new bike
Me and my new bike

I was happy to discover a park near the airport where the planes come in really close for landing.  I mentioned to Danielle that it would be a perfect place to take airplane photos.  Then we went around the bend and there were three guys with lenses somewhere between 200 and 500mm taking airplane photos.  I’m definitely going to have to do that one day.

Danielle Coming up an Exceptionally Steep Hill near the end
Danielle coming up one of the toughest parts of the trail.

There were a few times where we grew a bit uncertain about whether we had been lied to about the 11 miles.  The only thing that kept us going was the GPS and seeing that we were closing the loop.  Of course, there was a bit of a problem there.  I had taken the GPS for geotagging my photos.  So I had it set to save a point every second.  This overflowed the internal buffer and the unit can’t use the memory card (as far as I’ve been able to figure out) so we were stuck with 270 degrees of a circle which started to worry me because we weren’t completing the circle.  In other words as we made progress forward, the end was being erased – like the computer/cell phone game Snake.

I almost forgot about the “bird incident”.  Danielle and I were somewhere around 85 – 90% done with the trail and she was riding in front of me (as we did for nearly the whole ride).  All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I see a bird in the shadows and the bird crashes into my from behind.  (This is hilarious because a bird flew in front of Danielle going perpendicular and I had made a joke about her being so fast, she would crash into a bird)  But then, as I kept pedaling forward, the bird hit my head a second time!  I yelled, “Danielle, a bird is trying to land on my head!”  After that, the bird left me alone.  Of course, it doesn’t make sense that a bird would actually try to land on my head.  I just had a khaki cap on.  Also, birds are dumb, but not dumb enough to try and land on a moving “tree”.  So we must have biked too close to her nest or something.  Why didn’t she attack Danielle?  Perhaps Danielle was gone too quickly?  I don’t know.  Has anyone else ever had something like this happen to them while they were bike riding?

At the end I checked my GPS stats and wrote the following.  We went 10.6 miles.  It took us 1 hr and 30 minutes.  Subtract about 5 – 10 minutes for photos and times when we had to decide which way to go.  My max speed (it was in my pocket) was 18.1 MPH (I later saw a sign that the trail’s speed limit is 15 MPH – oops!).  Our average speed was 8.1 MPH.

GPS Tracks of my bike ride
The 10.6 mile loop

Author: Eric Mesa

To find out a little more about me, see About Me

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