It was one hell of a year. It felt like a decade.
Early in the year we heard word of a virus spreading from China. It was creeping around the world like an invisible Pac Man and would soon gobble up Italy and Spain and the UK and on and on. Friday Coffee Club continued undaunted until March, when it was no more. Snuffed out by the ‘rona. I suppose it was a good thing. They say if you hang out with people long enough you begin to look like them.
Then some people look just a little different.
Nothing says frustration quite like biking with brake pads rubbing against the rim. (I rode most of the way across the country last year this way.) No matter how many times I adjusted them the problem came back. Until I discovered the secret. The tensioning wire needs to be oriented so that the tail of the wire is in line with the adjustment screw. (If this doesn’t tell you what a zero 2020 was, I don’t know what does.)
In the Spring I toured the Congressional Cemetery on the east side of Capitol Hill. A burial marker seemed rather ominous.
George and Martha became off limits.
People stayed at home. Cars stayed parked. Planes too. The long term parking lot at National Airport was all but empty. I wonder whose cars these are. Note also the clear blue skies.
I did an awful lot of local bike riding. Once I could depend on access to certain necessities, I drove to places a few hours away and did day rides. One day I rode from Frederick Maryland to Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
I read a whole bunch. First there were the Christmas Books. Then I went on a Bill Bryson kick, followed by a let’s-re-read-John-McPhee jag. My wife and daughter loaded me up on Fathers Day and my birthday. With all this social down time, I wasn’t about to throw away my shot.
WABA put on the 50 States Ride. It was my 12th time. I normally ride with a posse of several people but this time Kevin (left) was my only companion. WABA’s Garrett (center) checked us in and none of us got infected. YAY. We ran into sidekick Michael B. and friend (right) at a pit stop in Anacostia Park. A couple of months later I did WABA’s Cider Ride for the sixth time. This one was solo. They were my only two event rides of the year. Fun, but no substitute for a tour.
The virus killed over a quarter of a million Americans. Near RFK Stadium in DC, an artist from Bethesda planted a white flag for each victim.
My daughter’s pal (she met him at the Irish embassy last year) was elected president.
The news of the liberation, I mean election, was met with huge celebratory crowds at Black Lives Matter Plaza near the barricaded White House.
Sometimes it felt as if the year had sucked the blood right out of me. Then it did when I donated blood for the first time.
One of my favorite people in BikeDC, Rachel (Don’t Call Me “Bob”) Cannon, left town for Oregon just after Christmas. We met at Friday Coffee Club years ago. Our paths crossed again and again. She sent me fritters when I was sick. She rode the 50 States Ride with me. She even sold me a bike. She has so many talents but her number one talent is kindness. As her dog Annie would say, she’s a good hoomun. I’m going to miss her. So will many others.
And, to end on a sour note because, after all, this is 2020, Whites Ferry closed after more than 235 years of operation. I think I did the Whites Ferry loop, over 100 miles, every year. The closing followed a decades long legal dispute. It turns out that ferry reaches the Virginia shore onto private property. Imagine closing a bridge for the same reason.