Day 15 Sep 12. Ft Belvoir VA to Rockville Md 43 miles

Lincoln Memorial in back, people sight-seeing on stairs and meandering around, biker in front standing over bike with packs.

Well this turned out to be a day!!!  The goal was 80 plus to an off route stay in Owings Mill Md.  So it started great by Ray dropping me off at the Ft Belvoir Gate at 6:45. Then a ride through the Ft itself.  As I have said I was stationed there, however I recognized little of the Fort as there has been massive  development and is a now very busy and crowded base. Exiting the Fort  the route took me to Mt Vernon and on the Mount Vernon bike trail, a beautiful bike trail.  Once it entered Old Town Alexandria the trail went back on streets and unmarked.  Really slowed me down using my GPS to get back on. After struggling to find my way I was back on the trail near the airport crossing the Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln  Memorial, a fabulous ride. Then I struggled to find the Capital Bike path that parallels the river then up through Georgetown and pick up the Rock Creek bikeway.  Again I got off trail two more times.  Bike paths are great however they are slow, sometimes rough, always have many curves and impossible to find the way with all the branches on and off. There is plenty of riders, runner, walkers, bridges and few signs. At 12:15 I met Will Cocos,and  his two very young sons at a picnic ground on the trail. Will is playing Mr Mom until January when he starts a new job. Will is family to us and an outstanding young man. Lunch was fabulous and we said our goodbyes,  back on the road at 1:15. I never got out of the parking lot, flat tire.  A quick change and then the rain started, heavy thunderstorm rain. My bike, gear and I road the rain out in a larger size port a potty, 45 minutes!  Great fun.  So with 40 plus miles I was in trouble to get to the destination. Then the trail navigation got worse, in 7 miles I lost the trail 3 more times.  After the 3rd, I was on on a very busy street, hugh black clouds were rolling in.  I  ducked into a Church, called Will and he and the boys rescued me!  The storms were crazy with lightning and extremely heavy rain.  So Will and Anne put me up for the night with a fabulous dinner and fresh start the next day. it was a gift to spend time with them. What a great place to get stranded.  I have a very detailed plan where I was to ride and stay each day.  I have always said that these plans never hold up due to the challenges of the long rides.  This one held for 14 days and I was was way to confident. Now to see what I have to do to adjust!

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