I had good reason to be thankful for the tailwinds that got me to DC so swiftly – the logistics of arriving in our nation’s capital when the terrorism threat level was high were daunting. Shuttle bus to DC Metro to hotel went smoothly, but tracking down the bike shop I was renting from proved more challenging. By the time I’d sorted out that Big Wheel Bikes, the shop I had reserved my rental from, was in the suburbs, not Georgetown, I was panicking. I rode the metro back out to Arlington, managed to get lost walking to the shop, and when I finally found it, one of the techs was going home early!

Fortunately, they hooked me up with the best bike I’ve ever ridden, an Orbea Orca. I also learned why the techs keep trying to put the seat up too high for me: I show up at the shop in jeans, not my riding shorts. Specifically, I show up in a pair that’s a little baggy at the knees. Not only is that a fashion faux pas, it makes the tech guys think your leg isn’t fully extended.

Finally kitted out, I rode back to headquarters in DC for a pasta dinner and check-in.


Start line in DC at Gonzaga College High School


Our route to Annapolis, plus the Strava link so you can see all my QOMs! (Downhill course + awesome bike = impressive stats!)

At Annapolis, we loaded our bikes onto trucks and were bussed over a bridge:


Leaving Maryland (state #11 complete)


Entering Delaware

Almost there… (loved the slightly melted Butterfingers at this stop)

Delaware, state #12 done

Fast, fast, fast, thanks to this bike:

You can still support me until September 30 at this link!