We headed into Labor Day weekend with no big plans. We thought Hermine was going to bring us rain, but by Friday the forecast called for partly cloudy skies, cooler temperatures, and almost no chance of rain. I wanted to do something “fun” to make the long weekend special, and over dinner Friday night we decided to make a day trip out of cycling to Harpers Ferry in West Virginia.
Cycling To Harpers Ferry
We decided to drive to Dickerson Conservation Park in Maryland, where we could access the tow path at about mile marker 40. It was about an hour drive from our house, with the last 12 miles on small country roads through beautiful farmland. The “park” facilities didn’t seem to be much more than a parking lot, porta-potty, and trail access, but that’s all we needed to get on our way cycling to Harpers Ferry.
The tow path is a dirt/gravel path that is sited between the C&O Canal (or what’s left of it) on the east and the Potomac River on the west. At mile 40, the “canal” looks like a pond covered with green slime. After a few miles it becomes completely overgrown, and as you keep heading north it is more like woods.
Two miles into our ride we rode over the Monacacy Aqueduct, a stone bridge that used to carry the canal over the Monacacy River. After that, the towpath reaches Point of Rocks, Maryland, and then cuts through the Catoctin Mountain Range. Here, the old canal bed is taken over by train tracks, and we “raced” several freight trains along our ride.
Once we got to Harpers Ferry, we carried our bikes over the footbridge to get to the town, and then took a leisurely break to eat lunch and explore Harpers Ferry. It is a really cute town, with historic buildings, small museums, and a number of restaurants and gift shops. Harpers Ferry is a National Historic Park, so much of the “town” is actually under the domain of the National Park Service, as is the C&O Canal towpath. It’s never hard for us to #findyourpark for weekend fun!
Four Miles Too Far
Our ride from Dickerson to Harpers Ferry was about 21 miles, and since we had no other plans for the day I suggested that we keep going a few more miles before heading back, so we could ride a total of 50 miles. Those extra four miles north turned out to be four miles too far.
First, my husband got a flat tire. We’ve been lucky that this has never happened on our long rides, but my husband was prepared with his tool kit and spare tubes. I got to see what it takes to change a tire, but it was an experience he would have been happy to live without.
As we got back on our bikes, I took out my phone to take a picture, and was met with one of the worst screens you can see halfway through an epic bike ride, that “HELLO” screen. I must have forgotten to lock my screen after my last photo stop, and the phone thought my shirt pocket was making failed log-in attempts, so it wiped itself clean for “security” purposes. Thanks, Apple!
This has happened to me once before, so I knew that all the pictures I had taken on our ride were gone–why hadn’t I Facebooked or Instagrammed over our lunch break?? Even more frustrating, it wouldn’t let me restore my phone without wi-fi, so I couldn’t take any pictures on the way back. And, my husband had left his phone in the car. That’s why I only have the one picture above to show for 50 miles of biking! 🙁
First world problems, I know, but it was such a lovely day, and I had taken so many great pictures ….
Monday: 45 min strength routine at home before taking the train to Newark for the day.
Tuesday: 4 mile run, including 10 laps at the track at a “comfortably hard” pace, which ended up being about 7:55 mph.
Wednesday: 45 min RealRide indoor cycling class at Revolve.
Thursday: 30 min strength routine at home before work.
60 min Orange Theory Fitness class after work.
I had an afternoon meeting out of the office that I knew would end by 4:00, so I signed up for a 4:30 pm class instead of my usual 5:00 am class. It was much easier to get my heart rate up–maybe I’m more comfortable pushing harder when I’m fully awake?
Friday: 4 mile neigborhood run.
My legs were still tired after OTF, but the weather was so nice I had to get out for a run. I remembered to grab my headlamp, which is definitely needed on my morning runs these days.
Saturday: 50 mile bike ride.
Sunday: 5.75 mile neighborhood run; 30 min yoga stretching video.
My legs were really tired, but again I could not resist the weather.
Or the beautiful sunrise.
Did you do anything fun this weekend?
Has your iPhone ever wiped itself clean on you?