I just spent the last four days driving farther into the heart of Dixie than I ever thought I would. My daughter is interested in colleges far from home so this was our first long drive. We hit six colleges and two time zones in four days. Total distance driven was something like 1,800 miles. Interstates 85 and 95 leave a lot to be desired. There’s a whole lot of ugly from Durham NC to the western outskirts of Atlanta. When Alabama seems pretty by comparison, you know you’ve been through some seriously harsh looking terrain. To add to the fun, there are billboards every 100 feet.
|Maybe they had a few bollards left over?|
After lolling about on the deck for most of the day, making sure that my sandaled feet were good and sunburnt, I hopped on Little Nellie for some light riding. I rolled through the suburban streets near my home eventually ending up on the top of a hill on Fort Hunt Road. Little Nellie did me proud by taking the hill at high-ish speed. Our route took us to the Washington Street deck above the beltway on the Mount Vernon Trail. There yet another construction crew was busy making a mess on the trail.
I rode down through the bollard farm and rolled through Old Town Alexandria. An impatient driver in a convertible with a University of North Carolina bumper sticker surged passed me only to be absorbed by a hoard of pedestrians one block up the road. I take it that Mr. UNC wasn’t Phi Beta Kappa.
After some more fun with cars, I rejoined the Mount Vernon Trail near Slaters Lane north of Old Town. The trail was shockingly empty for a perfect Saturday afternoon. No Volksmarchers. No Lancelots. No kiddies on their training wheels wobbling back and forth across the trail.
As I made my way past the satellite parking lots at National Airport, Captain America rode by on a bike. He looked rather puffy and tired. You’d be tired too if you had to carry a damned shield around all day. And don’t even get me started on that sidekick named Bucky.
I took the Crystal City underpass and rode by a security guard who was making a cell phone call next to the railroad underpass. This could be the worst place in the metropolitan area for cell phone reception which probably explains why he is a security guard and not a lawyer specializing in intellectual property.
Once in Crystal City I came upon two groups of girls dressed to the nines. I am guessing that they were part of two quinceanara celebrations. Or maybe I had stumbled on a new sport. The girls in the bridesmaid dresses were the offensive line and the tall girl in the flashy gown was the QB? There were a bunch of guys in vests hanging about like a Paul Anka convention or something.
|Was this a huddle before third and long?|
My route took me through Long Bridge Park where I came upon the same woman runner four separate times. I wasn’t stalking you, I swear.
I rode back home via the still deserted Potomac Avenue that parallels US 1 along the railroad tracks. I cut under US 1 to ride into Del Ray. A woman was standing next to a Subaru that had stopped after passing me. “SIR!”
I stopped figuring she needed directions.
She was interested in my Bike Friday. Did I like it? What was good and bad about it?
I have mixed feelings about my Bike Friday. It’s fun to ride but it is very hard on my back. I have a hard time going fast on it too. (I am thinking about putting a Brooks Flyer saddle on it which may help with both problems.) I told her I didn’t have all that many miles on it, just a little over 7,000 miles. That got a laugh.
She thanked me and I rode off. In two blocks, I see a guy on another Bike Friday. I wonder if she stopped to quiz him.
The rest of the ride was uneventful except for the ass in a car on King Street that deliberately positioned the car to keep me from passing on the right. No way this driver was going to let me win the battle of King Street. After all, if he had to sit at a light, then EVERYBODY else should too. As I see it, if y’all drove skinnier cars, traffic would move a lot faster. Eventually, I squeezed by him and never saw him again. He’s probably still stuck at a light near Columbus Street.
The rest of the ride home didn’t include a single super hero, girl in a fancy dress, or dipstick driving a car. There’s always tomorrow.