85 Miles and an Airport

Does anyone know the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport? It’s a tiny local airport being used by single-wing planes and maybe even crop dusters. I assume this fact because it’s surrounded by farms that smell of real farm-work. Quite beautiful cut fields, cows in the mud and tractor lawn-mowers.  There was some kind of trick-plane taking off  behind another single-winged plane. They were taking off at the same time – which looked like they were supposed to be practicing their time in the air together. The highway (Highway 28) I took to get there is not very busy during the early-early afternoon. But these cars do fly fast. There is a minimum shoulder and in some places there is none at all. This did not worry me, but it was noted.On the return trip, a freight-train rolled to my left through the trees. very cool.  A day of bikes, cars, planes and trains.
Highway 28 exits south out of Manassas‘s historic downtown toward proper highways – large bridged interchanges and everything. Then it narrows to 2 lanes with basically a foot of “shoulder” on most of it. The shoulder is inconsistent too. It switches back and forth from a foot to too narrow to use. Bikes needs a little room to play. That is, they need a little room to react to wind and cars. If the bike is already on the edge of the shoulder or in the gutter, there is no space to think and accidents are more likely to occur. Plus, Virginia state law permits bicycles to ride on state highways such as this. The speed limit is only 45 mph. This means then that going south of Manassas and back north again via bicycle presents a situation in which drivers themselves must take on the responsibility alongside the cyclist for the cyclist’s safety. On other words, it takes a village of drivers to produce safe bicycle traveling – assuming of course the cyclist has also followed the laws and rides appropriately. 
I connected to 28 South through Centreville, Va on the Fairfax County Parkway Trail. The description of the trail at TrailLink says this path is inconsistent but very usable. Their words are true. It is full of cracks, weeds growing through it at regular intervals (I have written on this in another post about the W & OD Trail) and it crosses lots of streets and driveways (which are closed in by bushes and trees which makes it hard to see if any cars are pulling out). The other downside with this trail is that drivers, while seeing if they can take a right out onto the main street (in this case, Braddock Rd), hog the space where the bike needs to go right onto the trail through the intersection. Once today, I had to make sure a huge SUV saw me before I went around it to the front. And twice, I was hoping cars would stop for me as I crossed the intersection to get to the trail. We worked it out. I got home safely – though quite tired fighting long slow climbs and constant gradual winds “against me.”
It was a good 85-Mile round trip. I finally got to use the Fairfax County Parkway Trail and had never been through historic Manassas before. 

Post any comments or route suggestions below please.


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