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The Back Roads

Early morning view of the Washington Monument from the tidal basin bridge

I love my (ridiculously short) bike commute more than almost anything. But despite my love for the bicycle, I don't often get out on long weekend rides.

I've been socializing with the randonneuring set recently, and like any typical ultrarunner, I'm easily talked into feats that sound daunting yet too fun to miss.

I signed Hubz and myself up for our first century ride, the Back Roads Century in September!

I can't wait to log some serious miles on my Specialized Dolce Elite. It's so light and nimble, truly a joy to pedal.

Have you ridden a century? I'm accepting all kinds of tips, tricks, advice and favorite routes.

Also, there's nothing better than meeting up with friends to spin a few hourse away. That's how I became friends with the incomparable Katie. Who's up for a morning ride on Thursday?

I wonder just how many loops of Hains Point I've done?

Intensive French

I'm headed off to Paris in August!

For the next two weeks I'll be spending three hours every weeknight in Intensive French class.

I'm very excited about the trip, and about learning to speak un peu Francais

Feel free to tell me any great books I should read, movies I should see, or places I must visit while I'm there. 

My current reading

A Summer Tradition

Every year on July 4th, a small contingent of the VHTRC gathers for the Browntown run. 

View from an overlook along the Bluff Trail in Shenandoah National Park

We all run some lovely trails together, stopping at a few overlooks for fantastic views and a few photos. Then the group breaks up.

Some run the traditional route and stop by the little country store in Browntown. Some eschew the road and store for pure trail, staying within the boundaries of Shenandoah National Park. 

The breeze was strong and cool. We were reluctant to leave.

Some members of Team Gaylord

Me and Drew

The trails lead us through lots of blackberry bushes. Mmm!

Some are lucky enough to spy a black bear.

This year, our group spotted a luna moth.

Luna moth alongside the trail

At the end we gather, sit in a nice cool creek, share snacks, rehydrate and tell trail stories.

However you celebrated Independence Day, I hope it was with good friends.