Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Day 4 - Since bikes are not allowed on any of the bridges across the Chesapeake Bay, we hired a van to take us over the Bay Bridge. The van driver was the owner of Kent Island Express, a company that transports people across the Bridge; he was a great guy and very helpful. We were let off at the Bridge administration building and then made our way on back roads to the Severn River Bridge. The back roads were very scenic and quiet although they had no shoulders for the most part. The terrain was a lot hillier than Delaware's but the wind had died down a lot, except for a few gusts now and then. Still, we found it pretty slow going.
The Severn River Bridge was beautiful and there were several stately mansions in the area nearby. We did, however, have our first bike malfunction on the bridge - the brake cable broke on our "emergency brake", an extra disk brake on the back wheel. Since it was an extra brake, it was not urgent. We managed to get it fixed in Chevy Chase when we arrived. We saw very little of Annapolis, as we went just past it, which was a shame. However, we were having enough trouble with the hills that we weren't feeling much like sight-seeing.
As we got closer to DC, the landscape became more and more developed, the roads got wider and more heavily traveled. The drivers were always courteous to us, giving us ample room to travel, but the noise level was irritating after a while. With all the development, we were still having trouble finding convenient restrooms. We ended up stopping at an enormous mall in Prince Georges, near DC.
By the time we reached Washington, we were feeling pretty worn out and frazzled from the hills and the traffic. We managed to get lost as we always do when we bike to DC, and found DC to be even hillier than the rest of the day's route had been. We were very relieved to finally find ourselves at our destination, the home of friends Esther and Stan, by 3:30. This gave us time to take everything off the bike and tear off to the local bike shop to get our brake fixed. Esther had said, when we arrived, that she was glad we arrived before the rain, but the storm hit just as we left the bike shop. It turned out to be a quick downpour, though, and ended half-way home. It was fun to be on an unloaded bike - the riding seemed so easy! We ended the day having been on the road for a little more than 8 hours, a little more than 5 hours of bike time, going a total of 49 miles.