Bicycle II

by zenquaker

A while back I was talking to some people at work about bicycling to work. I said there was no good way to do it for me, but one lady said you could get on one of the Rock Creek Park trails in Rockville. That leads to the Capital Crescent Trail which goes right behind our office building.

Earlier this week I finally got around to looking into it. I found a way to a south bound trail in Rock Creek Park from Shady Grove Road. Getting to Shady Grove Road from my place is a problem, though. You have to go down Oakmont, which has bad or no shoulders, no sidewalks, and lots of cars during rush hour.

But I figured I might as well give it a try. So I got on my bike and rode to Rock Creek Park. Oakmont was not fun. The should looks a lot worse from my bicycle than it does from the bus I ride in the morning. There were cars, driving slowly behind me or zipping by rather close, but only a few. It would be nerve wracking to have that going on the whole way down Oakmont every morning and every night (in the dark, no less). I did have some false starts along the way. I misread Needwood Road twice: once from Google Maps so I was looking for Needlewood Road, and once when I rode past what I thought was Norwood road. Then I rode past the entrance to Rock Creek Park thinking it was part of the Needwood Golf Club.

The killer was the trail itself. Hilly, which I can deal with, but with big chunky gravel that my bike can’t. My bike is a city bike. It’s not a racer, but neither is it a mountain bike. I was nervous going down that hill, and I don’t want to think about trying to get up it late at night without knobby tires. I am certainly not up to commuting on a path like that. I had to go east a ways to get to the trail itself, so I still had at least 15 miles to go.

Still, it wasn’t all bad. I got to do the first test of my Log Life application. The GPS is sucking, giving me 1,275 meter accuracy, but that’s not Log Life’s fault. I also screwed up starting it both times. I didn’t start it going to Rock Creek Park until I was halfway down Shady Grove Road, and I didn’t start it from Rock Creek Park until I was back on Needwood Road. Still, I did log 58 minutes of bicycling with it. Which is another killer. If it takes a half hour to get to the trail, I don’t want to think how long the rest of the commute is going to be.

As for the data, I keep thinking of things I could log. I think I will continue with just logging the movement and ideas for the next week or so. As I think of other things to log I will set them up in the application. Then when I am ready to move forward I can wipe the log and start fresh.