A couple of weeks ago, I installed some Speedplay Frog pedals on Big Nellie, my Tour Easy recumbent. I like them a lot, mostly because they feel like they aren’t there. So I decided to try them on Little Nellie, my Bike Friday New World Tourist. I needed a short-ish, easy ride to test them out.
Kristen was looking for folks tor ride with. She was doing a ride to add some miles to her office’s National Bike Challenge team total. She put out the call to meet at Pierce Mill in Rock Creek Park. Despite the fact that I have spent the last two Sunday’s in Rock Creek Park I decided to join the ride. Unlike the prior two weekends, I drove to the park instead of riding,
The original plan was to ride a big loop up the park to the Georgetown Branch Trail. We’d take the GBT to the Capital Crescent Trail. The CCT would take us to the Georgetown riverfront. From there we’d ride on the dilapidated trail back up to the start. We eventually decided to ride up the park to Woodbine Road. Then we’d make our way on the streets of Chevy Chase, Maryland. Then we’d take the new-ish Bethesda Trolley Trail. As it turned out, the BTT led us to a coffee stop in North Bethesda. From there we took side paths and streets back down to Rock Creek Park at Garrett Park.
The weather was incrementally muggier than last Sunday but we were spinning at an easy pace. Our group consisted of Ted and Jean, Kristen, her co-worker Chris, Ryan, and me. Twas a loquacious posse. We chattered and pedalled up the windy road, shaded by the canopy of green. As we spun our way through Chevy Chase, I admired the tastefully modest million-dollar homes. Ryan pointed out one house that deviated from the modesty theme; it looked like a white castle (not the restaurant, an actual castle with towers and ramparts and a moat).
We wiggled and waggled until we found ourselves at Bethesda Row. Ryan led us to the Trolley Trail and we followed it through parks, down sidewalks, and between housing developments. I was thoroughly lost. We stopped as luck would have it about a block from White Flint Mall. We checked our phone maps and saw that instead of turning around and heading back to Bethesda we could ride around the mall and take a small park trail to Garrett Park. During our search for the trail, my compadres found a cafe. After some coffee and a bite to eat, we headed over to Garrett Park, a neighborhood that takes traffic calming concepts to the max. Over the railroad tracks and down another park trail and we were back in Rock Creek Park.
The gentle downhill made for a fun easy ride. Traffic was light. One deer, then another cross the street in front of us. Big animal, small brain. (I’m refering to the deer not myself.)
Windy, gently rollling Beach Drive took us all the way back to the start.
At the end of the ride, I drove Kristen home so she didn’t have to ride up the imposing hill on Tilden Street. I lifted her bike to place it in the rack on my car. Dang. It’s a Mule!!! I have been impressed with her ability to ride up hills but now I am doubly so.
The verdict on the Frogs is thumbs up. Way up. I climb much better with them and I never once came close to falling over from not clipping out.
Some pix from the ride are on my Flickr page.