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Boston to Washington

21 December 2013

Trip Report 21–29 December 2013

I am not sure which decision came first: spend Christmas in Washington with our dear friends, or join a challenge to bicycle 500km in the week between Christmas & New Year.

A road trip from Boston to Washington will help get both. On one hand, we will arrive Washington just in time to be with our friends. On the other hand, the weather will get warmer so I can bicycle longer distances. These are in addition to the many attractions along the way between New York City & Philadelphia.

New York City

FAO Schwartz & the Lego stores were first on the list as soon as we arrived. We checked into the hotel quickly & got our Micro scooters ready.

Nearby was the Rockefeller Center with its skating rink & massive Christmas tree. The Lego store there was packed with shoppers. We moved quickly to Fifth Avenue making our way to FAO Schwartz, a wonderland with all toys imaginable.

But who really needs to spend time Christmas shopping when steps away from Central Park? We got pretzel snack from a street vendor just as we entered the park.

We got to climb many of the rocks.

Location: 40.769595,-73.9708816666667

We watched several street performances.

Location: 40.771845,-73.97182

We returned next day to spend most of it between the park & the American Museum of Natural History. A unique display was of a Christmas tree full of origami ornaments.

Location: 40.7805366666667,-73.9748466666667


We spend the entire first day at the Franklin Institute with plenty of interactive exhibits to keep all attendees occupied.

Location: 39.958284,-75.172697

The kids were studying about the symbols of America. They had already seen the Statue of Liberty, White House, & others on the list, except for the Liberty Bell. The trip was timely to complete the list.

The next day, 24 December 2013, would be the first one for the 500km challenge.

While they were on a visit to Olde City, I went out for the first bicycle ride of the challenge, from Philadelphia to Valley Forge National Park along the Schuylkill river for 84.28km.


We spent almost the entire vacation on the the Mall between the Smithsonian museums & surrounding monuments. A special exhibit was the Zoo Lights at the National Zoo.

Location: 38.929974,-77.051285

On the trips between the hotel & museums, we tasted foods from:

With all this food, this was my chance to complete most of the bicycle challenge:

  • Loop around Washington’s neighborhoods for 63.1km. Total is 147.4km. Route visits all corners of DC, longs sections on trails, & much change in scenery from one neighborhood to the next.

  • Great Falls National Park for 85.9km. Total is 233.3km. Route out in the country side on quiet roads.

  • Loop through Virginia for 43.6km. Total is 276.9km. Route not recommended. While large sections of it on trails, others were on very busy streets.

  • Mount Vernon trail for 70.8km. Total is 347.7km. Route is beautiful, almost entirely on well maintained trail. Highly recommended.

  • There are still 152.3km to complete the challenge with only three days to go. The forecast is for much colder weather. I needed one more ride before leaving town back to Boston. I went out for a late night ride of six loops in Hains Point park for 50.4km. Total is 398.1km.


Back home, with 101.9km to go, I went out for a closing ride with Ride Studio Café for 109.6km. Total is 507.7km.

Happy New Year 2014


From → Bicycle, Play

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