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  • ajenn3

A disappointing end...

Day 21: Columbia to Washington DC (27.86 mi)

I meet a lot of people while bike touring: at campsites, in restaurants/bars, at gas stations, grocery stores, and on the street. In all the conversations I've had, the most common phrase I hear is "stay safe". I wonder what that says about our car culture, how different would our mobility system and infrastructure need to be so that phrase would instead be "have fun"?

Final destination, our nation's capital

Regrettably, I have decided to end my bike tour. I had two near death experiences today; in the first case I was approaching a blind four-way intersection (vision of perpendicular traffic blocked by trees) on a freeway. As I approached the intersection to cross under a green light, a vehicle traveling 60-70 MPH blew through the intersection perpendicular to me (running the red light). If I were 5-10 feet faster, I'd be dead. The second experience, I was literally run off the road by a pickup truck. On the same freeway, there was an on-ramp which I had to cross (since I was on the shoulder). I saw the truck coming from a fairly safe distance and I started to cross the lane, the truck then proceeded to speed up in the middle of the lane. I caught a glimpse of him bearing down on me in my mirror and had to veer to the right at the last second to avoid being run over and I think the truck actually clipped my fenders or tent poles behind my bike. At that point, I was pretty unmotivated to continue biking.


I'm pretty disappointed, and perhaps my younger self would continue onwards. However, there are other factors contributing to my decision as well: continuing knee pain, fairly intense heat, and a fairly sobering COVID situation throughout most of the areas I would be biking through. Perhaps I will continue the tour in the future under more ideal conditions and circumstances, but as of today I'll be hanging up my touring bike for a while. Thanks to all my friends who either hosted me or travelled out of the way to meet me on my tour, you were definitely the highlight of this trip!

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3 comentarios


Jean Ji
Jean Ji
13 ago 2021

So sorry to hear what happened to you on the trip, Alan!! I'm glad that you are safe and have had fun on this trip! It has been a lot of fun following your blog! 🚲

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Nick Pappas
Nick Pappas
13 ago 2021

Alan, you're an awesome athlete with amazing ambition and follow through. I hope you'll find ways to continue with bike adventure off road. Your experience today is horrific, and also all too common and reflects a disgusting mentality poisoning the minds of drivers, many city planners, and all too many electeds at the local, state, and federal level. I hope we will see change in our lifetimes.

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grmiller
grmiller
12 ago 2021

Sorry to hear that you'll have to cut the trip short, but I think I would have made the same decision, and I'm glad that you survived your near-death experiences with vehicles. One thing I learned living in DC is that Maryland drivers have a reputation for not being the best road-sharers. It's been great reading your updates though!

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