Transplant Athlete
Sunday, February 01, 2009
  The Weather Was Too Nice To Stay Indoors Today

I suited up today and hopped on my new mountain bike. I rode in to Reston on the W&OD and hopped on the Difficult Run Trail. The trail was sloppy and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be on it, but there were plenty of tracks in the snow and I saw a few riders heading south on the trail as I was heading north.

I'm definitely a newbie, so the snow and ice made the trail sketchy. The climbing power of the bike is amazing, you just try to keep it pointed up and keep the pedals turning and it'll climb. If I was using clips, I would have been in serious trouble, I can't tell you how many times I had to put a foot down.

I wish I had brought a camera. I can't believe how beautiful it is out there. One of the river crossings was huge marble boulders in a line across and just past that, someone had planted a stand of Bamboo trees and the trail went straight through the heart of it.

This ride definitely reminded me of my childhood in Andover. Kevin and I used to ride on the abandoned railroad tracks and occasionally hike our bikes through the woods to the playground on the south side of Andover.

The yellow line on the right is Rte 206, the white line roughly parallel with it is the abandoned railroad tracks. Across the bottom of the picture the vegetation is cut away for power lines. We would cut across the wooded area just north of the power lines from the railroad tracks to the soccer field to the left of the little pond. From there, it was a short climb up to the playground (just north of the baseball diamond at the top left. From the playground, we could cut across to his house or go down 517 to my house in the center of town.

I digress...Where was I...Oh yeah, so I followed the trail for almost 12 miles. I knew I was going to be running short of daylight, so I turned around minutes from the Potomac and headed back out onto Georgetown Pike. I had been riding for nearly 3 hours, and I had just one waterbottle with me and no food. I immediately bonked when I hit Georgetown Pike and had a rough slog into Great Falls. My head was down, my mouth was gaping wide open, my legs were burning and I was getting buzzed by motorists. There isn't any shoulder out there and I wouldn't normally travel there with a bike, but I was desperate. I made it to the 7-11 at the three hour mark, I was definitely dehydrated and in need of serious calories, so I picked up 2 Gatorades (32 oz), Twix, Power Bars, Peanuts, sat down outside and started shoveling it in. When my brain came back online, I realized I should call ABL and get her to SAG me home. The payphone was busted, so I asked APU if I could use the phone.

He said No. I asked if he knew if there was another payphone nearby. No. So, I asked a passerby if I could use his phone. A good samaritan graciously let me use his phone and I left a message for ABL. While I was waiting, I bought some more food and coffee (it was getting cold out) and minutes before ABL showed up, APU let me use his phone and I left another message for ABL.

Yes, I should have brought my cellphone and food, but I didn't think I was going to be out so long or the riding so rough. The weather was so nice and I was having so much fun, I just kept riding.


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Thanks, Louie for remembering Kevin. Write back sometime. You can find me in Facebook. Ann
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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Burning or Difficulty when Urinating
  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Cola or tea colored urine
  • Swellig of the eyes, ankles, or feet
  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity

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