Fuzzy goslings, unfuzzy maps, and dead ducklings

Today was a recovery day. My legs and back were sore from yesterday’s 38 mile ride. I suppose I should be used to this. Event rides in cities are a lot harder than the mileage indicates. They are filled with starts and stops and short hills.

Goslings Take Over DC

So today I rode Big Nellie to work. It was warm in the morning then downright hot on the way home. About a mile from work at the Memorial Bridge the trail was covered in goslings.  They didn’t seem to care that I was there and neither did the attending adults.

They had the decency to get out of my way.

Just the Thing for a Mapaholic

When I got home, I jumped in the car to fetch Little Nellie from the bike shop. The folks at Spokes Etc. turned around a cable and housing replacement in 24 hours instead of the promised 48 hours. Well done. Now Little Nellie shifts freely again.

While I was waiting for the mechanic to ring me up, I noticed this on the counter.


No, not the electric bike demo. The new Fairfax County Bike map! Back in the winter I went to the Fairfax County Transportation Department offices to help with this project. The planners had set up a roomful of long tables. The tables were covered with draft versions of the map. Area cyclists like me were asked to annotate the maps. Mostly we looked for errors and wrote comments about bikeability.

I should confess here that I am a total mapaholic. So this map makes me very excited. (I know. Get a life, dude.)

I haven’t had a chance to look at it in detail but my cursory examination says FDOT did a great job on this. Congratulations.

Dead Ducks

Finally, there is some bad news to report. I have been complaining all spring that there has been a dearth of ducklings this year. I was really jealous when I saw a friend’s Facebook pictures of ducklings in the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial. Well, I am sorry to say that they are probably all dead. A parasite has taken up residence there and it kills ducklings. The pool is being drained this week.





Monday’s Are Just Ducky

The ride to work was going splendidly on this Monday morning. The wind was at my back. The sun was shining. Puffy white clouds were floating aimlessly above. The sunlight glistened off the river. It was so nice that I even could ignore the Lance Mamilots.

At 12 miles, just past the 14th Street Bridge underpass, the bikes ahead of me started veering this way and that. Then I saw it. A ducking. Alone. In the middle of the trail. Somehow, miraculously, unharmed by the bikes whizzing past.27838895692_dd65d776a1_m

I pulled over. And, with bikes now whizzing past me, I shooed  (literally with my shoes!) the duckling to the grass on side of the path. I took a rather bad picture, then went back to my bike. I looked over my shoulder and the darn bird had waddled back onto the trail. I suppose it was following the path of least resistance, but still it was annoyingly determined to get itself killed.

Back I went to try again. Then a bike commuter pulled up. Her name is Veronica. She grew up on a farm27906192426_f8ab97e3e5_m and volunteers at an animal rescue place. Really. Could the Fates be more generous on a Monday morning?

I have a thing about handling animals so Veronica, who is not so disinclined, picked up the duckling. She pointed out that a duckling alone in the wild is pretty much doomed to be road kill or an hors d’oeurve for some larger critter. So off she went, duckling in hand, looking for mama duck.

Mama duck had fled the scene so Veronica started to try to figure out how to transport the duckling. This is not as easy as it seems. Then the Fates returned in the form of Linel. Linel normally comes to work much later but not today. Maybe the Fates whispered in her ears during her slumbers. “Get up, Linel. Go to work early. You are needed.”

Linel had a Rickshaw Backworks Pipsqueak (I kid you not) bag on her handlebars. It is the perfect size for a duckling. So she offered it to Veronica. Veronica attached the bag to the lateral chest strap of her small back pack and the duckling transport problem was solved.

And so the workweek began.