An Easter Cruise on Big Nellie

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been hobbling around all grumpy as the result of a nasty little crash on the way home from work. When I woke up my leg was feeling quite a bit better.  This may be the result of lots of rest or it could be the beneficial effects of the two margaritas I had at the South Austin Grill last night.  I will have to do.future research. 

And so I decided to go for an easy ride on this beautiful Easter.  If I felt okay, I’d do 40 miles. So riding Big Nellie and wearing my Skidmore College sweatshirt (easily the most expensive clothing I own), I set out for the big city.

Bald Eagle Nest – Just Left of Center

On the way, I stopped to check out the Morningside bald eagle nest.  I call it the Morniningside nest because it is just off the Mount Vernon Trail near the turn off for Morningside Lane on the adjacent George Washington Parkway. (Aren’t I clever?)  I waited about ten minutes listening to chirping coming from up in the trees near the nest.  No big. bad raptors showed up.  So I pedaled on.  About 1/2 mile later I noticed a tiny island out in the Potomac River.  There was one tree on the island and in that tree was a huge nest. It could be another bald eagle nest or just an osprey’s, but it bears watching.

I cruised into Belle Haven Park and notice that a stop sign was missing.  Too bad they didn’t take the Dismount before Crossing sign too. It doesn’t say “Walk Your Bike”, so maybe as a form of protest all bicyclists should dismount then remount their bikes in obedience to the sign gods.  (Note to National Park Service: Lose the stupid signs. Or put them at every stop sign that a car would encounter. End of screed.)

STS – Stupid Trail Sign

I managed to make it through Old Town Alexandria without hitting any Easter brunchers. It took skill and self control because they were all over the place. 

Wiffle Ball Spring Training

At Gravelley Point, I stopped to watch a plane take off. There was a practice wiffle ball set up and a guy was taking batting practice. Dude, you need to practice wiffle ball?  So sad.

Battle of the Tidal Basin – Midway, It Ain’t

Into the city I rode. I stopped at the Tidal Basin to watch the little blue paddle boats fight it out for naval supremacy.  I can never go by the Tidal Basin without thinking of Wilbur Mills and Fanny Foxe, the Argentine Firecracker.  Washington just overflows with history, doesn’t it?

I spent the next 20 minutes on the Anacostia River Trail, which is clearly a work in progress.  The Fish Market was jammed up with cars.  People, park the car and walk into the market.  There’s only 20 spaces and there are 2,000 of you fish eaters in your SUVs. Do the bloddy math!

Back of Titanic Memorial

I stopped by the Titanic Memorial.  I haven’t a clue why there’s a Titanic memorial and not a Lusitania memorial or an Andrea Doria memorial, or a Thresher (look it up) memorial.

Continuing with Our Nautical Theme….

I contemplated these important issues as I made my way through the Navy Yard.  The Navy banned bicycling along their section of the trail so I was a good boy and walked.  I spotted a battleship, once a badass ship but now a tourist attraction.  A bit like an old polar bear in a cage. Poor ship.

I Managed to Avoid Hard Hat Hell

After some confusing signage, I made my way to Eastern Market where I came upon two lovely young ladies busking themselves silly. Have a buck, girls.  I locked Big Nellie to a hitching post and got me a stiff drink. Actually it was a tall Americano and a blueberry scone (well done, Port City Java).  I followed the scone with a caramel and chocolate bunny. Ah!

K. T. Tunstall Got Her Start Busking, You Know

After resting my bones, I cruised to the Capitol where I discovered the new visitors plaza on the east side of the building.  Very nice and inviting.  Actually, it was swarming with pesky tourists in search of cherry blossoms.  I wanted to explain to them that the reason there are no cherry blossoms is because they bloomed three weeks early because the climate changed because the atmosphere warmed because you drive big assed SUVs to see cherry blossoms.  That’s right, it’s your fault you gas guzzling fools.  Now out of my way or my mighty fairing will sweep you aside!!! 

Big Nellie, Big Dome

After a drink of water, I came to my senses and made my way through the hoards of touroids to the Pennsylvania Avenue Cycle Track.  This is a pretty cool idea.  It would work pretty well if the damned lights were synchronized.  I think I hit six red lights along this mile-long stretch. I turned right onto the 15th Street cycletrack only to encounter an SUV from New York blocking half the track.  Must not kill!

Pernsylvania – The Avenue of Lights

I let him live and made my way through the plaza in front of the White House. It just never gets old.  DC is such as cool place to live.

Tow the Bastard!  Happy Easter.

I cruised down 17th Street to start my trip home.  It was a parking lot. Why? Because five blocks up the street an idiot in an SUV was double parked and having a long conversation with his friend on the sidewalk. This ass hat had traffic (i. e., me) backed up for five blocks. He’s so lucky I left my taser at home.  (I just made that taser thing up.)  

Cherry Blossom Ceremony – Without Blossoms (Oops!)

As I reached the Tidal Basin, I came upon the Cherry Blossom Festival ceremonies. Here, honest to goodness folks from Japan promised to give the U.S. more pretty trees if we promised to buy more radioactive Toyota Camrys. (I think. It was hard to hear them.)  There were smiles all around. And to think that just 75 years ago, Japan wanted to crush the United States. And that, just 70 years ago, the United States wanted to wipe Japan off the face of the earth. I wonder if Iran has any spare trees.

What’s with This Wind?

I decided to take an easy spin down to Hains Point.  The ride down was fine but coming back I was clobbered by a cross wind that would make a Kansan homesick.  Soon I was heading into the wind on the 14th Street Bridge.  The wind was hitting me at about 2 o’clock (direction, not time) so I was leaning the bike into it to stay upright.  Some road bike riders behind me actually turned around it was so strong.

Candy Colored Bikes at the George Mason Memorial

Once across the river I had a hand on my back all the way home. The trail was a little crowded near the airport but the crowds soon thinned and it was clear sailing for the last 10 miles. I pulled into the driveway with a a big 4-0 on the odometer. My legs felt fine, too.  Another bunny bit the dust.

Can’t You Just Feel That Tailwind?


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