Day 8: Silver Spring to Pentagon City, VA

Yesterday morning, I got up around 7:20. Judy had already gone to work. I packed my things, ate a bowl of cereal, and chatted with Brandi one more time before saying goodbye.

The night before, Judy told me that I’ll be robbed 100% in Central America when I’m bike touring there, but most likely I will not get killed. That’s a bit scary. I might have to rethink my cycling plans when I get near there.

When I was riding, I got the same fatigue symptoms as the morning before. My eyes would get very sleepy and I had trouble keeping them open. I felt I needed to take a nap, but there’s no place to take one. I don’t know think it’s the sunlight and the wind that caused this. It must be something wrong with me. Perhaps I need to eat a bigger, more fulfilling breakfast before I start my ride? I’m not sure.

Komoot took me to Devere Loop Trail. I thought it’s a bike trail, but it looked too narrow to be one. I went on it anyway since I was just following the directions. As it turned out, I entered the third level of hell. If rain and hills were first and second levels of hell, then hiking trail is the third level. I had to push my bike up narrow hills, carry my bike over rocks and stream crossings. I ended up walking my bike for over an hour on this hiking trail. After making a wrong turn, I need to get out of there quickly and not waste any more time. I pushed my bike up steep hills and finally was able to get on the local road. That was something I don’t want to do ever again!

In the third level of hell: hiking trail

I arrived in Takoma around 11 AM. Finally, a town where I can get some rest! I’m supposed to meet my friend Nick in Washington, DC, at 1 PM, but I decided to grab a chicken salad sandwich anyway at the Takoma Bev Co. Thirty minutes later, I was rested and rejuvenated.

Takoma Bev Co

As I got closer to DC the roads had dedicated bike lanes. I was very glad since there are a lot of cars going in and out of DC. I reached the White House around 12:15 PM, then rode to the Washington Monument to take a photo. A nice man took a picture of me with my bike. I walked my bike to the Smithsonian metro station and waited for Nick to arrive.

In front of the White House

The Washington Monument

Nick was right on time and arrived at 1. It started to drizzle a bit and we walked to a Chinese noodle restaurant called Wasai. We both had noodle soups with beef. It was really good since noodles are my favorite.

Hand-shaved noodle soup with beef

It was still raining when we finished lunch. Nick suggested that it’s hard to get to places with me walking my bike, so we decided to split up and I’ll meet at his apartment in Pentagon City.

It was about a 30 minute bike ride to Nick’s. After sorting out where to store my bike with the concierge, Nick and I chilled in his apartment for a few hours. I also did my laundry.

We decided not to go back into DC since it was getting late. For dinner, we had Mexican food at Rosa Mexicano across the street from where Nick lives. I had the Birria Quesatacos that was really good.

Dinner with Nick

I’ve been blessed with all the good food I’ve had on the trip so far and haven’t even cooked my instant ramen, yet. I have a feeling I will do that soon.

After dinner, Nick and I walked to Target so I can buy a box of Clif bars and some floss. Then we got ice cream at Mimi’s. I had the espresso flavor hoping that the caffeine can keep me up a little during the night since Nick is a night owl.

After strolling back to the apartment, I watched a couple of YouTube videos, then Nick and I played some games on the Nintendo Switch. I ended up going to sleep a little after 9 PM. The tatami mat felt very comfortable and I had a very restful night of sleep.

This morning, Nick made some Vietnamese coffee and a pop-tart  while I’m finishing this post.

Today is a rest day. I plan on going into DC and visit a museum or two before meeting Nick for dinner.