Locked out of the house

The weather forecast for the week is looking to be perfect for cycling. The heavy rain earlier in week passed through D.C. on Thursday night and early Friday morning. It appeared that we had dodged the bullet.

I was feeling pretty good yesterday. The logistics of getting the bikes, people and supplies to D.C. was moving along smoothly. The SAG truck was loaded with bikes. The transition from my SUV to a rental SUV in Pittsburgh was effortless and fast. We were well on our way when we stopped for lunch just east of Pittsburgh.

It was at that point that our plans would change. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Conservancy left an urgent voice-mail on my phone. The National Park Service had ordered all lockhouses on the first 60 miles of the canal evacuated for the weekend due to the threat of flooding. This was very bad news for our group. Our first three nights accommodations were in two of these lockhouses.

After a panicked lunch, the group went into planning mode to overcome this setback. Three years ago on my last tour I had stayed at the Doubletree Bethesda. Checking the hotel website, it was available for our two Washington D.C. nights at a decent rate. Problem solved for Friday and Saturday. It is convenient, just off the Capitol Crescent Trail. The eight miles into Georgetown is an easy cycle.

imageRight now I am pondering our options for our Sunday ride on the C&O. I am monitoring trail closures and flooding. Sunday is our first day of cycling west. I suspect we will encounter some mud and storm damage. I am hoping that the trail is passable and there are no closures. It’s a game of wait and see.

There are several lodging alternatives to consider. Since the towns along the trail are very small, we will need to venture a few miles off to find lodging. Right now I am considering Frederick where there are many hotels. I am also tempted to cycle another 10 miles on to Harper’s Ferry. Logistically, this is the best for the group. The downside would be more miles on a muddy storm damaged trail.

Right now, it looks to be a beautiful day of cycling the Mall and touring our nation’s Capitol by bike. Some time today I need to settle on a safe and doable option to get us out of D.C. and 50-60 miles west on Sunday night.

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