Need Me Some Elbow Room

It has been a busy couple of days. Sunday brought lovely weather. So I went for a 45-mile bike ride. That was followed up by a one-hour mow the lawn festival. Then Mrs. Rootchopper, our daughter, and I drove into DC to see Elbow play at the 9:30 club. Just as they did a couple of years ago they put on a fantastic show. And just as two years ago, Ed (@dailyrandonneur) and Mary (@coffeeneur) were there, except this time they were not standing next to me. They were on the opposite side of the stage. It was fun trying to spot them in the crowd. I figured I’d just look for Ed’s (um, how do I put this kindly) dome. Apparently the Domehead society was in attendacne because there must have been 20 men with shaved or bald heads. I stuck to my strategy and, using Twitter for communication, managed to exchanged some waves.

Speaking of waves, the Elbow lead singer got the crowd to wave their hands rhythmically over their heads during several songs. It turns out this was excellent therapy for my back problems. Considering the fact that I was on my feet on concrete from 7 to 11:30 this revelation came as welcome relief.

I hit the hay after midnight. My left knee and hip woke me at 5 a.m. This is going to be a long, painful day.

After another hour or so of trying to sleep, I got up and found that I was in not-half-bad shape. I did my back exercises, a few yoga poses, and some waving of my hands over my head. When I was done, my back, hip and knee felt fine.

I rode Big Nellie to work and felt no ill effects of Sunday’s exercions. On the way I saw Nancy “Two Sheds” Duley and Tony from Alexandria along the way. Waves.

The ride home featured 80+ degree temperatures. What the heck is that all about? Wait’ll I tell my wovel.

The ride home also featured a calvalcade of annoying and dangerous cyclists and drivers. The fun began went a  car blogged the curb cut at the Lynn Street connection to the Mount Vernon Trail. This is the very Intersection of Doom that poses so much danger to cyclists and pedestrians. I yelled at the driver to move back as I passed him.

The fun continued on the trail. Every mile or so somebody decided to pass me as bike and pedestrian traffic approached from the opposite direction. Doesn’t it occur to these idiots that the reason I am waiting behind the bikes and walkers is so that I could pass them safely. On multiple occassions the bike passing me ended up swerving back to the right to avoid on-coming bikes. Kevin the @byclclebug on Twitter suggested that these aggressive riders were trying to set some sort of record on Strava.  They are going to get someone hurt. I won’t lose a lot of sleep if they hurt themselves.

As the MVT goes around the power plant it crosses a cantilevered bridge that is enclosed in a wire mesh fence. There are two bling turns to negotiate. As I approached the first turn, I rang my bell and hit my brakes. An on-coming bike tried to cut the blind corner and had to swerve to avoid hitting me. Set your Strava record somewhere else, a-hole. He very nearly crashed into the fence after his swerve. Too bad he missed.

In Old Town Alexandria I spotted a rarity: an Alexandria cop had pulled a car over. Finally!

Near Belle Haven Park, a motorcycle was lying on its side between the MVT and the George Washington Memorial Highway. It had a small trunk on the back. The lid of the trunk was in the grass a few feet beyond the bike. I hope the bike wasn’t involved in a crash.

Further south on the MVT, a boy of about sixth grade age served toward me as he approached. His mother called at him to pull over. Two near misses in one day. 

South of Old Town a mother and child were riding bikes in my direction, 

It’s BIke to Work Week. I can’t wait until some of these people get back in their cars. I need the elbow room.


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