Archive for the ‘Road Trips’ Category

13-Colonies Bike Ride


Yes, all of them.

On the July 4 weekend, we plotted and executed a bike ride through all thirteen original colonies.  It seemed a patriotic thing to do!  (Yes, we mean the streets, not the actual, you know, states.)  We’d seen the WABA map showing 13 colonies in 15 miles and thought we could do better, and we did, managing it in just over 11 and a half miles.  Kudos to G for excellent planning.  See the map at right for the actual route.

The best part of the ride?  Stopping at Eastern Market for a pickle break.  A nice salty, crunchy snack is the perfect thing between North Carolina and New Jersey!

Coming up in August:  All 50 states in about 45 miles.  Y/Y?

Don’t Drive Drunk

Don’t drink and drive also please wear your seat belt.

December is the most dangerous month when most of people get killed or life time injured by accidents.
I do not care where ever you go, when ever you go, we all know time location and our work all is important but think.
Is your life is not important ???
Your children are also important…
When you are at the driving seat, you are responsible of all people who are sitting with you, so tell them WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT OR GET OFF FROM THE CAR !!!!
Must View:
If I can wear it than why cant you ?
Seat Belt Picture by WK

Seat Belt Picture by WK

Lose Child in the car, this could be her last trip, she was making face when I took her picture, so cute to lose…

Lose Child - Picture by WK

Lose Child - Picture by WK

Can you feal the pain ?
Injured in Car Accident - Picture from Flickr

Injured in Car Accident - Picture from Flickr

Drive Slow in Winter.
Picture from Flickr

Picture from Flickr

This could be your future house for the life time, so the choise is yours, do you want to wear the seatbelt and drive safe or this bed is waiting for you.

Picture from Flickr

Picture from Flickr

Hiking Old Rag

I tried out a Meetup group this past weekend, with lots of success. While looking for something else online, I found a group–the DC/MD/VA Adventure Meetup–that does fun things like hiking, jumping out of airplanes, whitewater rafting, and so on. Actually, I’m not interested in the more adventurous adventures–all I really want to do is go on day hikes. I never feel like organizing them myself, and none of my friends is particularly passionate about hiking. Thus, this group.

The organizer had proposed a hike up Old Rag mountain, which I’ve wanted to do for a long time. The only problem was that he wanted to “beat the crowds” and do it at 6am, which meant leaving DC at 4:15am–and getting up at 3:30am. Second problem: it rained all night. But I stuck to my guns and, after about 3 hours of sleep, stumbled out of bed and made it to the meeting point. Two hours later, we were ready to climb the mountain in the grey fog.

It turned out to be really terrific. First of all, Old Rag is amazing. It’s just the right length (about 4.5 hours for us, including a half hour at the top) and rigorousness (rigorosity?) to feel like you’ve genuinely accomplished something. The path we took on the way up gave way to rocks towards the top, so we had to scramble and at times truly climb over the rocks, which was a challenge. Apparently the views are amazing, but we were in fog the whole time and largely missed them–but the verdant forest and lichen-covered rocks were impressive enough. And we had the whole mountain to ourselves.

What was also very cool was the whole meetup thing. Because of the rain, only 5 of the 28 who’d RSVP’d showed up. But that made it even better, as we were able to get to know each other quite well and really look out for each other throughout, particularly on the treacherous parts of the train. Meeting 4 strangers and having a great time talking and being kind to each other–it’s enough to give heart to any cynic.

On the road: Harrisonburg

I took a whirlwind 24 hour trip to Harrisonburg, VA, this weekend, and forgot all about DC for a while. I was in H’burg to dance, so unfortunately I didn’t get to see many of the sights–whatever they may have been–but it was still a worthwile vacation.

Three reasons to go to Harrisonburg:

1. The trip there, along 66 and then 81, is lovely. 81 in particular is great this time of year, with light green spreading everywhere and the roadside dotted with blooming redbud trees.
2. The Little Grill Collective, a small hippie joint serving tempeh, tofu, and all the typical veggie food, but also meat for those who can’t live without it. The place was cluttered but charming, and everyone was friendly. I’ve long bemoaned DC’s lack of a genuine hippie culture, so it was good to feel at home for a little while.
3. The Artful Dodger, a downtown cafe (pictured below) serving coffee, alcohol, food and sweets. It’s just the right kind of cafe–funky, relaxed, cultivating the “hang out here” vibe but not at all overly pretentious (gasp!). The owner clearly has a thing for the ’50s and early ’60s and has the most amazing collection of star-shaped clocks I’ve ever seen.

Those two joints were the coolest places I’ve been in a while. This city could learn a thing or two from Harrisonburg, perhaps.
the artful dodger

Unleash the Beast?

Photo courtesy of island_explorer

So the Capitals are sliding behind the playoff 8-ball. Hammered last night in Philly by a final score of 6-3, where Brière has lit a fire somewhere and Biron’s thrown up a Berlin-esque wall, the hometown hockey heroes has looked more like the ice-capades on a road trip.


Where’s the fire that exploded from this team in the third period of Game One? Watching Sunday’s game was like watching the Caps back in October, when the team was terrible and looking to beat Columbus down the standings.

Last night was marginally better, but only just.

The Caps got behind early on Sunday and never recovered; Ovechkin was double-teamed and his support cast was nowhere to be found. That’s not how you win playoff hockey – it’s how you give the opposing goalie a shutout. Guess what happened?

I’ll give Washington credit, they did try to stage another late rally, closing the gap to 4-3 on Laich’s goal at 4:34 remaining. But Philly rallied quick, with Mike Richards zinging Huet on a penalty shot less than two minutes later. Nail? Meet hammer.

Biron could’ve taken naps in his goal – the Caps had a total of 16 shots on the evening. Compare that to the final games of the regular season, when Caps opponents were seeing flurries of 30 and 40 shots.

Where have the Caps disappeared to?

Now, not all is lost. The series is only 2-1 in the Flyers’ favor. But they face another rough game ahead in Philadelphia before coming back to the Verizon Center. Which could be the Caps’ swan song…or not. Honestly, it’s really up to the rest of the team.

You can’t hang all the pressure on Ovechkin – though ineffective since his game-winning goal in Game One, he’s hardly at fault. The Flyers defense has been tightly focused on shutting him down (even after losing Timonen), and they’ve done so with frightening ease. In times like this, it’s dependant upon the superstar’s supporting cast to step up and make a difference. We know they can – we saw ample evidence of it in the last month of the regular season. Semin, Kozlov, Federov, Backstrom – pretty much non-existent forces on the ice right now. I’ll give a pass to Mike Green – his sniper shots are still scary as heck, as we saw last night.

So don’t despair quite yet, Caps fans. If the Flyers dominate to another win on Thursday, however…

Maybe the Pope could swing by the Verizon Center on his out-and-about birthday tour and toss out a few blessings…

IMG_5190 copy, courtesy of island_explorer

George’s basement

I was flipping around area websites, looking for possibilities for the weekend (even though it’s supposed to be rather frigid, it’s nothing compared to my winters in Chicago) and stumbled upon this tidbit of info.

Seems that Mount Vernon has been capitalizing on the success of the recent Nicky Cage movie, National Treasure: Book of Secrets. If you’re not familiar with the movie, there’s a scene where our intrepid puzzle-solving hero (Cage) decides he needs to kidnap the President of the United States (played by Bruce Greenwood) and does so at a garden party at Mount Vernon. And it revolves around a ‘hidden passageway’ in one of the estate’s basement rooms.

When I first saw the movie, I do remember commenting to my wife afterwards that in all likelihood, we’ll see several D.C. sites jump on the ‘free’ marketing bandwagon and promote themselves along with the movie. And lo and behold, Mount Vernon did indeed.

This weekend is the last available date you can go visit the site for the scene. There’s no additional cost – it’s included in the regular admission and you can only visit that space on the weekend. General admission to Mount Vernon is around $13 for adults and is well worth the cost – it’s a beautiful estate right on the Potomac.

It’s interesting – as usual – how movies portray things that are out of context with the real world. The room used in the movie, according to the website, was actually “designated as the ‘Cellar Kitchen’ on a plan prepared by George Washington at the time he planned additions to both ends of the building in 1774. This space appears to have been used as a kitchen for the slaves assigned to serve the Washington household.”

No mention of a secret passage, however. And I would suggest if you go check it out, don’t try – I’ve a sneaking suspicion that Hollywood made it all up…

"Zipcar/Flexcar, whatever, they’re the same."

I was at the bar the other day when I heard some guy say exactly that. Well, soon, it’ll be true.

The new Zipcar (they’re taking Zipcar’s name in this marriage, no hyphenation or brand new name) will serve serve 50 cities including the District. With 180,000 customers and 5,000 vehicles between the two companies, the new Zipcar will be a big deal, but I wonder if they’ll still need every one of those parking spots near the Metro?

Both companies are yet to showing a profit, and are hoping that an economy of scale will be available to them once they’re merged.

Here’s hoping.

How My Dawgs Roll

They’re all my dawgs even if only Eddie, the Husky mix, is my d-o-g dog.

Shouldn’t you skip work/school/whatever and drive your dog(s) to the park before it gets hot again? Or, if you don’t have a dog, isn’t it time you get one? Nevermind that Men’s Health ranks DC 49th out of 50 in their survey of the best cities for dogs.

Don’t live somewhere dog friendly? Time to move. Don’t like dogs? Then stay in, jerk. Watch Turkish Star Wars on YouTube or something.

Going Green for The Police

A Carbon Offset Voucher
A few months ago, I was complaining that DC is one of the few major US cities not to really see the likes of The Police on their tour this year. Even Baltimore snagged them, but due to the wrangling in DC about Live Earth locations, The Police were relegated to Jersey.

I got lucky, I have tickets to see them in Boston this weekend and Fenway Park. However, this is the first time I’ve flown in a while, and definitely the first time I’ve seen “carbon offsets” offered as a package addition through Orbitz. I’m not sure if this was an altruistic move on their part, or just bending to demand and public opinion, which is just simple sense for many who travel and live in Europe. For simply five and half dollars, less than the TSA / Homeland Security fees automatically tacked on to your ticket, I was able to donate a little “sumpthin’ sumpthin'” to to supposedly due something greener for the planet than my plane ride.

I like the idea, and would hope to see something come of this, at least if they plant a tree, they’re really doing something more with the money than I think the TSA is, for harassing mothers, and getting all bent out of shape over a few ounces of hand moisturizer.

Abandoned Bicycle Removal Tag

While I love me some bicycle carcass street art, I love this tag even more.

If you read it closely, it says that the DC Department of Transportation is going to remove the bike in ten days if its not moved or claimed.

If there is an owner of this bent wreck, they should call 202.671.2331 to beg for a stay of removal.

This is the first tag I’ve seen, and I know my abandoned DC bicycles pretty well. Every so often, I scavenge them for a part or bolt I may need. Others just swipe whole bikes.

No matter, this is an idea that we should export to China. Their abandoned bike issues dwarf any problem we have.

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