Errandonnee Finis!

I finished my errandonnee for 2015 today. It was pretty easy. Today was Pi Day. It’s 3.1415. Pi. So naturally, there was a great desire by nerdly minded people to eat pie. A group of people who have been participating in the Freezing Saddles competition decided to do a Pi(e) Day ride. (In Freezing Saddles, bicyclists team up and ride through the winter. They talley their miles and then have a happy hour. I didn’t participate because I hate crashing and riding in winter – for me, at least – involves crashing.)

I was invited to participate by Bob “Don’t Call Me Rachel” Cannon. So I decided to ride up to Old Town, Alexandria and meet the riders at their first pie stop, Misha’s Coffeehouse.

There were a number of surprises in store for me. I had decided to ride The Mule because it was raining and a bit cold (high 40s). This way I could wear my waterproof hiking boots. I pulled The Mule down from its hook and surprise number one: my first flat tire of the year. I spent a few minutes screwing around with it but decided to deal with the situation later. I changed shoes and rode Little Nellie to Old Town.

The ride was uneventful because it rained the entire way. This is not fun, thought I. I arrived at Misha’s a good half hour before the Freezing Saddles folks. I decided to eat some pie and drink some coffee.  A friend of mine is a gluten free vegan. The intersection of her diet and mine is the null set. (Hey, it’s pi day. Math rules.) Her one concession to dietary fun is apple pie. She loves it. So I decided to try the Scottish apple pie, even though I am more a cherry or blueberry pie person. The apple pie was made by Acme Pie company. It was pretty awesome.

The riders showed up. There were around 20 of them. The coffee house was packed. Having finished my pie and two cups of coffee, I headed back outside in the rain. The rain helped me to decide to abandon the rest of the pi ride and get some errands done. I headed out on Little Nellie only to notice that the front brake was impossibly screwed up.

I fiddled with it to free up the front wheel and rode to the bank. Then I headed to my local bike store, Spokes Etc. in the Belle View shopping center. On the way I passed Linel who is a bike commuter who I know from twitter but have never met. She waved at me as she headed toward Old Town. She looks different when she’s not a one by one inch picture on the web.

At Spokes a mechanic lubed and adjusted and air blasted my brake caliper. It was all gunked up from the crud on the side of the roads. In ten minutes he had it working like new.

I rode home in the, um, not rain. Being a rain wuss is rather frustrating.

After putting my bike away, I inspected The Mule’s flat tire. It was a repeat of a flat I had a few months ago.  When I repaired that flat, I used a $1 bill as a boot, a barrier between the new tube and the small hole in the tire casing. The bill had deteriorated and the hole chewed a hole in my tube as it expanded and contracted. Rather than go through this again, I decided it was time to cough up some dough for a new tire. I drove to Bikes at Vienna and bought a new tire and tube for The Mule. I also bought a couple of spare tires, since past experience tells me that early season punctures come in bunches.

Having ridden only 12 miles today, I am rested and ready for tomorrow’s Vasa ride.

Errand No. 11: Social Call

Miles 6 ish.

Observation:  I am a rain wuss. I just do not enjoy riding in the rain. I’ll do a bike commute in the rain but standing around in wet clothes just doesn’t do it for me.


Errand No. 12: Wild Card – Bike Shop

Miles 2

Observation: I love that Spokes Etc. will work on my bike while I wait. (They do this when they are not super busy.)


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