Day 1 – These shoes were made for walking…. Err, riding

Well, I’m off. After a bittersweet goodbye at the Jefferson Memorial I hit the road. The first bit was a path Ihad travelled many times and really didn’t get into my until crossing into Maryland. After a moment or two in Maryland i had an unexpected blowout. It was then that I remembered that my air pump busted last night and I had not replaced it. So, I started walking to the nearest gas station, about two miles away.

When I pulled into the gas station I took all my equipment off and a nice lady approached and asked if I needed help. Her husband does bike repairs for a living and was only a block away. I appreciated the gesture but declined, I was at a gas station and auto repair place and figured I would be fine. I was wrong.

I went into the gas station and asked to borrow a 14mm wrench to take the tire off my bike. The guy was pretty angry but he let me borrow it. His son seemed prettyembarrassed by his dad’s attitude. I tried to remove the tire but I had the wrong size, I went in and tried to trade the borrowed wrench for a 16mm and he told me they didn’t have that size. I am skeptical that an auto body shop doesn’t have a 16mm wrench, but it’s his property to do with as he wishes. I started my walk to my next hope, a bike shop about 4 miles away.

While walking a biker saw me and stopped to offer his help. Unfortunately neither of us had a wrench to getmy rear tire off (my bad…). He tried to help but there was nothing he could do so he rode on. I kept walking. After a bit the same biker came riding back, he had stopped by a gas station and picked up the tool needed to fix my bike. We got to working and soon I was back in action. After a quick handshake he smiled and simply said, “pay it forward”. I certainly will.

Now that I was all patched up I rode off to the bike shop to purchase the tools I needed for future blowouts and I was again on the road. The weather has been incredibly beautiful and the sites amazing. I had no idea such an amazing path was so close to DC. If you have the time you should grab the hand of someone you care for and go for a walk along the OD Canal. It is stunning.

My day ended at a nice little camp ground where I was the only one within ten miles. I got to bed early and only woke occasionally when I heard something growling in the bushes.

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