Termites and Crazy Eights

I’m crazy.

Many years ago termites descended upon Casa Rootchopper. We called in the bug people who did their bug thing and the termites made a hasty and persistent retreat (knocking hopefully termite-free wood). Termites pretty much own the southern U. S. so we have beaucoup company with our little winged friends.

We signed a contract for annual inspections which includes treatments if necessary. At 11 this morning the termite killer called and said they’d be at the house between 1 and 5.  Now I had planned to go for a bike ride this afternoon. (Big surprise.) I wanted to be home to let the inspector in to check the basement. What to do?

As luck would have it our neighborhood is essentially two loops, one about 0.75 miles in length, the other about 0.40 miles long. I decided that, after running a 3-mile errand on Little Nellie, that I’d ride another 27 miles on this figure 8 course.

At the end of each loop, I would look at my house to see if the Inspector Termite was at my house. Around and around and around. I am pretty sure the rest of the neighborhood thinks I’m a few spokes shy of a wheel but I kept on keeping on. I did 23 laps at somewhere between 12 and 18 miles per hour. I rarely glided. I spun my pedals as efficiently as possible making sure to put out a steady level of effort.

You must have been bored, they all said. Nope. I focused on my feet contacting the pedals, my ankles flexing, my knees bending, my quads contracting and releasing. Om. Just like on my bike tour. Without forty pounds of gear.

Focusing on my pedaling kept my mind off the fact that my toes were not in happy land on this barely 50 degree day.

Cars went by. Leaves fell. Leaf blowers blew. Lawn mowers mowed. Dog walkers walked. Suburbia suburbaned. And they went by like sticks in a stream. And I pedaled.

And when I hit 30 miles, I quit. An hour later the termite dude showed up. He found a few teeny tiny carpet beetles, but no sign of termites.


After he left, I turned on my computer and saw that registration is now open for the Hains Point 100. It’s a mostly social event in which a few deranged souls ride 100 miles in 3.3 mile laps in East Potomac Park on December 17. Sounds like Crazy Os to me.

The event is for a good cause, the Washington Area Bicyclists Association’s Women and Bicycles Program. I am told that the percentage of DC-area bike commuters who are female has risen from 24 to over 40 percent. Build it and they will come.

If you are in DC, you should go to Hains Point and join in the festivities. You don’t have to ride 100 miles. There is a raffle and there’s food (did somebody say “pie”) and nice people to talk to. Just show up and say “Hey, Katie” and you’ll have at least ten new friends.

So follow the link and sign up. You don’t have to be a WABA member to ride. Just make a donation of whatever amount floats your boat.

It’s crazy.



3 thoughts on “Termites and Crazy Eights

  1. Wow, I only can judge by where I ride but find it hard to believe that 40% of ppl on bikes in DC are women. Where is the support for that stat, do you know? I’d be interested in seeing it.

    1. It was thrown out at WABA volunteer night. I actually verified the 24% number on the MVT 3 nights in a row. I was surprised to hear the 40+ number only a few years later.

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