Connecting and Extending the Mount Vernon Trail

The Mount Vernon Trail, a facility of the National Park Service, is well known to cyclists, runners, and walkers in the DC area. It extends from Theodore Roosevelt Island in the north to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate in the south. Beyond Mount Vernon, there are trails of a sort but they come and go for three miles along the two-lane Mount Vernon Memorial Highway to US 1 where new trails continue south down through Fort Belvoir. (The mega re-design of US 1 to the north of Fort Belvoir will include separated bike lanes. ) The Fairfax County Department of Transportation is planning to connect the existing trail segments along the MVMH to provide a continuous trail that connects Mount Vernon to US 1.

Last night I attended the first public meeting about this project. It was run by Chris Wells, the Fairfax County Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator with significant additional remarks by Dan Storck, the Mount Vernon District Supervisor.

Beyond its local significance the Mount Vernon Trail is part of other much longer trail systems, including the Adventure Cycling Association’s Atlantic Coast Route, the East Coast Greenway, and the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.

The project is an admirable one, but it has significant shortcomings.

The Mount Vernon Trail itself stops at the southern end of a parking lot. To continue south cyclists have two options. They can walk the sidewalk in front of the entrance to Mount Vernon or ride (illegally) on the George Washington Memorial Highway for a few hundred yards. Neither of these shortcomings is addressed in this project.

The GW Parkway ends at Mount Vernon. To continue south, travelers use the MVMH. At this point a new-ish side path exists for about 1/2 mile to a traffic light at Old Mount Vernon Road. After the light, there is an old, narrow asphalt path that is in lousy shape with tree roots and debris. After a few hundred yards that path ends and path users need to cross the MVMH to get to another similarly decrepit path along the MVMH. This path has the added feature of a series of abrupt ups and downs. This path segment ends after about 1/4 mile at Southwood Drive. Local residents report that these three parts of the trail are virtually impossible to ride on a bike and in such poor condition that even running is problematic. Unfortunately, improvements to or realignment of these side paths are not included in the project scope.

The first of the proposed new segments would begin on the opposite side of the MVMH from this last bit of path. It would continue only a few hundred yards to another existing side path that extends from Peartree Landing (a neighborhood street) to the entrance to Grist Mill Park, which contains soccer fields, a large playground, and the area’s free mulch collection. This existing segment is wider and newer than the others describe above. Nevertheless, the local residents I talked with said this segment also has problems with tree roots.

Beyond Grist Mill Park a new trail segment is planned that will cross the southern end of Old Mill Road until it reconnects with a little used, existing frontage road. After the frontage road, the new trail will begin again and cross Dogue Creek on a new steel and concrete bridge.

After Washington’s Grist Mill, the new trail segments will end. Those wishing to continue south on a trail will have to re-cross the MVMH to connect with a new existing trail that continues a couple of hundred yards to US 1.

The project plans include wayfaring signs, as well as improved crosswalks and bus stops.

The project team’s consultants were in attendance. Maps of the project were on easels for review. There were about 40 – 50 people in attendance. Considering the fact that this was a preliminary meeting, this was an impressive turnout. Attendees included people who live along the project corridor and others, like me, who use the corridor for cycling.

Concerns raised included:

  • The design of the Dogue Creek bridge. It will be steel and concrete which will hopefully lessen the crashes that are endemic to the Mount Vernon Trail’s wooden bridges.
  • Crossing the MVMH is dangerous now. Recently, a 15-year old runner was hit by two cars as she crossed the road. (She lived but is in for a long recovery.) Attendees asked for traffic signals of some sort and consideration of sight lines when positioning cross walks.
  • Local residents say that traffic has increased significantly since the military base re-alignment moved thousands of personnel to Fort Belvoir. The residents say that the 45 miles-per-hour speed limit is too high considering the highway traverses a residential area. This is clearly one of those places were Virginia DOT prioritizes moving commuters over residential users.
  • Local residents also decried the condition of the decrepit existing trail segments.
  • The crossing at Old Mill Road is a potential problem. Local residents cut through a neighborhood and a wooded perimeter area to access the park now to avoid this intersection.
  • Drainage is a problem now for one resident whose home abuts a new trail segment.
  • The trail right of way could be 20 to 30+ feet depending on the type of drainage used at the highway’s edge. One resident noted that his driveway is only 40 feet long.
  • Residents clearly would prefer to limit the trail to one side of the highway.
  • Trees will have to be removed to accommodate the new trail assuming it stays in its current alignment.

The next step is for the project team to do a detailed analysis of the corridor and produce a preliminary design for public comment. That process will take six to nine months.

As readers of this blog know, I do not much enjoy doing bike advocacy work, but I have to say that this meeting was actually fun. There was concern without anxiety on the parts of the attendees. I think they had plenty of time to have their say. Chris Wells and Dan Storck did a great job of listening and making thoughtful observations. Project team members and Dan Storck were taking notes. With projects like these the old saying “The devil’s in the details” holds.

As for me, I was encouraged to see that Chris has picked up where Adam Lind (currently cavorting in Santiago, Chile) left off as Bike/Ped coordinator. This was my first interaction with Dan Storck. My district supervisor is an avid cyclist. Obviously, he has to take into consideration all users and constituents but it is a great relief to know that he speaks my language.

As for me, I doubt I will use the new trail. I don’t use any of the existing trails segments. I am comfortable in the road, but I understand that others, most importantly the people in the adjacent neighborhoods, are not. I also doubt bicycle tourists, experienced recreational riders, and commuters will want to meander back and forth across the highway. However, the project clearly addresses many existing shortcomings for walkers and runners and less experienced cyclists.

Finally, I did get a chance to talk to Dan Storck about his annual Tour of Mount Vernon bike ride. When I first heard about it, I thought is was a dinky neighborhood ride. Wrong. It’s the real deal at 36 miles and he’s very excited that it’s catching on after only a couple of years. I didn’t ride it last year because I was already committed to WABA’s 4th Annual Cider Ride. Hopefully, this year WABA and Supervisor Storck can coordinate dates so I can do both.

 

 

 

 

Recovery Update – Normal

About a month ago I had a bunch of tests done to determine if I had some blood or DNA abnormality that caused my body to form a deep vein thrombosis (i.e., big blood clot) in my left calf. This DVT at some point became disrupted and send blot clots to my heart which sent them into my lungs where they stuck. Had they continued on into my brain, I might not be pushing up daisies.

I went to the hematologist today for the results.

“You are normal.”

In truth, the tests revealed a couple of genetic mutations, but nothing that could have caused the pulmonary embolisms last December.

So after hundreds of $$$ we have a definitive answer to the question: “What caused these PEs?)” Answer: “Dunno.”

My hematologist says that unless he finds a specific cause for my illness he is inclined to discontinue the blood thinners and put me on an daily aspirin instead.

I go to see my pulmonologist in mid-April. She’s probably going to vote to keep me on the thinners.

In early May I have an ultrasound scheduled to see if I my DVT is gone (the body absorbs DVTs). Then another hematologist visit to discuss the findings. With any kind of luck, this entire medical mess will be in my rear view mirror by the time I pedal out of DC for the west coast in late May.

One other interesting thing happened since my last update. Yesterday, I was riding my bike with my head down and a tree branch whacked my helmet. A blow to the head while on blood thinners can cause run away bleeding in my skull. This would cause my brain to get compressed and displaced. The chances of dying from this are high.

I described the incident to my hematologist. He told me that since the branch deflected off my helmet and didn’t cause so much as a bruise, I should be fine.

And so it goes.

We’re having fun now.

Errandonnee 2018: The Details of our Lives

Here’s an update about the Errandonnee. Bike to the doctor’s office. Or work. Or the bank. Or that get-together with friends. After 12 days of this, you’ll see how easy it is to leave your car in the driveway and do errands by bike all year. There are errand categories and rules. Nothing you can’t handle. So mark your calendars and play.

The Errandonnee is back for its sixth year, my friends. This challenge is designed for the utility cyclist and transportation runner with errands to do, no matter the season. That cyclist or runner might be you!

The short version of the Errandonnee is:

Errandonnee: Complete 12 errands in 12 days, and ride or run a total of 30 miles between March 20-31, 2018.

Errands are inevitable, so let’s appreciate the active transportation we often do, but seldom celebrate.

The term “errandonnee” is a hybrid of “errands” and the French word “randonnee.” Conceptually, these two words may not initially fit well together, but string 12 errands together for one long ride interrupted by sleep and other diversions, and you have… an errandonnee.

You don’t have to ride your bike, as this challenge also features the Errandonnee: Run Option!

You can run or ride your way to the Errandonnee finish line – or…

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Daylight Retired Time

I’ve now been retired almost six months. If it hadn’t been for physical therapy and medical appointments, I would have no idea what day of the week it is.  (I’d also be somewhere warm, but that’s another story.) As for daylight savings time, who cares? The worst thing about standard time was riding to or from work (and for a couple of weeks each year both to and from) in the dark. Since I now get to determine where I go and when, the clock is of little concern.

Today, however, was a little different. I wanted to do some minor chores around the house, do my physical therapy, watch the Nats spring training game on TV, and go for a bike ride. I didn’t have time to squeeze my ride in before the game. But wait. It’s daylight savings time. I did the physical therapy and chores in the morning. Then I watched the game at 1 p.m. It was over by 4 p.m. and I had 3 1/2 hours of daylight left. And that’s not all; it was warmer in the afternoon than it was before the game. So I rode 24 1/2 miles afterwards.

My apologies to my bike commuting friends who will ride to work in the cold dark pre-dawn hours tomorrow. You’re tough. I’ll be thinking of you when I roll over in bed. Daylight Retired Time is hard.

 

 

Hoops, Sleep, Bike to DC, Bike Home, Nap, Repeat

The last couple of days have been killers. Our daughter’s college team is playing in an NCAA conference tournament. My wife and I watched the games. When I met my wife I was a very mellow marathon runner. Once I got behind the wheel of a car I became a raging maniac. She’s pretty much the same when watching college basketball. Her reactions to the game are as much fun as the game itself.

The games ended around 11:30 p.m. The morning after the first game, I got up before 6 a.m., skipped breakfast, and rode into a cold wind to Friday Coffee Club. It was worth it. Swings House of Caffeine once again has apple fritters. At 9 a.m. the festivities ended and I got to participate in the roll out. The remaining east bound club members ride across the Pennsylvania Avenue plaza in front of the White House then disburse to their homes and jobs. I think this was only my second roll out because I went west to my office after coffee.

I headed for home. I waited at Constitution Avenue at a red light. The Washington Monument stood to my right, encircled by flags on flag poles. All the flags were pointing straight out. Fortunately, they were pointing in my direction of travel. I still had to cross the Potomac River on the 14th Street Bridge. Long story short, I froze my ass off.

The 12 miles to home were blissfully wind aided.

I ate breakfast and took a nap.

Friday night I stayed up late again to watch Mrs. Rootchopper’s team get eliminated. This morning I awoke before 6, skipped breakfast again, and headed back to DC. This time I had a tailwind going to the city. I stopped at the Dyke Marsh bridge on the Mount Vernon Trail to renew my tradition of taking pictures of the early morning sun.

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My Cross Check jumped into the picture.

I arrived at the start of the Rock N Roll Half Marathon. This was on Constitution Avenue from about 14th Street to 9th Street. There were so many people that I couldn’t possibly find anyone I knew. I decided to find a good point on the course to view the runners.

I picked 18th and C Streets NW.  The streets were closed to cars and it was early so getting around was simple. I stood on the corner where the runners turned west off of 18th onto C. And watched.

The lead runners were incredibly fast. These folk were not messing around. Then the field became more and more crowded. I kept looking for my friends Ursula and Grace. And looking. And looking. Trying to find someone in a crowd like this brings on a kind of runner’s blindness, akin to snow blindness. Your brain just can’t process this much visual information.

Then I realized that a runner was coming right toward me. It was Ursula. She was just a few feet in front of me before I recognized her. I flinched when she gave me a high five (it’s her thing) because my hand was frozen. Right behind her was her co-worker Doug.  Another feeble high five. And they were away. I managed to get their picture from behind. (She’s got a fanny pack on. Doug is to her right.)
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I waited for Grace but I never saw her. On to Adams Morgan I rode, straight north on 18th Street.

I parked myself in the sun and waited as the runners turned from Calvert Street to go east on Columbia Road. It was still very cold, pretty much perfect for the runners. They were about a mile from running up the killer Calvert Street hill out of Rock Creek Park. Most of them had recovered, but Columbia Road was itself a bit of an incline.

Just as I began to get runner blindness again, I spotted Ursula. Yes! Then I accidentally shut off my camera. No! At least I got another high five. This time we made solid contact. Dang, it hurt. My hand was beet red.

I waited some more for Grace. She tweeted a description of her outfit (at my suggestion) so that her friends could pick her out of the crowd. I pulled out my phone to check the description and Twitter locked up on me. All I remembered from the tweet was that she was wearing gray tights (like a third of the field). Fortunately, Grace has red hair and tons of freckles. (I did too when I was a kid, so she gets bonus points in my book.)

And, sure enough, here she was. Her hair was pulled back and she wasn’t wearing glasses but she was easy to spot. And she was moving pretty fast despite the hill.

After she passed I rode across town to intercept the race again. This time I had to make my way through traffic jams. Drivers were now out and about and they were not happy to be hemmed in my street closures.

I made it to North Capitol Street. The runners were running south using the underpass to avoid New York Avenue. I had to use the side road and got stuck at a traffic light that lasted over a minute. I think the delay cost me a third shot at seeing Ursula. I set up camp at where the course turns east on K Street NE.

In just a few minutes Grace came cruising by. All smiles. She flashed a peace sign as she passed.

Grace Pooley

I turned and headed for the finish. This took much longer than I thought. At one point, on Capitol Hill I turned left where a police car was blocking off the road. My focus was in the distance and I didn’t see the yellow police tape strung across the road. I broke the tape with my helmet and apologized to the cop. He thought it was pretty funny and waved me on.

At the finish the runners were joined by family and friends. There was no hope of meeting up with anyone I knew so I decided to ride home.

By this time, I had come to realize that skipping breakfast was not the smartest move I could have made this morning. After I crossed the river, I had to contend with a strong headwind for the next 12 miles. Like yesterday, I had worn hiking boots instead of proper cycling shoes. The added quarter of an inch of sole made my knees very unhappy.

I pulled into home and ate all the things. The three cups of hot coffee could not have tasted better.

I had ridden 70 cold, windy miles in hiking boots on about 11 hours of sleep over two days. The coffee had no effect. I listened to my body and took a long nap on my bed in the warm afternoon sun.

 

Billy Goating at Winter’s End

The low 40F Degree temperatures and the cooling breeze and clouds did not exactly call to my bikey brain today. Off I drove (yes, I have a car) to the gym to push and pull on the machines. The machines won.

Then it was off to Great Falls National Park in Maryland. I pulled into the Carderock area that is located about 2 miles outside the Beltway. The access road passes beneath the C&O Canal and towpath. After parking and getting myself all arranged with layers and hat and Buff and backpack full of water bottles, I set off the Billy Goat C trail, clockwise toward the river. I was walking upriver and the breeze was in my face. It took about a half mile to warm up. My legs had bounce in them and I was cruising along, resisting the urge to break into a trot. Slow. Down.

There were no leaves on the trees, so the place looked rather stark. I had good views of the river and they didn’t disappoint. After about a mile, the path looped back to the towpath. I headed further upriver on the towpath.

The canal in some sections has water. I noticed some tall reeds near my side of the waterway. Inside the grass was a great blue heron shopping for lunch. A few hundred yards later I could hear the quacking of a duck. The duck was with about sever others, paddling about near the far side of the canal. I saw something move in the tall grass on the canal’s far bank. It was a fox, stalking the ducks. No worries. They kept themselves out of paw’s reach.

The sky was full of bird’s chirping. A massive flock of birds filled the trees beyond the canal. Suddenly, they became quiet and flew of in a cloud of winged mayhem. Seconds later they landed in some trees no more than a hundred yards from where they started. The racket began anew. Birdbrains.

I kept walking past the sign for the Billy Goat B trail. I was taking the canal to the western entrance so I could loop back along the river. Like the C trail and the towpath, the B trail was practically deserted. I was also fortunate that it was dry. The towpath, which is flat and has poor drainage, had some muddy sections.

Back along the river, wind at my back, I cruised along. My legs were still fresh but my decrepit lower back was not on board for the fun. Fortunately, I came upon some big rocks on the river’s edge. I sat down and pulled out a water bottle. The water was rushing over some rocks about 50 yards into the river. Once my breath calmed, I listened.

Is there anything more relaxing than the sound of rushing water?

I listened.

The cool breeze tried to distract me. It failed.

I listened.

After perhaps 15 minutes, I decided to get up before I fell asleep. If it had been 10 degrees warmer, I’d be curled up in a ball snoring.

It took a few minutes to get myself back into an ambulatory mood. Rock scrambles, none too difficult for an old dude with balance issues, persuaded me to get with the program.

I made it across a small stream. Most people would dance across on the rocks but my body seems to prefer stumbling.

Soon I was turning back to the towpath up two quick rises. With the wind at my back, I hiked the towpath beyond where I had parked my car to pick up the C trail. The trail took me back to the river and eventually, to the car.

My legs felt fine. My lower back was bitching up a storm. I didn’t care. My head felt great.

So my first hike, a six-miler, of the new year was over. A productive use to a cold and gray afternoon.

Racing Underground

The weather isn’t so great around here in March so somebody came up with the idea of having indoor bike races in an underground parking garage in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington Virginia. I finally got around to checking this out tonight. There were three races. The first race is for novices. They ride whatever the want and go as fast or as slow as they want. One of the participants in this race wore what I wish I had wore at every Halloween party for the last 27 years.

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You can’t see it very well but the man in white is wearing a t-shirt that says “Cutters” across the front. The shirt and helmet exactly match the Cutters team at the Little Indy 500 in Breaking Away.  I didn’t check out his bike but I doubt it was a Roadmaster. Regardless, we are still a little disturbed by the developments in the middle east.

Note how the bicyclists race against the arrow indicating they are renegades who have no respect for authority.

I don’t know have any idea what the orange figure and X on the floor mean. You all should submit creative explanations in the comments section.

One of the other racers wore a donut costume, including sprinkles. He’s in pink, second from right in the front row at the start of the race below.

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The next race was the women’s race. The intensity level went up a few notches. The final race was the men’s race. The intensity went up again, in large part because the speed went up. I saw two crashes in the men’s race. Both men got up and jumped back on their bikes. I left before it was over. I couldn’t get on an elevator because EMTs were transporting a woman who apparently crashed. (She was awake and alert. Probably a case of garage rash.)

While the racers did their thing, the onlookers enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches, pie, and beverages. (I saw wine, beer, and cider. I would imaging that some non-alcoholic liquids were available as well.) It was noisy. There was an announcer, ventilation fans, music, and cheering. It was cold, thanks to the ventilation fans. But mostly it was a bit of zany fun on a chilly evening in early March.

The races in the garage beneath 201 12th Street. It’s at the northern most end of Crystal City.  Check it out next Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

Another Sign of Spring – Errandonnee 2018

Do you have things to do? Do you do them with your car? Why not do them with your bike instead? Need a little nudge? Participate in the 2018 Errandonnee, a friendly game to get you out on your bike in the first week (or so) of spring.

Basically you run 12 errands over a 12 day period. The errands need to be spread across some creative categories, including “You Carried What on Your Bike?” To make things interesting there are rules. Lots of rules. (They’re not that bad. Really. Except if your name is Brian and you are notoriously grumpy.)

If you’re a runner, you can play under the official Run Option.

So don’t be grump. Get rolling.

Special thanks to Mary for taking this crazy thing on again.

 

 

 

 

Sundays Wear Me Out

What’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb? Winter.

The day began with another sign that winter is over. I finished Ron Chernow’s Grant. This was the last of the Christmas and get well books that have been on my nightstand since late December. It’s a mighty good biography.

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Blow Me Down

After reading, I headed outside for some wind storm clean up. We were really lucky. All we had in our yard was small branches and dead vines. It took about 90 minutes to get it picked up.

I could have worked more but I heard a cry from my bicycle shed and it sounded like my Cross Check saying “Ride me.”

So I did.

We went to the bank in Old Town Alexandria to deposit a check. On the way I passed under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Jones Point Park. Just beyond the bridge I saw a reminder of how lucky we were in this storm.

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Bald Eagles on My Mind

I hadn’t dressed quite warmly enough. I knew I wasn’t going to be out long. I turned around after ten miles and headed for home. I stopped to check out a bald eagle nest near the Mount Vernon Trail that I hadn’t seen before. This one is on the dirt road that goes through Dyke Marsh. The nest is about 200 yards from the marina access road (the one you cross when you leave Belle Haven Park heading south). With no leaves on the trees I had no trouble spotting the nest. It isn’t very big so I am guessing it’s new.  A good landmark is a bench on the right side of the trail facing away from the nest.

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Eagle nest with Dyke Marsh haul road in the foreground

This is one of three active nests along the Mount Vernon Trail between the beltway and the stone bridge, a distance of perhaps 3 miles. The other two are closer to the trail. A fourth nest which appears to be inactive can be seen across the Parkway from the trail about 1/4 south of the beltway.

A fifth nest, by far the biggest, is in Fort Hunt Park, about five miles south of the beltway. It is visible from the trail but it takes some searching. Go south past the Parkway ramps and across a curving wooden bridge on the trail. Once the trail rises a bit you get a clear view of the trees in the park and you’ll see a massive next. This one is definitely active.

If you don’t care to ride or walk along the trail to see bald eagles live you can always just watch them on the National Arboretum’s eagle cam. This nest is in the arboretum grounds in NE DC. The eagles are very active today so I think we’ll see an egg appear in the next day or so.

After my eagle nest diversion, I headed to my local bike shop to buy a new vest. They had all their winter clothes eon sale for 40 percent off. But no vests. Boo.

So I went to the gym to lift weights.

Then I rode 4 miles to home.

I am tired.

Nap time.

Musings on a Windy Day

  • I intended to go to Friday Coffee Club today. The founders were bringing birthday cake in honor of six years of caffeinated camaraderie. I would have had to ride 15 miles into headwinds in excess of 30 miles per hour with wind gusts up into the 50s. I went back to bed and dreamed of cake and coffee. Thanks Ed and Mary and Brian and Lane and Lisa for starting the best thing going in #bikedc. See you next week.
  • The winds have been really intense all day, so I took it as an opportunity to get new tires for Mrs. Rootchopper’s car. Her front tires were nearly bald so I wanted to replace them. As it turned out the rear tires were not a whole lot better so we bought four new ones. I am happy to say that the car passed inspection later in the day. I am done with cars for a while.
  • But not licenses. My driver’s license is expiring in mid-August. This is not good. I will need a license to board a flight home from the west coast after making my cross country tour this summer. (Knocking wood all over the place….) Fortunately I can get my license renewed well in advance. Seems like a good thing to do on a rainy day between now and May.
  • Little Nellie is being worked on by my local bike shop. She now has a new big chain ring and a new shifter cable. The mechanic found that the bottom bracket was pretty much a mess. 19,000 miles of cycling will do that I suppose. So they replaced that as well. I was going to pick it up this afternoon but…
  • On the way to the bike shop I encountered a tree that had fallen across three of four lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The tree had been uprooted by the wind. This is not entirely surprising since the soil near the Parkway is usually damp as a result of being right next to the Potomac River. On the way home from the bike shop, I took a different route and found a main road closed because of a downed power line.
  • My wife and I received $44 from the Commonwealth of Virginia for overpayment of taxes in 2012. That’s right, seven years ago. Within seconds two Facebook friends sought replenishment of beer debts. Yes, I have beer debts which is pretty strange considering the fact that I am under doctor’s orders not to drink alcohol.
  • Speaking of not drinking, I fully expected to feel some kind of fantastic from abstaining from beer. I don’t feel the slightest bit different. I probably weigh five pounds less than I would have though.
  • While the car was being repaired I went to the gym to lift weights. My body should look like the Hulk’s by now. Nope. You wouldn’t like me when I’m wimpy.
  • I thought about going to opening day at Nationals Park this year. Then I looked at the prices. $60+ for nosebleeds. I think I’ll resist the hype.
  • My TV stopped emitting sound, but not while using it for Internet Service. I called the cable company. The cable guy swapped cable boxes and tried every adjustment he could think of. Then he mentioned the fact that the TV has a mother board. I got online and saw a suggestion to unplug the TV and plug it back in. A hard reboot as you would do to a PC. Damned if it didn’t work.
  • I am enjoying the insane storm called The Beast from the East that is hitting the UK and Ireland now. Lauren (who I met at Friday Coffee Club) is a Massachusetts native in Dublin.  My daughter Lily is in London. They are both posting pictures on Instagram that look more like Boston that Dublin or London.
  • I have started to cogitate about the route I will take to ride to the Pacific. I am thinking that riding to the Pacific Northwest would be the thing to do because I have never been there. There are loads of options. Feel free to send me suggestions.