5/9/23 – Fredericksburg to Alexandria, VA

Miles: 84.13 Today / Total 1805.96

Elevation Gain: 3458 ft. Today / 28,561 ft. Total

There are surprises every day, when you are bicycle touring. Today, rain caught all of us off guard, and we all got soaked and cold. There was a 20% chance of rain when we left our host’s house, but within 1/2 hour it was drizzling then raining, and it kept that up for over 5 hours. I’ve decided to give in to the weather and not let it get to me, so I don’t let rain, cold or heat make me panic. The problem today was that I didn’t have anything with me to keep me dry and only had my vest to keep me warm, so I adapted. I kept my rest stops short and rode hard to generate as much body heat as I could. Oh, and when I found ice cream at one of our rest stops, I ate it indoors. Smart, eh?

In the first few miles of our day, we rode through part of the Fredericksburg Battlefield and by the Visitors Center, but it was too early in the day for it to be open. I stopped at the Memorial Cemetery and Sunken Road which are always open.

Then we had several hours of winding, low traffic, country roads—passing through farm land, by cool barns and abandoned farmhouses as well as rural homes and progressively more luxurious homes. We also passed Fort Belvoir and a training range for Quantico.

Entering Alexandria on the Mount Vernon Trail, we wound through hilly woods and stayed koff of the busy, shoulder-less roads. The bike path took us by Mount Vernon, where I considered spending an hour or so. The $28 admission killed that idea.The trail took us through parks and wooded areas along the Potomac until we reached Alexandria.

When I left the Mount Vernon Trail and started navigating to the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, our home for the night, I was led into a neighborhood of cool, very old row houses and hip shops and restaurants, And even though Chippotle is not especially hip, I was craving it, so I pulled over and did a Google Maps search. Just a few blocks away, I stopped and picked up dinner, then just a few minutes later, I arrived at the church.

Top priority was feasting on that well deserved dinner, but then I had to get to my chores. I set up my bed on the rug in one of the preschool rooms, hand washed the jersey I was supposed to wear for a group photo tomorrow, took a cold hose shower in the shower tent (the gas water heater was out of gas), cleaned and lubed my chain, laid out my food and gear for the morning, then vegged out and fell asleep.

Tomorrow will have better weather, and I’ll be better prepared, in case it doesn’t. We only have a 20 mile day to allow us time to see the sights in Washington D.C.

2 thoughts on “5/9/23 – Fredericksburg to Alexandria, VA

  1. Sounds very uncomfortable. I hope you didn’t catch a cold . I am glad you got your icecream. Mom, Dad and Zack say , Hello!

    Jo Beth DeVore

    Liked by 1 person

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