Well, it has certainly been an interesting day. It actually all started a month or so ago.
I saw a notice online that a Washington Post reporter was looking to talk to people who commuted by bike on the Mount Vernon Trail. I sent my contact information and, within a few days, found myself talking to Pat Sullivan, a reporter for the paper of record in these parts.
Pat and I talked about my commute, what I liked about it and didn’t. I gave her the URL of this blog and that was that. A couple of weeks went by and there was no article. Just as I thought the article had been round filed, I received an email from Pat asking if she could talk to me again.
Pat had written an article about bike commuting in general and her editor wanted a more personal angle. So I found myself on the phone with her again. Since the previous call, Pat had gone to school on the trail. She knew the milestones, the pinch points and other characteristics and nuances of the trail from one end to the other. This
conversation was much more focused on the good and the bad of my commute. How the headlights from the cars on the adjacent George Washington Memorial Parkway can blind winter commuters, how ninjas pose a hazard to themselves and other trail users, and how the Rosslyn Circle of Death is my bête noire (by which I do not mean a Bryan Ferry record). Part of the discussion involved the automatic counters that are positioned at intervals along the trail. (I had always thought that these were inactive as they emit no light or sound and have no obvious power source.)
A few more weeks went by. I went out of town this weekend to deliver my son’s stuff to his college apartment in upstate New York. I arrived home last night after ten, tired from eight plus hours of driving in busy Labor Day traffic and wired from way too much caffeine. Not being able to sleep I surfed the net for an hour and there it was., just posted on the Washington Post website, an article about the traffic and traffic counters on the Mount Vernon Trail. I clicked on the link and the first two words of the article were my name! Eek!!
When I opened the paper in the morning there it was, a huge article with pictures and an infographic. Sheesh!! And there was my name above the fold!!
I rode my bike to work very cautiously. Wouldn’t it be a scream if I crashed the day of the article? Nothing bad happened. The Three Step Runner was cruising down Park Terrace drive. Traffic was suspiciously light on the GWMP. Small waves on the river were lapping the riverbank. Just another day on the MVT.
I arrived at work to find the article posted on my office door with my name circled. I checked my Facebook page and Twitter feed. There were many kind words said. My sarcastic (I hope) daughter Lily had the comment of the day: “What a loser. He should just buy a car.” Have a nice 12-hour bus ride home for Thanksgiving, Lil.
The ride home tonight was a blast. Big Nellie, a tailwind, and fresh legs made for a brisk pace. What a terrific day.
Then it occurred to me. Tomorrow, I am yesterday’s news. My name will be at the bottom of some parrot’s cage, with bird poop on it.
Fame is fleeting.