June Bugs

The month of June was notable primarily for the Brood X (17-year) cicada invasion. It was surreal around here. The din started coming in spots then eventually became ubiquitous for about a week. It was like living in the Twilight Zone.

Covid restrictions for vaccinated people were lifted. So off came the masks. Not surprisingly I caught my first cold in a year and a half. I think I’m going to keep wearing a mask in crowds.

I did four social things this month which was four more than I did in June 2020. I went to a get together of grad school friends and to a happy hour of Bike DC people. I managed to drag myself out of bed to go to Friday Coffee Club, motivated by the fact that my friend Lis was back in town from another of her exotic overseas work adventures. Yesterday, I rode to DC to drop of a book of short stories at Klarence’s house. Klarence follows the author on social media. The author is married to a former colleague of mine. The book received stellar reviews but it’s appeal was lost on me. I hope I found it a better home.

Despite these four events, I feel completely numb to the idea of socializing. I can’t remember ever feeling so disconnected. It doesn’t bother me at all either. I suppose I’ll gradually return to my old ways. Someday.

I read only two books this month. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is another YA (young adult) fiction book from my daughter’s stash. I liked it a lot. For some reason YA books seem to lean toward the creepy. This one certainly had that aspect. The second book was Ten Innings at Wrigley by Kevin Cook. It’s about a 1979 baseball game between the Phillies and the Cubs that had a score of 23-22. The account of the game takes up only about a third of the book. The first third describes the strange and often pathetic history of both ballclubs. The last third tells of the fates of some of the key players in the game including Dave Kingman, Bill Buckner, Pete Rose, and Donny Moore.

As for movies and such, we watched the second season of Lupin, about a gentleman bandit in Paris. Worth your time. And we began watching the Loki series. I think Owen Wilson (who I generally don’t much care for) stole the first two episodes. He wasn’t in the third and it did nothing for me. Three more to go.

I went to a couple of Washington Nationals games. One with my daughter. The other solo. Both times the heat and humidity made watching very uncomfortable.

Bike riding had it’s ups and downs. I rode 1,004 miles, my first four-digit month since July 2020. My CrossCheck hit 20,000 miles on June 2 and went into the shed for a hiatus. I switched to The Mule (my Specialized Sequoia) for 870 miles, interrupted by 51 miles on Big Nellie, my Tour Easy recumbent. Speaking of interrupted, my ride home from the happy hour on Big Nellie was interrupted by a catastrophic fork failure. Fortunately I was going slow at the time and was on a trail so I didn’t get run over by car after I fell. I have since returned to the scene of the crime. The straw that broke the camel’s back was a large bump across the trail caused by a tree root. The trail is rapidly becoming hazardous as these root bumps emerge in clusters on every section of the trail. Now that the National Park Service has taken a pass on maintaining the right of way, I fear that my crash will be the first of many.

I did five rides of over 50 miles. The last one of these was a couple of days ago. I was intending to ride 100 miles on Maryland’s Eastern Shore when heat. humidity, and illness convinced me to turn back after about 30 miles. I got lost in the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, thanks to Verizon wireless’s spotty service and a paper map showing an apparently non-existent road. I checked Google maps on my laptop later and saw that I had missed a turn and ended up separated from the road by swamp. My recovery turned a 55-mile bailout into a 62-mile slog.

For the year, I have ridden 4,782 miles, about 26.6 miles per day. I am on pace to ride 9,697 miles this year. Gotta up my game to get the 10,000 mile prize. (There isn’t one.)

4 thoughts on “June Bugs

  1. There isn’t a prize except, of course, the fame and adulation of your friends and readership! Congrats on a good first half of 2021. It’s time to build up a cushion so you can deal with the weather in November/December.

    1. TBH, I wish I could do the kind of hiking you’re doing but my stenosis pain won’t allow it. Maybe someday, I can get back to bike touring. It’s been a while.

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