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  • Katherine Guo

Day 2: First Official Day of Biking!

Tuesday June 7, 2023

Oakton, VA --> Linden, VA

62.85 miles & 4127 ft elevation gain

It's Katherine! My first official blog (even though I run the blog, since we only have a couple of laptops amongst us). Today was a day of firsts, since although it is day 2, it was our first day of biking. We broke a long tradition of Spokes starting off from the Lincoln memorial to avoid biking a century (100 miles) on our very first day but it was a fantastic ride. I had no idea Virginia was so green! When we left Oakton, we biked on the roads and highways of suburbia, but pretty soon, the roads got narrower, and the sidewalks turned into trees. I love plants, so I was a big fan of the rolling hills and the trees along the side of the road. There was even a part that looked a bit like I’d image Wuthering Heights to look like, except it was sunny and warm. Unfortunately, lots of plants also means lots of allergies...Lucy and I suffered a lot today and desperately need some antihistamines. The pollution from the Canadian wildfires also affected us two, and furthermore, I’m also still recovering from a cough that I got more than a month ago, but spoiler alert - we all made it at the end!

We breaked a little earlier than expected for lunch, and an amazing guy named Gabe let us squat on his lawn with his dog, Bindi. If you’re reading this, thanks again, Gabe, and good luck with your growing garden!

After a lunch consisting of grape leaf wraps and Costco cranberry turkey wraps, we were off again. Biking is so different from driving. Namely, it is much slower, of course, but that has its benefits. You’re going slow enough to look around to notice the private jets overhead, the rustling in the bushes along the road, and most importantly, have enough time to satisfy the horror and the morbid fascination with the abundance of roadkill. Apparently, no one else noticed this, but we passed at least 6 dead dear, and who knows how many dead possums and birds.

At the tail end of the ride, we had a last minute reroute because our hosts’, Jen and Tim, place was over a hill. The new route was pretty fast, but Jen and Tim’s house is at the end of gravel roads - gravel hills with lots of steep hills. At this point, after 5 hours of podcasts (I’m currently listening to Articles of Interest, which is about fashion and “encourages people to rethink they way we look at what we wear and what it says about us” --> comment other podcast recommendations, please!), I didn’t have enough focus to bike on a gravel road without falling, so while listening the episode about wedding gowns, I walked my bike up the last mile.

Jen and Tim, our hosts for the night, were absolutely amazing. Jen is an MIT alum, and also lived in French House, the living community I lived in my freshman year. It was so fun for the whole team to hear about how MIT has changed since she graduated, and also to hear Tim’s boardgame analogies about life. The two of them have an amazing boardgame collection which makes me want to get into boardgames more even though I’ve never been too crazy about games, puzzles, etc. Shout out to Jen and Tim, thank you so much for everything!

Again. I’m serious about the podcast recommendations. I’ll need them.



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