Yesterday’s bike commute ended with a white snake on my front doorstep. In January. What could be weirder than that? Be careful what you ask.
It was warmer today. These things are relative. It was 36 degrees. The weather gods could not leave well enough along and added a 15 mile per hour headwind. To make matter worse I over slept. I was going to be late. For Friday Coffee Club. Eek.
The bridges on the Mount Vernon Trail were icy but rideable. The pavement was clear. But for the relentless headwind The Mule and I would have made decent time. Then we encountered the flyover bridges at the airport. Ice, ice baby. I made it over the first one without slippage. I said three quick “Hail Marys” and forged ahead. As I approached the second bridge an oncoming runner warned of ice. Just as I reached the icy part, a recumbent rider blew past me. My recumbent is useless on ice because it has very little weight over the front wheel. His was a different design and his weight was more evenly distributed. Still I expected to see him skidding on his side in no time.
Nope. He just flew across the ice. My brain said. “It’s a trap!” and I slowed to a crawl as another runner approached looking very concerned. I pulled my left foot off its pedal and touched the ground. Solid ice. Somehow I kept rolling forward without slipping. Once I cleared the ice I expected a panel of judges to give me scores, knocking me down 0.5 to 1.0 points for my foot tap. I’ll bet the judge from the Netherlands screws me over. He always does.
The rest of the ride was blustery but, if anything, I was overdressed for the occasion. I arrived at Friday Coffee Club to find a decent sized gathering. I advised Sam, who had to brave the same flyover bridges after coffee, that she was in for an interesting ride.
Caffienated, I headed for Rosslyn. I took the TR bridge which empties out on the Virginia side of the Potomac onto an icy boardwalk. Somehow I made it across the ice field without slipping. (I am sure that I will pay for my good fortune someday down the road.)
The workday was pretty slow. I had a 90 minute meeting after lunch. When the meeting was over, I walked into my office. My boss followed me and said, “Go home now.” I looked at him like he had two heads. “There has been a threat against the building. Leave.”
Dang. My brain said, “Yay, I get to ride home in sunlight.” Then my brain said, “If something really nasty doesn’t kill me first.” I can handle snakes on my doorsteps. Threats to life and limb are a bit above my pay grade. As the late Hunter S. Thompson once said, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
I closed my door and changed like Superman in a phone booth.
The ride home was actually pretty nice. I had a 25 mile per hour tailwind.There was no ice at all left on the trail. In fact the only slippert stuff on the trail was an abundance of geese poop. Apparently Canada geese have begun their northern migration. This was taken about half way into this particular gaggle of geese.