It’s Not the Cold, It’s the Mileage

Something is terribly wrong. For the second day in a row, I looked forward to riding to work in sub-freezing temperatures. This morning I left well before daybreak to arrive at Friday Coffee Club at a reasonable time. I was mighty cold for the first mile but warmed up and settled into a rhythm following the white circle that my headlight makes. It’s a bit like following the bouncing ball from those old sing-a-longs on TV from before the dawn of time.

The roads and trails appeared to have an ever-so-thin patina of ice on them but I only slipped once and that was on a patch of slush that I decided to ride through. The patches of ice on the trail that were there yesterday morning were gone taking away those moments of indecision and nail biting (nail biting while riding with lobster gloves on is an art, let me tell you). I crossed over the Potomac River on the 14th Street Bridge which is actually named for a man (no his name is not 14th Street) on the Air Florida plane that crashed into the icy river on takeoff some 33 years ago. He gave up the rescue line so that others could be saved. He ended up at the bottom of the river.

I digress. The river had frozen into sheets of ice that had buckled. They overlapped haphazardly. So I took a picture.


On the DC side the curb cuts and other smooth bits of sidewalk looked like sheets of ice but my tires held their line. I made my way to Swings House of Caffeine unimpeded by big metal things. Just before arriving Aaron pulled up alongside me on his massive cargo bike. I think he is overcompensating for something.

At Swings cyclists were just beginning to arrive. I can’t remember the last time I arrived so early.  Last year at this time I recall arriving and being part of a grumpy quintet of frozen male bike commuters. Not today. Within 20 minutes there were more than 20 bicycle commuters, including six or seven women. Nobody, male or female, seemed the least bit grumpy. Except perhaps for Aaron, but, as I said, he has issues.


The ride to work involved the usual re-crossing of the river on the TR Bridge. A gaggle of geese took off from the river and began to form a V as they passed overhead. One lone goose remained on a small sheet of ice in midstream. I wonder if his feet were frozen to the ice.

When I left the office it was 20 degrees warmer and I had a tailwind. By contrast with the morning it felt like July. I was tempted to pull over and bask in the sun but thought better of it.

When I arrived home, I checked the odometer on The Mule. It said this:


As Indiana Jones said, “It’s not the age, it’s the mileage.”

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