My peers? I have peers? I have jury duty tomorrow which means I either get up at 5:30 and ride my bike through the inhospitable, car-clogged suburbs between Mount Vernon and the Fairfax Courthouse, or I sleep an extra hour and drive there. I’d like to be your bike everywhere hero but I also want to live to bike another month. So July is in the bag.
Despite missing a whole bunch of days because of my wife’s surgery, my in-laws’ family reunion, and my general sloth, I still managed to bang out 608 miles this month. I did 21 rides, of which 15 were bike commutes. 3 rides (all commutes) were aboard The Mule. The rest were on Little Nellie. My longest ride was a foray into Bethesda for a bagel and a cup of joe.
So far this year, I’ve ridden to work 81 times. I saw a guy exercising this morning. He was tethered with some sort of think red stretchy thing to the post holding up a basketball backboard. Another man stood near the foul line. Tether Man would launch himself, driving with his feet until her reached Foul Line’s extended hands then backpedal to the baseline to start again. My commute’s like that. I exert force back and forth but always end up where I started. One of these days, the tether will break and I’ll find myself in Iowa.
My total mileage for the year is 3,846 miles, on pace for well over 6,000 miles, lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise (which happens to be the title of a pretty good album by Ray LaMontaigne in case you need some music recommendations).
On the way home tonight, I was passed by three roadies near the power plant. The first roadie called out the pass. A fourth rider on a mountain bike brought up the rear, head down, trying to pass the third roadie. A fourth roadie came from the opposite direction just missing Mountain Bike as he swung out to try his pass. He yelled something to get Mountain Bike back on his side of the trail. Mountain Bike cussed him. Dude, you nearly caused a horrible accident with two roadies and me. You are lucky there were some many bikes, otherwise you were sure to get caught in my bicycle death ray. I may have to use my pump like the Italians in Breaking Away the next time you pass. Buon giorno.
Mr. Ed works in a cubicle around the corner from my office. He’s a data miner. He doesn’t wear a helmet with a light on the top, but I hear he has a canary in his cube for safety. He used to work at Spokes, commutes on a fixie, and forgot more about how a bike’s parts work than I’ll ever know. He speculated today that the bent derailleur hanger on Little Nellie may have been caused by the crappy bike racks in the garage at work. You back your bike into these metal hoops that are angled at about 30 degrees from the ground. If I push Little Nellie all the way in, its rear derailleur gets hung up on the metal hoop. So, I will be careful when parking at work in the future.
My tires are on the way from Wisconsin. I ordered them from Hostelshoppe, a recumbent store that had a web and catalogue business. FedEx sent me a routing number. Why do people care about the routing of their goods? I don’t care if they send my tires via Sao Paulo as long as they get here in a few days. I suppose I can keep myself entertained by obsessively checking my package’s progress. Kind of like Dave Stoller’s father sitting in one of his used cars listening to his son’s progress in the Little 500 bicycle race. If you don’t know what I am talking about, turn off the Olympics and get yourself a copy of Breaking Away. You’ll have a Mendelssohn ear worm for weeks.