Recovering from surgery is something of a solo enterprise. My wife did the recovering. I worked from home to keep an eye on her. This went on for three days at the end of which we were both bored senseless. I celebrated by doing laundry and mowing the lawn in oppressive heat. She decided to go through the mail and pay some bills. She still feels pretty awful mind you, but I can’t help the awful go away.
So we mutually decided that after four days without exercise it would be a good idea for me to ride to the office. I loaded my normal stuff plus my not-so-light laptop in my panniers and headed out the door. It was overcast and I felt a sprinkle or two so I opted to ride The Mule, my Specialized Sequoia touring bike. Other than the annoyance of a balky cycle computer, I found the ride, despite the heavy load, more invigorating than usual. I’M OUT! There was very little auto traffic to contend with as everyone in his or her right mind was at the beach or in bed. I made it to the bicycle traffic light at Porto Vecchio and found the convex mirror destroyed. Vandals! What’s next, Visigoths? Huns? Marauding Middle Class Teenagers?
|Mirror, Mirror Not|
A little further on I reached the bollard farm. In response to pleas for some sort of safety improvements, some changes have been made. Now the big black bollards are being painted yellow and have a yellow reflective band on them. My hat is off to Jonathan Krall and Erik Wagner of the Alexandria Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee and to Shane Farthing of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association for talking the designers of this mess into some safety accommodations.
|Black to Yellow (the white bollards have primer on them)|
The rest of the ride in was a bit of a struggle. Four days off the bike had knocked me out of my commuting groove, the wind was blowing in my face, and the Sony anvil in my pannier wasn’t helping much either.
This being Friday I headed to Swings coffee emporium located a block from Michelle and Barry’s white house for a jumbo cup of java at the weekly get-together of what passes for a biker gang in our nation’s capital, the oh-so-cleverly named Friday Coffee Club. It’s like Cheers except that it’s above ground, alcohol free, and has no laugh track.
When I arrived Reba who commutes from BR – beyond Rootchopper – was holding court with the boys club. Among the boys was Adam (a. k. a. Froggie) who keeps coming back despite his recent move to Norfolk. (He claims to be in the Navy but I am beginning to think he is a corporate spy for Starbucks.) Like most of the coffee clubbers, he blogs about his bike addiction.
|Reba keeps the boys in line – Froggie hides in plain sight|
|Kate, Rachel, and Kirsten|
The gender balance was all out of whack, but this was soon rectified by the arrival of Kirsten, Kate, Rachel, and Mary. Mary is recovering from recently riding over 700 miles in less than four days in the Rocky Mountains with her randoneuring hubby Ed. Frankly, I am surprised to see that she can stand upright much less ride a bike. She is in shock because she and Ed recently discovered a crack in the frame of their tandem. Kirsten grows awesome veggies and runs ultramarathons whenever she can. I still have trouble getting my head around anyone running more than 26 miles in one go. There must be something in the veggies. Rachel has been known to cook a mean cake and works for a local bike tourism business. Anytime she wants to experiment with a new cake recipe, she is welcome to work in the posh kitchens at the Rootchopper Institute. Kate is inexplicably blogless. Where oh where did she go wrong? We need to work on her.
The age balance was out of whack too. Everyone in attendance was over 20. Some of us were over 20 twice. We needed youth! In walked the perfect antidote to our age conundrum. Jacques and his wife Liz arrived with the newest coffee club member, Hugo. Hugo is in the running for world’s cutest baby honors. He searches his environment with his crinkly fingers and has the softest hair at the base of the back of his head. Babies are great toys, especially when someone else has to get up in the middle of the night and change their diapers. Fortunately for Mom and Dad he seems to be a world class snoozer.
|Jacques, Liz, and Hugo|
|Hugo, the perfect antidote to a rough week|
After an hour recharging my social batteries and getting my baby fix, I headed off to work. TGIF.