Comments on Improving the Mount Vernon Trail and the George Washington Memorial Parkway

The George Washington Memorial Parkway, despite its name, includes many other facilities besides the roadway. This component of the National Park System is a hodgepodge of disparate things that were thrown together years ago. One of these facilities is the Mount Vernon Trail. Plans are underway to rebuild the Parkway and Trail. Parkway construction upriver from Washington has already begun. The Park Service is taking comments from the public as part of the project’s required environmental assessment (EA). I took the opportunity to provide some. (I subsequently made one more comment that I neglected to save.) A few comments relate to the roadway, most discuss opportunities to improve the trail.

As the comments show, I am not a big fan of the GWMP administration. It’s nothing personal. Like the rest of the National Park System, the GWMP is grossly underfunded and has been for at least a couple of decades. Cutting taxes has its consequences. The problem which I will discuss in a future post go well beyond funding.


I am a 39 year resident of Northern Virginia and a 33 year resident of Mount Vernon. I have logged tens of thousands of miles on the Mount Vernon Trail on my bike. Years ago I also used the trail for running. Before retiring in 2017., I commuted by bike year round from roughly mile 5 to DC and Rosslyn. I am a long time member of the Washington Area Bicyclists Association and the Adventure Cycling Association.

The trail is subject to flooding in the Dyke Marsh area, about 1 mile south of Alexandria. In the area immediately north of the long wooden bridge, the depth of the water already approaches one foot (it came over the top of my hiking boots while I was riding through it on the way to work one morning). You may want to refer to the re-routing of the trail north of Slaters Lane about 25 years ago. Any trail improvements must include raising the trail. At today’s water levels, a few inches is insufficient in Dyke Marsh and many other areas. Future water levels will surely be higher and the trail redesign should take this into account. In addition to the Dyke Marsh area the trail should be raised wherever the trail is in close proximity to the river as it is in spots south of Fort Hunt Park,  in the Daingerfield Island area, on the northbound approach to the Memorial Bridge, and between the Memorial and TR bridges.

The trail needs proper drainage. Especially in the area north of Northdown Road. The trail in this area is subject to stretches of black ice in winter. In the short term this area would benefit from signage that warns users of icy conditions on the trail. (The current signage only refers to bridges.)

The trail needs to be level, except where curves in the trail require otherwise.  In many places the trail is canted toward the river, presumably to provide drainage. The slant in the trail causes inexperienced riders to veer off the trail and is particularly hard on runners’ knees.

The 2020 NPS report on the trail did not properly consider trail use during non-daylight hours. There are numerous areas where southbound nighttime riders are blinded by the headlights of northbound vehicles on the Parkway including along the pinch spot near the auxiliary runway at DCA, at the oxbow at Daingerfield Island, and at the southern most point of the Four Mile Run bridge. I have nearly hit other trail users because of this and have witnessed collisions. This is a BIG problem for commuters. In the short term, inexpensive remedies such as snow fences or other barriers such as bushes should be installed.

The trail surface needs to be treated in winter. Just like the Parkway. Trail users can’t safely commute on ice and snow anymore than drivers can.

Light use of the trail in Fairfax County is not a reason to delay the renovation of the trail. Light use is a consequence of neglected maintenance and the shoddy condition of the trail. 

The trail is part of several long distance bicycle touring routes.There is no viable alternative to the Mount Vernon Trail for north-south bicycle tourists in the DC area. Bike tourists (and others) have complained to me that the condition of the trail is so bad that they asked me for alternatives. One southbound tourist I talked with was even considering riding south on US1 in Fairfax County.The extensive damage to the trail south of the Beltway constitutes an unsafe condition for park visitors and needs immediate attention. I have advised Adventure Cycling of the trail conditions so they may warn their members.

Most of the bridges on the trail are made of wood. Other surfaces need to be considered. A particular shortcoming is the fact that the wooden bridges cannot support emergency vehicles or maintenance vehicles such as those used to plow snow or spread surface treatments in winter. To avoid damage to a wooden bridge. I once guided an ambulance carrying a crash victim in reverse about 1/4 mile up the trail to Northdown Road. At a minimum the Park Service should establish access points for emergency responders so that this doesn’t happen.

The trail now functions (if it didn’t already in the past) as a fifth lane of the GW Parkway and should be maintained, operated, and funded as such in the future. When the Parkway incurs damage that is dangerous to motorists, the damage is repaired and removed promptly. This hasn’t been the case with the trail for many years. Contracts for trail storm damage remediation should be in place year round. For example, there is extensive trail damage between Alexandria Ave and Tulane Drive. A massive root ball and  tree trunk have obstructed the trail since late 2020 (or earlier). The damage worsened after a January 2022 storm. obstructing the trail. One half of the trail is obstructed. (Would you allow a lane on the Parkway to be in this condition for this long? Bridge 19 was damaged by a fallen tree in January 2022. It is missing a section of railing and two other sections of railing were damaged. The Park Service should at least install some yellow safety tape to alert trail users of the hazard.) And there is extensive washboard from root heaves and potholes from one end of the trail to the other. 

Over a decade ago the Park Service considered building a bypass at Gravelly Point. For visitor safety, the bypass obviously is needed and should be built as part of this project. The airplane viewing area is one of the busiest parts of the trail and a permanent restroom facility is needed here. Porta potties are inconsistent with the aesthetics of the GWMP. 

Much of the routine maintenance of the trail is now performed by volunteers, many of whom are affiliated with The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail. For all their hard work, the Friends provide only one full time equivalent worker each year to trail maintenance. The Park Service doesn’t even fund their equipment. This is not nearly enough. Much of the work they do used to be performed by park employees and landscape contractors. Unlike DC, we have no Trail Rangers on this side of the river. In the short term the Park Service should amend its landscape contracts to require edging of the trail. (The contractors currently do this on the loop road in Fort Hunt Park.)

Recent re-striping of the Parkway between Tulane Drive and Morningside Lane runs along the right side of the roadway. In the area leading up to Morningside, this section of the road floods on a regular basis. In winter this often turns into thick ice. The striping should be moved to the left lane (as it is at Alexandria Avenue) for safety.

Turning north onto the Parkway at Morningside Lane is inherently dangerous. Absent installing a traffic light, I recommend eliminating this turn.

The situation at Belle Haven Road and Belle View Boulevard cries out for much more than some paint, stop signs, and flexposts. Unless legislation specifically prohibits them, traffic lights should be installed. Absent that, traffic circles of the type used on nearby Oxon Hill Road south of the outlet mall should be considered. 

At-grade crossings for bicyclists and pedestrians are not likely to succeed. Build a bike/ped overpass that connects to the trail. Even an at-grade crossing should have a paved connection to the trail. And flashing lights that are passively activated such as at the northbound Parkway approach to the Memorial Bridge should be included in the design.

The entrances to the trail at Daingerfield Island and Belle Haven Marina merit stop signs for motorists. Trail users’ safety should take precedence over motorists’ convenience. (I was hit by a car on the trail at Porto Vecchio condominium a few years ago. After I presented testimony at a city meeting, the city changed the signage and traffic light sequence.) 

Oxbows such as the one at the old Bridge 12 location near Fort Hunt Park are inherently dangerous. The similar trail configuration at Bridge 1 should be removed as part of the rebuilt trail. I crashed there and my injuries resulted in a visit to the Mount Vernon Hospital emergency room. My bicycle was ruined. This bridge and the approach from Mount Vernon replaced an even more dangerous original design. Clearly, half measures are not enough to ensure public safety. Another oxbow exists at Daingerfield Island. This one does not involve a bridge but I have witnessed far too many crashes and near misses as south-bound bicyclists come downhill into a sharp curve. A simple solution is to make the approaches gradual. This would also bypass the area of flooding immediately south of the oxbow.

In general, changes to the road and trail that improve visitor safety are in the public interest and should be given precedence over aesthetics. 

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this project. Feel free to contact me for clarification of any of these points.


Butt My Face

I’ve finally come to the end of 2022’s medical merry-go-round. A few days ago I received the report about my colonoscopy. I had one polyp biopsied. It was pre-cancerous which is no big deal but it does mean that I get to have another colonoscopy in three years. That’s about what I expected.

Today I went back to the dermatologist. He froze five more lesions from my face. That’s 16 fewer than last time. At this pace he’ll be putting them back on in a few months. Basically, the lesions are regarded as precancerous so they have to go. He prescribed some hydrocortisone cream that he expects will help clear up my skin. I’m supposed to use it until my skin improves. Since I really don’t know what that looks like, I intend to use it for a while then stop. (Prolonged use is not recommended.) Then I’ll go back to see him in 2024.

I think that my entire body is precancerous. Maybe I should rename this blog A Few Lesions Shy of a Tumor.

Humor beats tumor.

Now it’s time to inflict the medical merry-go-round on my bikes. First up is The Mule. Touring is hard on a bike, Although it rides wonderfully, The Mule needs quite a lot of work. I’ve pretty much destroyed the bar tape, fenders, chain, and cassette. The front rim, rear mini-v-brake, and brake pads need looking at. The wheels need to be trued. Hopefully nothing is cancerous.

Once The Mule is back in the stable, I’ll take the CrossCheck in for its annual maintenance. Same deal: chain, cassette, and bar tape. The front brake cable seems to be catching when I apply the brakes. Everything else works fine. My only complaint is the weird notch in the front rim. It tends to catch brake pads. I’ll probably live with it until I wear it out.

Big Nellie gets less use and has 2 1/2 chains so the chains and cassette tend to last longer. I’ll take a closer look at this bike in March when I bring it out of the basement.

Viewing in 2022

January

The Rescue

The Tender Bar

Eternals

Encanto

February

Jim Allison, Breakthrough

The Book of Boba Fett

March

Le Vent du Nord (Live concert)

April

Not a thing

May

Ditto

June

Ditto

July

The Bucket List

The Fundamentals of Caring

A bunch of Top Gear episodes

August

Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness

Obi Wan Kenobi

September

Thor – Love and Thunder

Ms. Marvel

She Hulk

October

Andor

Anxious People

November

The Crown

December

Call Me by Your Name

Glass Onion

If These Walls Could Sing

The Snowman

The Banshees of Inisherin

Bullet Train

Georgetown

With the notable exception of Andor and maybe Obi Wan Kenobi, I would like to have all the time I spent watching Marvel and Star Wars films and series back. The Rescue and Jim Allison, Breakthrough were great documentaries. If These Walls Could Sing wasn’t a bad one either. Anxious People, a miniseries from Fredrick Bachman, took a while to get going but was worth it in the end. Encanto is fun but we don’t talk about Bruno. Bullet Train was a pleasant, goofy, gory surprise. The Banshees of Inisherin was entertaining, if dour. The new season of The Crown was a disappointment.

Reading in 2022

In addition to reading National Geographic and Adventure Cycling Magazine cover to cover every month, I read 30 books, an eclectic mix. Seven were re-reads of the Diva novellas by Delacorta. They did not age well but were fun to revisit regardless. I read The Road years ago and hated it. I liked it much more this time around, although it’s still very depressing. Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club books are great fun. Icebound was a pleasant surprise. (I hate the cold but love a good our-ship-got-stuck-in-the-ice tale.) All The Light We Cannot See deserves all the praise. As does The Poisonwood Bible. Many of these were bought for me as gifts, not a bad one in the bunch.

January

The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

The Family Upstairs – Lisa Jewell

The Man Who Died Twice – Richard Osman

The Lyrics – Paul McCartney

Icebound – Andrea Pitzer

February

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens

March

About Grace – Anthony Doerr

Diva, Nana, and Luna – Delacorta

April

Lola, Vida, and Nada – Delacorta

May

Alba – Delacorta

June

None. On Tour.

July

The Things They Carried – Tim O;Brien

Horseman Pass By – Larry McMurtry

August

Two Wheels Good – Jody Rosen

September

The Guest List – Lucy Foley

How the Post Office Created America – Winifred Gallagher

84 Charing Cross Road – Helene Hanff

The Post Roads Act of 1866 – Bob Cannon

The Maid – Nita Prose

October

Cloud Cuckoo Land – Anthony Doerr

November

The Young Terrorist – Nabil Khouri

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

December

The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees – Barbara Kingsolver

The Bullet That Missed – Richard Osman.

Riding in 2022

I managed to ride 11,355 miles in 2022. About half of that was on The Mule (my Specialized Sequoia touring bike). Here’s a look by month and by bike. Note the teeny bit of riding on my Bike Friday New World Tourist. It’s a fine bike but I need to sell it for something I will ride more often.

For those of you who think you need a new bike, think again. Here are the odometer readings from December 31, 2022. All four bikes still work great.

End of 2022 Odometer Readings. Clockwise from upper left: The Mule, The CrossCheck, Little Nellie, Big (Old) Nellie. 165,869 total. #specializedsequoia #surlycrosscheck #Bikefriday #Newworldtourist #Toureasy
Clockwise from top left: The Mule (1991 Specialized Sequoia), The CrossCheck, Little Nellie (My New World Tourist folding travel bike), and Big Nellie – aka Old Nellie (My Tour East recumbent)

December by the Numbers

Biking

As one would expect, I toned down my bike riding for the month of December. I logged only 612 miles, mostly on my CrossCheck. I brought Big Nellie inside so that I could avoid riding in inclement weather.

Reading

When I wasn’t riding I was reading. I am sworn to not buy new books during December so that my wife and daughter don’t have to run off to the bookstore to return a Christmas gift. (My daughter says that I am easy to buy for. Books, Bikes, Beer.) To avoid this annoyance, I bought a paperback copy of The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. All I knew about it was that it had been on best sellers lists forever not long ago. It’s the tale of a Christian missionary who moves his family from small town Georgia to a village in the Belgian Congo in 1959. The story is told from the alternating points of view of his wife and four daughters. (Oddly, my second book of the year that uses this multiple narration device. Cloud Cuckoo Land was the other.) It’s a complex story with layers upon layers of detail. Definitely one of the best novels I’ve read in recent years.

With time remaining until Christmas, I read Kingsolver’s first novel, The Bean Trees. It’s not in the same class as Poisonwood but still an enjoyable read.

For Christmas I received four books, two from my wish list and two surprises. I immediately read Richard Osman’s The Bullet That Missed, the third and latest in his Thursday Murder Club series. Unlike the bullet, this book doesn’t miss. Loved it.

Watching

I watched If These Walls Could Sing , a documentary about the legendary Abbey Road recording studio in London. It’s produced my Mary McCartney, Paul’s daughter, who was is seen as a baby on the rug of Studio 2 presumably during a Beatles recording session. (She’s also the baby peeking out of her dad’s coat on the cover of his first solo album.) The film, of course, spends a good deal of time on the Beatles who recorded most of their music there. But the history of the place is a rich one, going back to when it first opened in 1931. Along the way we hear about an incredible array of music that was produced there including classical, rock, pop, film themes, film scores, and Afrobeat.

On Christmas Eve, we watched Glass Onion, under the presumption that each of us liked it’s predecessor, Knives Out. It turns out that none of us was really keen on Knives and even less so about Glass. After that, we watched The Snowman on YouTube. (The original version, not the one narrated by David Bowie.) It’s a family tradition in our house.

On Christmas night, we watched The Banshees of Inisherin. Gloomy. Moody. Exceptionally well acted. Subtitles came in handy as the Irish accents are pretty strong.

On the night of the 27th, we watched Bullet Train, a Brad Pitt movie that sends up genre after genre. Funny as hell. Don’t watch this with the kiddies though. Lots of blood and gore all done for a laugh. Monty Python meets Sam Peckinpah meets Strangers on a Train meets dozens of Japanese culture gags.

The next night we watched Georgetown, about a man who offs his socialite wife in Georgetown, DC. To be honest, I slept through most of it. My wife and daughter said I didn’t miss much.

Other Amusements

Then there was the fun stuff. Early in the month my wife, daughter, and I drove to Salem. Massachusetts to attend a surprise party for my brother Joe’s 70th birthday. Remarkably, his wife and sons pulled off the surprise. For me it was a surreal experience seeing some of his old classmates whom I hadn’t seen since the 1970s.

For more fun I had my fifth colonoscopy which seemed much more of an ordeal than the previous four. Ugh.

Pictures of the Year 2022

Finally. After 4 months!
I finally was placed on the Registry of Foreign Births. Officially Irish after a 3+ year wait. It took a few more months to get this nifty EU passport.
Jim, hotel proprietor and lock buster
I locked my bike up outside a the Colonnade Hotel in Fort Scott, Kansas. The lock froze but Jim the proprietor pulled out a hacksaw and saved the day.
Storm debris pile -early January 2022
We had our first bona fide snow storm in several years. After the snow melted we piled up the debris. This does not include the massive silver maple that dropped a huge chunk of wood that missed Gin’s car by inches. Alas, the tree has been cut down.
With Rachel in Redmond, Oregon
Always great to see a BikeDC expat in the wild. Rachel tracked me down in Redmond, Oregon. We went out for nachos and beer because we are classy. Thanks for stopping by Rachel
Approaching McKenzie Pass
Climbing to the top of McKenzie Pass in Oregon – Photo by Mark Ferwerda.

Corey, me and Mark at the Mother Ship
Made it to the mother ship again. This time with Corey (L) and Mark,
IMG_7769
Cruising on to Alaska Avenue on my 14th 50 States Ride – Photo by Patti Heck. Used with permisson.
The 2022 50 States Ride posse at the Cathedral Heights pit stop. Everyone finished.
The 50 States posse!
We have a winner! I tested myself twice. So far it feels like I have a cold in my nose. Luckily I have a doctor appointment tomorrow anyway
I must have let my guard down once too often. I tested positive for Covid-19 when I got home from my tour. Thanks to being vaccinated four times my case was very mild.
Dude wouldn’t give me a stop sign.
I May Be Old, But I’m Slow
End of 2022 Odometer Readings. Clockwise from upper left: The Mule, The CrossCheck, Little Nellie, Big (Old) Nellie. 165,869 total. #specializedsequoia #surlycrosscheck #Bikefriday #Newworldtourist #Toureasy

Top Ten for 2022

This year turned out to be a relief, mostly a relief from the pandemic. It was also rather uneventful.

  1. The year began with the receipt of paperwork making me an Irish citizen. I immediately sent away for a passport which arrived in early May. I don’t really need a second passport but it is my understanding that it’s good for a discount at the Guinness brewery in Baltimore.
  2. January brought a whopper of a snowstorm, the first in many years. The magnificent maple tree next door split near its base and landed an impressive tree chunk inches from Mrs. Rootchopper’s car. A few weeks later, the neighbors had the tree removed. We missed its blazing colors this fall. On the plus side, we now have a sunny kitchen.
  3. We travelled to St. Charles, Missouri to attend my niece Irene’s wedding. After the wedding the bridal party came down with Covid. We were spared. For the next two months I managed to avoid the virus despite travelling among the great unmasked out West. Alas, my luck ran out when I got back home. I came down with Covid and had strange symptoms. My ears were stuffed up for a week. Otherwise, I had a very mild case and, with the help of four Pfizer vaccinations and Paxlovid, I recovered in a few days.
  4. After a two-year hiatus thanks to the pandemic, I launched on another bike tour. This one began in St. Charles, Missouri and ended nearly 3,500 miles later in Portland, Oregon. The first half was solo and included an epic day fighting 50-mile per hour crosswinds in Kansas. In Canon City, Colorado I hooked up with Corey and Mark, whom I met on my 2019 bike tour, for the second half. The highlight of the trip was the final mountain climb up and over McKenzie Pass in Oregon. Definitely one of the top ten rides of my life. I managed to intercept Keith Adams, whom I met on my first 50 States Ride, in Eastern Oregon (or maybe western Idaho, it’s all a blur). Keith was riding from Bend, OR to Cody, WY. A few days later I met up with Rachel Cannon, another 50 States posse alum, and consumed talk, nachos, and beer in Redmond, OR.
  5. When I got home from my bike tour, I found that all my pants fell off whenever I put them on. My first physical in three or four years confirmed that my weight had dropped over 20 pounds on the trip. Thankfully, I have some stretchy belts to keep me from flashing the neighbors.
  6. My physical included some blood work results that were rather upsetting. I started eating more sensibly, avoiding junk food, eating less red meat, and such. I also started eating almonds and Brazil nuts which are supposed to lower cholesterol. My cholesterol fell from the 270s to the 220s in three months. My weight also fell another eight pounds. Dang. In retrospect, having all my slacks altered in the spring was not such a great idea.
  7. For the 14th time, I gathered a posse of friends old and new and rode the 50 States Ride in DC in September. We had a stellar time and I only fell once. (I got a boo boo on my elbow.)
  8. Most of the posse returned for the Cider Ride in November, during which I learned that celery is a bodacious dentrifice. This info will come in handy whenever I need to brush my teeth at the farmer’s market,
  9. Earlier this year I couldn’t walk a half mile without back pain. At the end of the bike tour, I needed to walk around Portland and found that I could walk a mile without pain. Alas, schlepping my baggage through National Airport brought the pain back. After much hemming and hawing, I decided that rather than have surgery, I’ll live with the pain and accept that I am now officially old.
  10. Tickets to Washington Nationals baseball games were dirt cheap. This had something to do with them trading away Juan Soto, their last star player, and others, and ending the year with the worst record in baseball. On the plus side, we attended a minor league game at The Dunk, Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford.
  11. I managed to ride 11,355 miles, my fifth 10,000-mile year in a row.

It’s Not Paranoia if They’re Out to Get You

I woke up this morning to light rain and moderate temperatures. I briefly thought of riding to Friday Coffee Club in DC. Normally it would take a bit over an hour to get there then another hour plus of hanging out before riding home at 10 or 10:30. I checked the hourly forecast. It called for a big drop in temperatures around that time. Basically, I’d be racing a crazy cold front all the way home. I decided to forgo the ride and stayed home.

It was the right call. The front came through with lots of blowing and rain and a flicker to the lights. After riding in the basement, I checked the internet. That’s when I learned that around 3 in the morning a beer truck crashed over the Jersey barrier and railing that separates the bike lane from the highway on the 14th Street Bridge. This is on my route to DC.

The cab of the truck made it across the path from the looks of things.

You can’t help but wonder if the beer had fewer hops, this might have been avoided.

Photo from WTOP.com

Spoiled for Soccer

I skipped the World Cup this year. Until today’s final. Holy cow. It was one of the best sporting events I’ve ever seen. I saw a couple of textbook plays by Argentina that blew my mind. One was a goal scored on a series of touch passes that looked like a fast break by the Larry Bird Celtics or the Showtime Lakers. Another was a put back by Lionel Messi who was lurking in front of the goal like Phil Esposito of he old Boston Bruins. France should have won but for an absolutely magnificent save by the Argentine goalie near the end of the game. Lordy.

I’ve seen a lot of sporting events in my life but this World Cup final one was definitely one for the ages. Here are a few others.

The Sixth Game: In September 1974, the Red Sox brought up three rookies from their Pawtucket farm team: Burleson, Rice, and Lynn. I told my father about them and said that they were going to be a great team in 1975. He laughed. Game 6 of the 1975 World Series at Fenway Park was the pinnacle. It was credited with reviving the nation’s interest in baseball. I lived in Boston and drove a cab that summer. The Sox were all any of my fares wanted to talk about. It almost didn’t matter that they lost Game 7.

Hagler vs Hearns: Hagler was New England’s greatest boxer since Marciano. Hearns was called the Hit Man. They battled it out for three rounds that had more action than any three entire bouts anybody had ever seen. It was exhausting to watch.

Celtics vs. Phoenix Game 5: This game went three overtimes. Near the end both the players and the fans were utterly spent. I was watching in a bar in southern New Hampshire. The bar was supposed to close but nobody would leave with the game still going on. They closed the bar and locked us in! Celtics won the game and the next to win the championship.

Nationals World Series 2019: Nearly everything they did worked. They lost all three of their home games and still one the series. That never happens.

USA wins gold: The 1980 mens’ Olympic hockey team really should not have been on the same ice as the European teams but they won. I lived on a hockey floor in a dorm during my freshman year in college. One of the freshman players went on to be the 1980 USA team captain. The icing on the cake was that for once a nice guy finished first.

Red Sox 2004: The Sox hadn’t won the World Series since before my father was born. True to form they were punished for three games in the playoffs by the hated Yankees then pulled off the biggest comeback in history. I was jumping up and down on the couch like a madman. My kids thought I had lost my mind. The Sox went on to win it all.

After the 2004 World Series, I couldn’t watch baseball again for years. I just wasn’t interested. Nothing could top that. It probably helped that we didn’t have a bona fide major league baseball team in DC until 2012. I feel the same way about this year’s World Cup final. I’ll just move on from soccer for a year or so before I watch another game. (Okay, I might just peek at the women’s World Cup final next summer. Just for a bit.) In a way, I felt the same after riding my bike across the country in 2018. I walked around in a dream state for weeks afterward. Despite riding through some of the most jaw dropping scenery in the world, I really didn’t enjoy my 2019 tour. It wasn’t until this year that fun came back.