Leslie and I had exchanged many emails prior to the trip, working through a route from Arlington to Annapolis. It ended up like this.
We had a leisurely breakfast, and then she rode with me through the army base (ID produced at the entry) and Arlington National Cemetery, at which point she said: "you go that way".
So we said our goodbyes, and I headed into DC over the Memorial Bridge.
I had to stop and take some pictures here and there.
Then I headed up Constitution Avenue, on the exceptionally wide sidewalk, as there didn't seem to be a bike lane on the street itself. All good until Columbus Circle :-) Eventually I figured out where I was supposed to be going - yes, I had the GPS on, and yes, it was talking to me, and no, the roads were very, very busy and didn't exactly resemble the instructions I was receiving :-)
Navigation became much more straightforward once I entered Maryland; the Anacostia Trail was very nice.
So was the Washington Baltimore and Annapolis Trail, except it didn't go all the way to Annapolis. There isn't a bridge over the Patuxent River yet.
Somewhere around Bowie, I stopped for snacks. It was warming up, and there had been a headwind most of the way.
Saw lots of Bikes May Use Full Lane signs :-)
Navigation until the outskirts of Annapolis was reasonably straightforward. I managed to get lost in Annapolis a few times. And then found myself passing the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium, and headed toward the bridge over the Severn River by the Naval Academy.
Right after the bridge, I pulled over and called the bicycle shuttle company - we planned to meet up at the McDonalds. He said he'd be there in about 20 minutes. I'd be there in about the same amount of time. Three or so miles on narrow, winding roads later, I popped out by the McDonalds, left my bike leaning against a table, and got something to eat and drink.
(Iced Tea. Coffeeneuring)
The shuttle driver arrived a few minutes later. He told me to not rush and finish eating. We loaded the bike into the back of his pickup, and he drove me across the Bay Bridge.
Once over the other side, he pointed out the McDonalds which was the start for my next permanent populaire, told me there wasn't anywhere to eat right by the motel, and pulled into the 7-11 for me to get some supplies. Then he dropped me off at the motel.
Now, about those best-laid plans... The weather forecast for several days had been hinting that a whopper of a storm would be coming in, probably the next day, when I was meant to be riding. High winds, thunderstorms... The last time I was in the DC area, the derecho storm came through, and I didn't want to be out riding in anything even closely resembling that.
I checked with the motel - if I wanted to stay over another day, they had room. I then called the next two motels down the line. The first one was a "you can't change your reservation" reservation, but I called directly and threw myself on their mercy. It worked. The second was easily changed. Let my uncle know I'd be arriving a day later. Then emailed the perm owner. He was totally okay with me riding a day later. Whew.
50 cycling miles for the day.