Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Trail is cold and clear, with 100% chance of 2 more minutes of daylight tomorrow. On my morning ride I saw a flock of crows mobbing a Red-Shouldered Hawk in Banneker Park. Here is the URL for the sound of a RSHawk: http://www.naturesongs.com/rsha1.wav. You hear them all the time along the W&OD.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Clear to Purcellville

And I might add that the trail was clear all the way to Purcellville on Saturday, 1/27/09. Had so much fun with my trike buddies that I forgot to post!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Vulpes morning

The W&OD is clear again, from Reston to Arlington. An early ride today produced a flock of White-throated Sparrows at the edge of Vienna, a Belted Kingfisher getting breakfast in Difficult Run, and a red fox on the Reston plateau. The red fox (scientific name Vulpes vulpes) is not native to North America, but has been co-habiting with humans here since the 17th century, so we'll call it a local.
Photo courtesy of US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sugar frosted

Snow squalls frosted portions of the trail east of Vienna today. Footing was fine tonight for following your nose, sudden turns or stops could enliven your commute. Bit of a bitter headwind out there westbound.

Virginia Rd. to Vienna - basically clear

On my ride in to the shop today, there were still a few patches of ice, but nothing that couldn't be avoided. Even the stretch between Gallows Rd. and Cedar Lane was fine. Still, it's good to heed Bill's warning... ice can be treacherous, and it can be hard to tell what is ice and what is water.

Ironically, due to my schedule and a lack of forethought on my part, this was the first day on my studded tire commuter... didn't really need it. Ah well... one of these days...

Watch for Ice

I haven't been on the W&OD since the snow, but I received a note from a friend in Palo Alto, California, who hit a patch of ice on her bike last week, went down, and broke her thumb. She knew that the San Francisco peninsula was unusually cold, was aware that she could encounter ice, but still didn't see it and now has her dominant hand in a cast. Moral: be very careful of ice this time of year.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dry pavement... mostly

Except for a few remaining damp spots and a little bit of ice here and there, the trail is in great shape tonight east of Vienna to Arlington. Cold weather on the way. Towhees no longer calling, Carolina Wrens and Downy Woodpeckers still at it. Small flock of Juncos ("snowbirds") near West Falls Church.

jan 24, AM commute east Vienna to alexandria

The trail did not appear to freeze last night. As all previous bloggers mentioned there are still some spots that have ice, but in a nearly 17 mile commute I only dismounted and walked my road bike with slicks on the wood bridge over 7 is Falls Church. If warms to the 40s it may be a great commute home.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Beware: Black ice

East of Vienna through the shady portions trail is still chopped ice. Maybe 20% between Gallows and Cedar, for example. Riding home tonight there were quite a few patches of ice forming up in the areas that had melted during the day. Stay loose. Focus out as far as your light reaches. Think about who you want to sign your cast.

Mostly melted

As of about 3:00 p.m. Tuesday (23 Jan) most of the snow and ice has melted from the trail in the Reston area. There are a few patches of slush, but it was easy enough to ride through it. Here's a photo looking east from Hunter Mill Road. I didn't go much beyond this to the east, but there is usually very little snow or ice until just before Vienna, other than a few patches on the bridges.

This is looking west from Hunter Mill Road. This stretch is very shady and it takes a long time for snow to melt. Even so, I didn't have any problems getting through.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Wintry mix on trail

get out the studded tires and recumbent trikes, the trail has about an inch of packed snow/ice on it. experts predict it will turn to slush and refreeze a half-dozen times before getting washed off by a long rainy day sometime next week.

in the meantime. walk past Wedderburn (east of Cedar) at dusk and check out the Barred Owl.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Blog newbie, trail commuter

Trail east of vienna in good shape, however recent bush hogging pushed edges way back. fox den north of trail near gallows inactive since the bush hogging.

watch the glass between the trail and the road on Tom Frost Hill (I 66 overpass).

Cold snap left ice on rt. 7 bridge and 4mile run bridge. don't look down.

courtesy shield powerful death-ray headlamps with hand when passing please. what are those brilliant bluish things anyway?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Trail Reporter

Happy to join the trail report. It's a bit cold for me to ride since winter finally arrived this week. Just a few more degrees and I'll be out there. One thing I do notice about winter riding on the trail is the visiblility behind the tree line. There's always something new to see. Happy trails!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Mile 11.8/In Vienna/IDEA

This blog is set up to aid people that use the W&OD Trail. In an age of web cams showing you the traffic on major highways this is much lower tech. This is the information that thoughtful trail users share with other trail users going towards an area where caution is needed. Situations change quickly so information in postings may be outdated before even being entered into this blog. Yes, that will happen frequently. The hope is that information will make a run, a bike ride, or a walk safer and more enjoyable.

Twelve trail users have been asked to be reporters. We are looking for more reporters. If you use the W&OD to commute to work or to walk, skate, cycle or run multiple days a week then you could provide information about the trail. Send a message to john@bikesatvienna.com if you are willing to participate as a reporter.