DC to Chicago by Bike


For summer break this year we flew to DC where Robyn had some training. While Robyn did her training I stayed with my friend John and also hung out with Dave and Caroline, who came down from Boston. Zoë and I did lots of fun tourist stuff in DC.

After Robyn's workshop, we linked up with Chris, Liz and Rory and biked the C&O trail from Georgetown to Cumberland, Maryland. It was a lot of fun to bike with them! From Cumberland, Liz and Chris returned to Florida. We continued on to Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Chicago - taking a month to cover a thousand miles.

We finished in southern Chicago at my cousin's place - it was great to see many of my cousins in Chicago!

     We spent a couple of weeks in Madison before starting our trip. Zoë had fun learning and playing chess with my dad.
    I stayed with John in DC, it was so much fun to hang out with him! He makes me laugh!
Hanging out on the "stoop" at John's house was great evening entertainment. Zoë quickly got to be friends with the neighborhood kids. They spent several of their evenings catching lightening bugs.   Dave and Caroline visited me from Boston - it was great to hang with them for a few days!
Building "precious" on John's deck.   Zoë streaming MLK's "I have a dream" speech on the exact spot that he gave it - what a trip! I was a big sissy - I got all choked up!
3D IMAX in the Air and Space museum.   Zoë sketching a horse from an exhibit on the evolution of horses at the Museum of Natural History.
No idea where we took this picture, but I love it.   Starting our bike trip with Chris, Liz and Rory in Georgetown.
I loved having Rory on our trip. Each morning I knew when she was awake because she would shout "Keir! Zoe!" from her tent - actually more like "Kea! Zo!"   The C&O trail from DC to Cumberland was pretty rough on our bums and our tires - lots of flats!
The trail had beautiful, remote, free campsites.    
There were very few towns along the C&O, so we generally pumped water from pumps along the trail. The water was treated with iodine and usually tasted terrible!   Kissing the smooth and gentle asphalt on a paved rail to trail that we took for about 15 miles - a break from the rough C&O trail.
We had a bit of rain! Turns out that Liz's jacket is actually a windbreaker and not waterproof at all!   Liz and Chris packed up their bikes and shipped them home at then end of the C&O trail in Cumberland.
An outlook on the Great Allegheny Passage rail to trail from Cumberland to Pittsburgh.   Our favorite meal while biking in America is always breakfast in a diner!
Journal time on the trail - we try to do a bit of writing, reading and math each day.   Pittsburgh turned out to be an unexpected treat. This place was the Church of Beer - an old church that had been turned into a micro brewery - fermentation vessels covered the altar.
The Carnage Museum of Natural History was fantastic - and empty!   Zoë on a "dig" at the Museum - cool interactive exhibit.
The Cathedral of Learning near our hotel in Pittsburgh - cool building.    
    This is probably the sketchiest motel we stayed at on our trip - Robyn slept in her sleeping bag. The screen was missing from the door of the room, which also smelled like smoke. I never told Robyn, but I think I got bed bugs here.
We bicycled from Pittsburgh to Cleveland. Entering Cleveland, we passed by insane mansions for over 2 hours of bicycling - a relic of bygone prosperous years. We subsequently found out that these mansions now sell for a small fraction of what they would in most places in the country.   In Cleveland, we were delighted with the neighborhood, "Ohio City", which had at least 4 micro breweries and an awesome covered market. This was our favorite microbrewery - Nano Brew.
Playing a giant game of Jenga at Nano Brew.   At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland - a novel museum!
Leaving Cleveland, we got stuck in an insane storm complete with tornado warnings. We holed up in this gas station for two hours - we were scared! During the worst part of the storm the windows started buckling in and everyone moved as far away from them as possible.   Grand Rapids, Ohio, a beautiful small town we passed through.
Our last week through Indiana was so hot and humid we stopped at this post office to sit in the air conditioning for an hour!    
Our bike started to fall apart our last couple of days. Our rear hub and several spokes broke. It (barely) made it into Chicago. As always duct tape saved the day!