I have been riding with clips for a month or so now and have been waiting all this time to experience what all new clip-riders must, some sort of crash or fall in which being one with your bike is not such a good thing. Yesterday it happened. I was riding to National Harbor with Joyce and my parents. We were about halfway to Alexandria when we came upon this bridge that is always a challenge to cross. You don't have to actually cross the road but you go up this steep hill that comes up on you really fast and onto the bridge which you cross on the sidewalk, and are supposed to get off your bike for. There are barriers at the bottom of the steep little hills on each side to encourage people to slow down and get off their bikes. I was behind Joyce and my dad who rode up the hill before getting off their bikes. I was riding pretty fast, in a high gear, when this hill came out of nowhere. I tried to downshift really quickly while riding up the hill and my chain couldn't handle it and came off the teeth entirely. With no chain, I wasn't going anywhere but off my bike and with clips, I wasn't going anywhere without my bike. So my bike and I, as one, fell over into a makeshift wooden fence. The fence broke. But it also broke my fall. The silver lining is that when my mom and I stopped to put my chain back on, we found a stringy bracelet that my mom had brought back from Paris all caught up and twisted in my gears. I had been having problems shifting and was really frustrated by it so at least I solved that problem! And I felt satisfied to have had my first clipped-in fall, something I knew was bound to happen eventually.
I just couldn't get enough, though. Later, stopping at a red light in Old Towne with my right shoe un-clipped, my bike started leaning to the left and my one foot that was still clipped wasn't free to support Lucy and I. I fell over again, into my mom's front wheel this time. So I guess I'm still learning. Aside from my little mishaps, we had a wild ride beginning early Saturday morning.
First stop: Bethesda Post Office from which my mom mailed off Tony and Joan's Ragbrai wristbands to their new owners :(
Next stop: O'Connell's Irish Restaurant and Bar in Old Town to watch the second half of the Germany vs. Argentina game and feast on a delicious brunch of crabs benedict and pheasant and goat cheese salad. My parents were drinking before 11 am. Joyce and I were eating whiskey and guinness mustard before 11 am.
Third stop: National Harbor in PG County via the Wilson Bridge, an experience which Lucy and I have already raved about. At the harbor we saw the awakening and and some very large peeps.
Fourth stop: Georgetown, where we feasted again, this time on Ben and Jerry's ice cream and sorbet. And couldn't resist a photo op with this bike art outside of baked and wired. We're expecting to see plenty of similar bike art on Ragbrai.
Final stop: Home sweet home. We made it in time to see Spain beat Paraguay with a late goal and to eat most of a pizza between the two of us. Biking is the best but veging after a bike ride is a close second.