Wednesday, April 18, 2012

#30DaysofBiking: Day 17

I had an extra day off today thanks to Emancipation Day, I decided I wanted to get some miles in on Kermit the Hulk. I made a goal to ride 60 miles on the C&O Canal Towpath. My plan was to ride 30 miles out and 30 miles back (including the Rock Creek Trail).

It was a perfect day for it. Not too hot, humid or windy. The pollen was a little out of control, but that couldn't be avoided. I packed my new Po Campo bag with various forms of bike nutrition & wallet and off I went.

I sported my pink cycling cap for Cycling Cap Tuesday.

Fletcher's Cove. Sometime this year I'm going to rent a canoe or kayak.

They have pretty blue cruisers for rent.

The dusty towpath.

Great Falls. I've never actually been here before. It was awe-inspiring.

This bird tried to eat my face off.

Great Falls Tavern (with canal boat in the lock)

An operational lock (being operated).

The canal boat being guided out of the lock (notice the NPS guy keeping the boat off the wall).

I really wanted to see inside the boat.

Front view of Kermit (with Po Campo bag on handlebars)

Side view

This guy was checking out the canal too.

Then he flew away.

But not too far.

Lockhouse 22! This is on my to-do list too. It's restored to the 1830's era, which means no running water or electricity. The Boy is not enthused about staying here.

I wish the windows weren't shuttered so I could peek inside.

The rear of lockhouse 22. Fire pit & table.

The geese hissed at me when I went by. Quit taking up the whole path!

Lockhouse 10 :-)

The ride was perfect with one exception. I was heading back on the towpath, when 2 little yappy dogs darted out from the side of the towpath and ran straight at me. I had to emergency brake and almost crashed. Luckily I had the presence of mind to unclip and I ended up just fish tailing a bit. Still, it was really scary. Sure enough, I looked back and a guy was about 30 feet away. I yelled at him "are those your dogs", and all he answered was "yeah" and kept on walking. Not "sorry", not "my bad" not any sort of acknowledgement that his irresponsible behavior just nearly injured me and his dogs. That is poor pet ownership.

I dislike unleashed dogs on multi-use paths. Not only is it illegal, but it's unsafe-to other people and the dogs. But 90% of dog owners actually train their dogs to behave on a MUP and it's rarely a problem. They keep them CLOSE and they make them sit or stay when a runner or cyclist goes by. They don't let them wander all nilly willy all over the place with no supervision. The other 10% of dog owners need to be neutered themselves because they don't know how to train their dogs or can't be bothered. Those people need leashes.

Dogs are dogs and are going to do what dogs do: chase after things. It's up to the owners to deter that and keep their dogs safe. It is your job to supervise your pet. If a cyclist or your dog gets hurt in a collision, it is YOUR FAULT, not the dog's or the other person's. And I'm gonna be real-if it's a choice between me taking the brunt of the damage or your dog, it's gonna be your dog that loses. And that's too bad because that dog needs a better owner.

The rest of the trip home was pretty uneventful and I made it back to DC just as it got dark (I was afraid of getting stuck on the towpath after dark since I had a late start).

When I got home, I noticed Kermit desperately needed a bath (and so did I).

Dirty bike!

I was covered in pollen, dust & dead bugs. Yuck! Still, it was worth it.

Miles: 62
Dead bugs consumed: thousands
Turtles spotted: 1
Turtles that came home with me: 0

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