Whitlow’s on Wilson Brunch

Went on an epic bike ride yesterday. The weather was perfect, the cherry blossom trees were sprouting new buds, and all seemed good in the world. There is no better way to celebrate the beginning of spring than cycling around the DC area with a huge grin plastered on my face. Really, the sight of these cherry blossom buds makes me so happy it’s retarded. My face hurts from smiling so damn much.

Photo credit: Becca Clara Love

Being as it was the first ride of the year, we decided to avoid the usual spots. With the pristine weather, there was no doubt that Rock Creek Park, the Capital Crescent Trail, and the other standard DC cycling haunts were to be insanely crowded. I didn’t want to ruin my happiness high by jostling for trail space and bumping into joggers. So instead we decided to cross the bridge and circle Northern Virginia.

Here’s a great 25- mile ride:

We started at Stadium-Armory metro, where a few friends, including Miss Cori Sue, were just completing the National Half Marathon. We cheered them on, stole some bagels from the finish line festival, and were on our merry way. First through Capitol Hill, where the Cherry Blossoms were starting to bud. Then down the south side of the mall to the Jefferson Memorial.

Across the 14th Street bridge to the Mount Vernon Trail. Watched a few planes take off from the park.

Then down Four Mile Run to Shirlington and the W&OD Trail. I had never been on the W&OD Trail before. I usually stick to the Mount Vernon trail all the way to, well, Mount Vernon. But the W&OD was a pretty ride – well shaded, and with lots of pretty creeks. Plenty of parks to stop and take a breather in. A few ancient railroad tracks here and there. We even passed some local public gardens, which people were starting to weed out of winter hibernation. This just meant more flies in my teeth from grinning like an idiot.

Photo credit: Becca Clara Love

The entire W&OD Trail goes 45 miles … all the way to the edges of the Blue Ridge. We weren’t that ambitious. We got to East Falls Church and then headed back to the Custis Trail, which dumped us into Ballston.

The Ballston, Clarendon, Courthouse area was buzzing. In fact, it was hard to maneuver around all the pedestrians and outdoor tables.  We set to cruising for an outdoor brunch spot that a.) had great food and beer, and b.) we wouldn’t feel out of place in (considering our helmet hair, grease stains, and general post-ride yuckiness). The compromise? Whitlows on Wilson.

Photo credit: Becca Clara Love

Some Stevie Ray Vaughan, a few Hefeweizens and a nummy chicken salad later, and we were on our way once again, sailing downhill through Rosslyn and back onto the Mount Vernon Trail, which circled us back to the 14th Street Bridge.

Lovely.

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