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Adventure you say?

national zoo

Let me put this out there: I’m not one for adventure. Mainly because I’m a huge worry-wart. Which usually means trying new things does not always come easy for me. Actually it depends what you’re asking me to do – try a new restaurant or jump out of a plane and hope the parachute opens? (I’ll do the former, not the latter so much.)

I’m also not an outdoorsy person. I like nature and I do think we need to do our very best to preserve it (which we are not). But that doesn’t mean I enjoy sleeping in it. I’ll take the hotel room over a camp site.

So when Matt asked me last Saturday if we could bike all the way to the National Zoo in DC I hesitated. On the one hand I didn’t want to bike in DC traffic (they drive like crazy people), but on the other hand I didn’t want to be a little sissy yet again. I mulled it over in my over-anxious brain for a minute and then said,

“Ok.”

We hopped on our bikes and headed to metro (we were not going to bike from our place – that’s a little too far). After a few stops and once we made our way into Arlington, we got off metro and headed straight to DC and made our way through Rock Creek Park. Out we popped right into the National Zoo. Once inside, we managed to park our bikes and walked around for a good 1-2 hours.

Sadly, we did not see the pandas (there’s a new baby panda!). But we did get to see the gorillas, orangutans, reptiles, and a cheetah. It was a little sad, though, seeing them caged up like that.

Afterwards we hopped back onto our bikes and made our way to one of the stations in DC to head back into Arlington where we had a bite to eat. Then we finally headed home around 7:30pm. We biked a total of about 13 miles and didn’t get back home until after the sun had set.

I feel more confident biking in traffic now, although I won’t do it that often. But it gave me a chance to get out of my comfort zone.

The following day brought the start of a cold. I was hoping it was just allergies from being outside and biking. But oh no, it’s a full on cold. I guess I won’t be biking anywhere for a few days now. Just when I was getting the hang of it all…

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12 Comments Post a comment
  1. San #

    What a great day trip. I am glad you said “yes” to the adventure 🙂

    Also, I used to bike (in traffic) EVERYWHERE in Germany, no problem. Here, even in bike-friendlier CA, I am very hesistant to bike on the streets (well, that’s why I don’t own a bike right now either), because I feel like drivers are not as aware and trained to look out for bikers in traffic (and then the few bikers that you see on the streets give bikers in general a really bad name, because most of them don’t obey the traffic rules…. they should be fined for it!! In Germany, you have to take a bike test in elementary school that certifies you as “fit to participate in traffic”, oh, and you’ll be fined if you run a red light or something… sorry, rules apply to everybody!).

    September 23, 2015
    • Marie #

      I have been pretty hesitant here too. But over the past couple of years, DC and some of the counties in Virginia and Maryland have been marking bike lanes and putting up signs. Slowly drivers are getting used to bikers on the road which is what is also making things easier. I know our county is putting our tax dollars towards making the area even more bike and pedestrian friendly (which I’m happy about!). So thing should improve even more.

      That’s amazing you guys got tested! Maybe that’ll happen here one day? (Likely not since this country is so reliant on cars.)

      September 23, 2015
  2. San #

    Oh, I forgot: hope you feel better!! ❤

    September 23, 2015
    • Marie #

      Thank you!

      September 23, 2015
  3. dawn #

    Yay for biking! I miss being able to just jump on my bike and go anywhere. Good for you for getting out of your comfort zone!

    September 23, 2015
    • Marie #

      Thanks lady!

      September 23, 2015
  4. Biking is the perfect way to have a little adventure. Sounds like you had a great time.

    And do feel better soon! Colds literally are the worst.

    September 23, 2015
    • Marie #

      Thank you!!

      September 23, 2015
  5. Hope you feel better!

    I wouldn’t want to ride in DC traffic either. Actually, I don’t like riding in traffic anywhere. Most drivers don’t know what to do with bikers, speaking as one that used to ride in Philly on weekends. I always dreaded the times when we had to share the road.

    But good you got out of your comfort zone. That’s what’s most important. As for the pandas, they are a rare sighting because that exhibit is always packed.

    September 23, 2015
    • Marie #

      Thanks Lisa!

      I think that’s mostly the issue – drivers are unsure how to drive around bikers. I noticed it has gotten better in DC because of the many bike lanes and drivers seem to be more aware. In VA where we live there are more and more bike lanes as well which is helpful (plus the trails). But still while on a bike, you have to be hyper-aware of your surroundings at all times.

      I swear one of these days I’m going to catch a sighting of the pandas (and make sure to go there when the exhibit is open since it wasn’t when we went)!

      September 24, 2015
  6. YOU DIDN’T SEE THE PANDAS?!?! Shameful!!

    September 30, 2015
    • Marie #

      I’m SO disappointed YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW! I might have to camp there and basically stalk them until they bring the pandas out. I mean that’ll work right?

      September 30, 2015

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