Riding with the Climate Devil

Something is definitely not right. Yesterday and today we had temperatures in the 70s in January in DC. I could ponder the fact the planet is going to hell. This would be depressing. Instead I went for a couple of bike rides on my CrossCheck.

Before I left the house, something really unusual happened. My bike had a

flat rear tire. The CrossCheck came with nobby tires that offered little flat protection. When I had my first flat, I decided to swap them out for something more robust. I put Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires whichIMG_3328 are advertised as flat free tires. When I took of the rear tire, I noticed that the tread was nearly gone. In spots the green puncture underlayer was exposed. There were several large gashes in the tire, but only one small, very sharp piece of glass made it through to the tube. I am guessing this tire had over 8,000 miles on it. Not bad.

Yesterday’s ride took me downriver from Mount Vernon. I rode 20 miles to Mason Neck. On the way there I took a hilly route that avoided US 1. After about 14 miles of ugly suburbs, the remaining ride to Mason Neck seemed rural. A new bike trail made the ride fairly peaceful too. My return route used the bike lane on US 1. I do not recommend this. The speed limit is 50 miles per hour and the bike lane is nothing more than paint.

I didn’t get killed. I left US 1 to ride to Mount Vernon. In the circle in front of the entrance were two EMT vehicles and a police SUV. A police officer was stuffing a bike into the back of the SUV. The bike didn’t seem to be in bad shape so maybe the EMTs were called for some non-bike-related calamity.

Today’s ride was a bit more ambitious. I rode from Mount Vernon to Bethesda, Maryland and back. The round trip was 51 miles. The route there involved the Mount Vernon Trail, the new smooth sidewalk over the Memorial Bridge, the Rock Creek and Potomac Trail (basically a sidewalk), the Water Street cycletrack in Georgetown, and the Capital Crescent Trail. Of the 26 miles, I spent about 3 on unprotected’ low traffic roads.

On the way back I took Rockville Pike to Jones Bridge Road. This would be suicide on a weekday but on a Sunday it was nearly pleasant. Jones Bridge leads to Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park. On weekends most of Beach Drive is closed to cars. That and the new pavement make it perfect for riding a bike or rollerblading.

Once out of the park I rode down Ohio Drive to the 12th Street Bridge, crossed into Virginia and rode home on the MVT.

The weather made me feel like a cheat.

I didn’t feel any discomfort to speak of in my left knee or hip for either ride. Even the sore spot on the outside of my hip was calmer than usual. I declare my bike tour injuries to be a thing of the past.

Unfortunately, after about 30 minutes on my feet, my stenosis pain came back. I have taken to using a cane to get around. This allowed me to go to the movies and dinner last night. Unfortunately, the aching came back at bed time.

So it goes.

 

 

 

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