Saturday, March 15, 2014

Happy Trails...

As a birthday present to myself a few weeks back, I bought a new bicycle, so that I might incorporate cycling into my fitness routine. 

After various customizations to the entry-level bike I purchased, I took it out for my 4th trail ride earlier this afternoon. I've spent the past 3 weeks removing & replacing factory installed parts & mechanisms with lighter, more appropriate versions of each.

The bike was already designed to operate as a hybrid bicycle, still I couldn't help but to make several of my own modifications to the bike. So far, I've added an illuminated reflector system, mobile air pump, as well as upgrade the handlebars, quill stem, front wheel & tire among other things. Future upgrades include reducing the number of speeds (from 18 to 14) - for a more simplified shifting sequence during rides & a pair of bright red pedals, to match the front wheel.

I've enjoyed trail riding - oh, I'm calling my bike "Pam" by the way, lol. I was quite satisfied with today's 12-mile ride along the Anacostia River, replacing many of my jogging activities with bike rides, should go along way towards relieving the wear & tear on my knees & ankles from pavement running. Maybe I'll completely switch-over to cycling, I haven't yet ruled-out the possibility of competing in a triathalon either... guess it's time to step-up my swim game.

Much like jogging, riding along trails, unimpeded by vehicle traffic is quite therapeutic. I love being near the water, so the fact that many trails run parallel to streams & rivers is a bonus for a water sign such as myself. Many other trails run along old railroad right-of-ways, they too provide for great aesthetics! Some of the scenery witnessed along the limited number of trails I've conquered so far have been breath-taking.

Bridges, tunnels, fabulous sunsets. I've been pleasantly surprised by the number of trails dedicated to joggers, runners & equestrians right here in Prince George's County, MD. I'm guesstimating that I should be able to ride my bike (at least) 4 times as far as I'd normally run, so accordingly, I plan to cycle 450 to 500 miles by the fall. I've done quite a bit of research on the local paved trails, as well as some that aren't so local.

Like the Washington & Old Dominion trail, it's 45-miles long (each way), starts in Shirlington, VA, finishing up in Purceville. Obviously, I'd need to work-up to such a long trail, but that's the goal. There are even longer trails, but I'm only interested in those I can complete in one day's ride (at this point anyway). I've also found local off-road trails of interest. So who knows? Maybe next year I'll expand my fleet to include a mountain bike & take-on some of the area's most rugged trails!


  1. Awesome!!!!!! I need to purchase a bike of my own, although I don't remember how to ride! Happy trails to you and Pam!