June 29, 1997

Bluemont, VA to Washington, D.C.
58 miles (or 63 miles with an optional, more scenic route that some of us started with)

"There are definitely bathrooms and drinking fountains at the Lincoln Memorial." [Brian Holsenbeck, tour guide for the final few miles of the ride, and an excellent one I must say]

It's hard to know what to say. The first time the Washington Monument came into view, I knew that we had really made it. But even now as I write this on the morning of the 30th, and even after pedalling the entire distance myself, it's hard to believe that I rode my bike here from the West coast. I'm still not sure why I chose to do this, or what significance it will have for me, but I'm really glad I did it.

The day was basically uneventful. Some of us did an extra few miles by taking some smaller county roads instead of highway 7, but in Purcellville we all got on the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) trail. This is a small paved trail for bicycles (mostly), roller bladers, walkers, etc. For the first time on the trip there were lots of people around wearing lycra who were not part of our group. Other than some confusing signs when we transitioned to the Curtis Trail near the end, this was easy riding. We met at the Teddy Roosevelt Memorial, at the end of the trail, shortly before 2pm, and rode into D.C. together, with Brian Holsenbeck showing a leader/tour guide side of himself that had not come out earlier in the trip.

When we arrived at the Capitol steps, there were friends and family for many of the riders, especially those who lived in the Eastern parts of the country (such as Rob Christian) or who had lived in the area previously (such as Win Westervelt). David Blair was there with the video camera, and many photographs were taken. Then we mostly all dispersed to deal with packing up bicycles and the like. I had heard this from last year's riders also, but it was surprising how fast it was over.

Along the county road that some of us took instead of highway 7:
County road

Mark Bazerman rides down the W&OD trail:
W&OD trail

A W&OD caboose:
W&OD caboose

Milling about at the Lincoln Memorial while some people used the bathrooms and drinking fountains:
Milling about at the Lincoln Memorial

At the Capitol steps, looking back (Mark Bazerman in yellow, and others in the background):
At the steps

Preparing for the group picture (Sandra White (lifting bike up steps in the foreground), Rob Christian (dark colors carrying helmet) beyond her, Brian Holsenbeck (in white T-shirt) behind him, and others):

The required group shot on the Capitol steps, with everyone wearing our Bike America Tours T-shirts (left to right: Sandra White, Craig Short (back, with hat), Mike Weston (front), Mark Bazerman, David Wallace (far back, orange hat), Rob Christian (mostly obscured), Brian Holsenbeck, Tsung-Pao Chien (with blue helmet), Deb Klein, Ken Iobst (back, with helmet), and Win Westervelt):
The riders on the Capitol steps

After the group picture (Mark Bazerman, Brian Holsenbeck, and others):
After the group picture

Bikes on the Capitol steps:
Bikes on the steps

The group gift to David Blair, a piece of glass from Fostoria Ohio, engraved with bicycles going up and down slopes:
Group gift

Mark Bazerman helps some random people at the Capitol fix a flat bicycle tire:
Fixing a flat

Speaking of flat tires, Mike Weston shows here how the tread on his rear bicycle tire was starting to come off, yet he and Brian Holsenbeck had no flat tires on the entire trip (Mike used only a single set of Continental Grand Prix 700x23 tires):
The amazing detachable tread

At a sushi dinner that night (left, from front: Adam Iobst, Ken Iobst, Alexa Fraser, Ken's other two boys; right, from back: David Wallace, Beth Wallace, Connie Kleinjans, Mike Weston, Mark Bazerman, and Marianne Rutherford):