Day 7
I rode east from Thornburg on 606 to US 2. I crossed the US 1 / AC route but did not take it into Fredricksburg. Steve S. suggested I ride 2 in and, although I don't think it saved much distance, it was a pleasant and easy ride. I had breakfast at SonnyT's in the 'touristy' part of Fredricksburg. I had a good breakfast sitting outside where I could watch my bike.

By the time I left Fredricksburg, it had started raining. I rode without rain gear for the next 20 miles or so and then, after stopping a country store for a bottle of YooHoo and a nice visit with the proprietor (I do like the Virginia accents - we talked about the bad aspects of development in the area) I used my Campmor cape for the next 30 plus miles. This was riding along the perimeter of Camp Quantico. I stopped for lunch in Aden (nice folks). I had covered 55 miles so far and I still had 50 to go. The rain stopped about this time, although it started up again after I reached Alexandria.

Riding was pretty good until I reached the area south of Alexandria. This area is rapidly being developed as a bedroom are for northern Virginia. It may have been a nice area to ride through a decade ago, but now it is lousy. The 10 miles or so before Alexandria need a better route. High traffic 4 lane highways with obnoxiously rude drivers are not safe places for bicyclist. Yech!

After crossing into Alexandria on 123, things actually improved a lot. It is sort of like Atlanta where it is suicidal to ride the perimeter area, but OK in the city. I tried to follow the AC route over to Mt Vernon, but I lost it where 613 was supposed to leave Telegraph St. There was a detour and lots of construction in that area. Telegraph was quite rideable, and it was heading in the right direction, so I rode it in to just inside the beltway (I-495). At that point I got lucky and exited on Mill Street, which is part of a bike route through Alexandria. I followed that route, stoping to help a local rider with a flat tire, to the Potomac, rode up the river on a bike path and then caught the 4 Mile Run bike path to Arlington. It was raining pretty hard by this time and I was quite tired, so I did manage to get lost near Shirlington. Twice, actually. I did eventually make it to my sisters house.

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