Monday, October 12, 2015

Mr. Pondero Comes to Washington

A modified Leesburg 'Loop' for me on my one day ride-along with Chris "Pondero" and company.
 My pictures and words won't do this day justice at all.  What a treat.  Chris aka Pondero had let me know month's ago that he planned to be in the area visiting his new grand child in the October time frame and told me he'd keep me in the loop as his bike riding plans developed.  A great many fortunate happenstances later I found myself meeting Chris in Bethesda last Tuesday morning bright and early for a coffee to kick off what was for me to be a full day of riding and for him was the start of a several day mini-tour up the C&O Canal Towpath.

Chris it was such pleasure to meet you, thanks again for making your vacation and family time accessible to so many local folks who know you from the Riv Google Group and your excellent blog!

Not pictured is the reason for the abrupt end of my trip in Vienna, rest assured it was planned!  My wife Erika wasn't able to join in for the full day of riding but given the splendid weather and my plans she hopped on her bike at Vienna after work and rode towards me on the W&OD trail.  It worked out so well, she ended up with about 30 miles herself and we ended the day with a double whammy hitting Caboose Brewery for beer and snacks then Vienna Inn for a delicious Chili Cheese Dog.  I couldn't really script up a finer day.

Check out the pictures and captions.

Mr. Pondero as we roll out from Bethesda.

I honestly didn't take enough bike detail shots, I was enjoying the conversation way to much for that.  But I did manage one buddy shot of my Saluki (right) with Chris's A. Homer Hilsen.  Chris's bike setup was a big influence on my own as you can see from many of the details.  It was super cool to get to ride with Chris and see his gorgeous bike.

The crew at Fletcher's Boat House on the C&O. Turned out to be a good meeting point.

Tom "Pudge"s one of a kind black, rolhoff'd, double TT Bombadil.  Sporting Thunder Burts of course.  Cool looking bike, another bike I've admired from the web and loved seeing in person.

Steve's Hilsen, in front of Jeff's Hilsen, next to Ken's Saluki...  felt like a Riv showroom at Fletchers!

Ms. Chasing Mailboxes and Mr. Pondero.... when bloggers meet! :)

The whole crew together at Fletchers.

Rolling out from Fletchers. Pretty healthy size group!

Jeff, Chris and Carey riding up the trail.

Getting closer to Great Falls.

Google Maps calls this spot 'Widewater', not sure if it has a proper name other than that but it is stunning.  One of my favorite spots in the DC area period.  The approach from the south on the C&O is excellent to, you come around the corner and boom there it is.

The crew coming up towards Great Falls.

Tom "Pudge" Allingham.  Tom sold me my blue Bombadil almost exactly a year ago so this was the second time we met and I was thrilled to get to ride with him.  Absolute gentleman and great riding companion.

I loved this shot even as I took it.  Pondero doing what Pondero does... well, when he's not lounging in a hammock or enjoying a coffee outside.  Chris recording the C&O Locks.

Great Falls was ANGRY... swollen with the significant rainfall created by recently passed Hurricane Joaquin.  Cool site for the out of towners to get to see so much water pounding through the rapids.

The Saluki at rest

Seems to be starting a pattern that Whites Ferry is about the end of the photo's on a Leesburg Loop day...  ~ 45 miles in for the day and my impulse for photography is overcome by other sensations.  :)  Awesome day, even better people.  I hope to do it again soon.


  1. Looks as awesome as I imagined it would be! Great photos and writing, Tony.
    I am sorry I couldn't join; harder to take a day off than I imagined early in the school year.

    1. Erl it was definitely bad timing for you... Erika had the same problem. Educators just don't have much flexibility around the start of classes! It is a shame you missed out, we'll have to do a make-up ride sometime soon.