It was 50 degrees at 7 am. On January 10. Go figure.
I decided to take Big Nellie for a spin. I got side tracked by bike maintenance. It’s hard to do bike maintenance when it is cold outside. So I cleaned and lubed the chains on three of my four bikes. It’s a bit like getting your teeth cleaned at the dentists. The chains are all shiny now.
Big Nellie was very patient. Off we rode to the Mount Vernon Trail. By this time it was about 60 degrees and windy. There were serious waves on the river. I spotted a guy in a wet suit leaning against his car to my left. To my right was his sailboard. Dude, it’s January.
As I approached Fort Hunt Park I spotted a man with a fully loaded bicycle at the water fountain along the trail. (It’s January 10 and they haven’t turned off the water yet? Go figure.)
Ivan is from China. His English is perfect so we had a pretty extensive conversation. He’s been riding across the US for the last 12 months. He started in Washington State then rode through Oregon, Idaho, Utah,….,the Katy Trail in Missouri. I’d have remembered all the places he has ridden but I was thinking about how much cold weather this dude has been riding in. Dang. He said he did 30 – 35 miles on short days and 60 – 65 on long days. I suppose he’s had lots of practice. He’s staying with a friend in Arlington, selling his bike, going to Boston then back home to China. If you want a fully equipped Chinese touring bike, keep you eyes open. The model is, I kid you not, “World Traveler.” After trying out the seat of Big Nellie, Ivan headed off toward DC. Nice guy.
I did a lap around Fort Hunt Park. There were all kinds of bicyclists and a tadpole trike rider doing laps. I peeled off and headed for Old Town. I made it back to the MVT and, sure enough, passed Ivan who was getting a MAMIL escort.
I rode up Union Street to make sure that Ivan wasn’t going to get harassed by the Alexandria police. They were not having a bicycle stop sign stake out so I kept rolling to the north.
At Four Mile Run I headed over to Arlandria and from there back toward home.
The wind was in my face but it didn’t much matter. When I got back to the MVT, I was passed by a faired recumbent with a body sock. It looked something like this. It went by me like I was standing still.
It started to rain so I headed home.
So ended a 150-mile week to open the new year.