It’s a Skin Feeling, Captain

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

On Tuesday, I got creative with my bike commute and Little Nellie, my Bike Friday. I rode to work as normal, spooking a deer along the way. A deer on the run next to the road will wake your ass up in a hurry. During the day, my son called and suggested going to the Nationals game against the Lastros. I agreed to meet him at a parking lot near the ballpark. Once there, I folded my bike up and popped it into the trunk of his car. 

We entered the park and decided to go to the pavilion beyond centerfield where my 21-year old child assured me the beers were less expensive. While standing at the bar, my son pointed to a small leaflet on the bar. It had a rainbow on it and something about Gay and LGBT. Hmmm. Apparently we had stumbled into a gay bar. I don’t think this is what the song means when it says, “Take me out to the ball game.”  Then again, I could be wrong.

It was LGBT night at the ballpark. I looked at my son and he wryly said, “Who knew?” “Son, is there something you’ve been meaning to tell me?” 

We had a good laugh, but we did feel a little like Kirk and Spock on the planet of the gangsters/neo-Nazis/hippies — well, pretty much any episode.  (Ever notice that whenever the prime directive was involved Kirk went berserk interfereing with the society? It makes me wonder if Dick Cheney and W binge watched Star Trek reruns.)

After our unexpected cultural enlightenment, we decided go off in search of food. We came close by opting for half smokes at Ben’s Chili Bowl. My son loves them but I’ve had one three different times and I am convinced that the Center for Disease Control will soon ban them as toxic.

The stadium was oppressively hot and humid.The Lastros decided to take their time executing each pitch and swing of the bat. Four hours later the Nationals were victorious. I think I lost 10 pounds during the game. Rather than bike home, I rode home in the air conditioned comfort of the Millenium Falcon, my son’s bucket of bolts Mitsubishi Lancer.

Cycling Is the New GPS

A couple of nights later a microburst swept through the Belle Haven/Belle View neighborhoods between my house and Old Town Alexandria. I slept through the whole thing. The next morning I drove to the dermatologist. The George Washington Memorial Parkway was closed because of downed trees. The other main routes were gridlocked with overflow traffic. I thought I’ll never get to my appointment on time until I decided to just use my cycling knowledge of area neighborhood streets. I cut through one neighborhood after another all but completely bypassing the traffic snarl. Bikes rock.

I made it to the appointment with two minutes to spare.

The dermatologist seem very eager to use his freeze gun. He zapped five or six little irregularities from my face and knee. I think he enjoys watching me wince. I could almost hear a plant in the lobby saying, “Feed me, Seymour.” 

I am happy to report I am now doctor free for the next two months. (The ophthalmologst and the dentist are lurking in August.)

Cycling for Liquid Refreshment

Thursday night meant bike commuter happy hour at Capitol City Brewing in Shirlington. Since I was working from home, I rode up to join the gathering. The ride home in the twilight through the hills of Alexandria seemed effortless.

On Friday I went to coffee club in DC where I read Green Eggs and Ham to Hugo, the cutest two year old on the planet. I don;t think Hugo likes green eggs and ham but he’s pretty enthusiastic about blueberry muffins.

The ride home was pretty unremarkable so I won’t remark on it. Even with the assist from my son’s car I still managed over 130 miles of riding back and forth to work and events from Monday to Friday.

The Rootchopper Institute’s QE4 Program 

During the week I arranged to have a contractor come look at the house for an exterior re-do. While I had my wallet out, I managed to line up a new car for my daughter a few days later. (It’s a reward for getting an academic scholarship as well as free room and board at college.)  Cost estimates of both came in under my expectations. 

I was on a roll. Coincidentally, I needed an easy, short bike ride to keep from being a sloth today. So after riding a couple of errands, I rode five miles to my (not so) local bike store to look at a new touring bike. My three bikes now have a combined total mileage of 83,000 miles on them. I don’t think any of them is up to the task of a long tour. To my dissapointment, the shop had not a single touring bike on display. On the way home I rode up the long hill on Fort Hunt Road. A year ago this would have been a slog but Little Nellie and I made it with ease thanks to my much improved eating habits (fritters notwithstanding) and resultant weight loss. (I am wearing large t-shirts for the first time in over a decade. Yay.)

I am not thinking of a long tour this summer but I’d like to squeeze in a week-long ride if I can. And who knows where I might ride next summer if I retire. 

Transam? Bar Harbor? Blue Ridge Parkway? Natchez Trace? Lake Champlaign and La Route Verte? Maybe even a perimeter tour. 

The wheels are turning in my head already.

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