Errandonnee No. 5: Tater Tots and a Tailwind

After work today I diverted from my normal route along the river to attend a happy hour hosted by the Washington Area Bicyclists Association. WABA has happy hours on a rotating basis monthly throughout the DC area. Since this was Alexandria’s turn, I felt duty bound to have a brew.

The event began at 6 so I left the office a little late. A tailwind made the ride to the No. 9 Lounge on Mt. Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood a, sorry, breeze. To my surprise I arrived early.

I sat down and talked with Ben Wokas, WABA’s membership coordinator and happy hour honcho. Then I went to order a beer. The first beer on the draft menu was called, I kid you not, Shower Beer. I

I ordered a burger and some tater tots. Tater tots are powerful bike commuter food, according to the Mount Vernon Bicycle Commuter Society. (Not a real society.)

Kathy (known in the Twitterverse as @arlingtonrider) came in and sat down. We used to talk almost weekly at Friday Coffee Club which I no longer attend due to time constraints. So it was terrific to touch base with her.

After a couple hours, Kathy and I headed out. We went our separate ways, she headed to north-ish and I headed south-ish. I still had a bit of a tailwind. The skies were clear and black overhead. At the horizon the black turned to a band of dark blue, edged by a thin strip of white.  Not a bad view at all. Car traffic was light so the ride home was stressfree and seemed effortless.

Category: Social Call

Miles: 1/2 (the incremental miles from my regular bike commute)

Observation: In my mind Shower Beer is synonymous with Alex Baca. We miss you Alex. Cheers.

Three Stage Bike Commuting

I have been a sloven blogger. Monday’s ride to work featured a five minute conversation with Ellen, a bike rider whom I have never seen before. She was admiring my Bike Friday. I will likely never see her again. Such is the impermanence of the social life of the moving cyclist.

Tuesday was a great day to ride to work. So I worked from home. Instead of doing a short bike ride in the evening I mowed my lawn. This frees up Saturday so I can go for a hike in Shenandoah National Park with Ultrarunnergirl. Woot!

Can. Not. Wait.

Yesterday’s bike commute came in three stages. It was like the Tour de France only not so much. The ride to work was uneventful. I was hoping a random passing cyclists would admire my legs and chat me up, but, as is always the case, this didn’t happen.

Stage two was an evening ride from the office to Smith Public Trust in the Brookland neighborhood of DC. This ride took me across town at rush hour. I managed to improvised a route that made it a breeze. I took the Mount Vernon Trail to the 14th Street Bridge. (Along the way I passed the snow goose which I am now convinced is a swan.) From there I rode into Southwest DC. Up 7th Street all the was to K Street NW. Then K to the Metropolitan Branch Trail which dropped me off about a mile from the pub. There was a happy hour to wish Shane Farthing a fare thee well as he moves on from his position as the Managing Director of the Washington Area Bicyclists Association.

There were many #bikedc people. I met many #bikedc people. There were nachos. There was beer. I stayed way too long.

I headed for home at around 9:30. Thankfully, Dave Salovesh  escorted me down the MBT. I was riding Little Nellie which has little wheels. Little wheels are fun to ride because they are twitchy.Twitchy is not a good thing when you’ve been drinking. (Biking is not a good thing when you’ve been drinking. The Brookland transporter pod was broken leaving me little choice.) I was also using clipless pedals for the third time since March.

I nearly killed myself trying to negotiate a sharp left turn on the trail. I tried to unclip to put my foot down but the shoe wouldn’t disengage. I rode off the trail, luckily into some grass. No fatality, no foul.

Dave took me to the new 1st Street NW cycletrack. It is fantastic. There is a concrete berm, a physical separation between the main lane and the cycletrack. Wonderful.

Dave headed to Salovesh Estates on Capitol Hill. I headed west on the mall then took my usual route home on the Mount Vernon Trail.

It was raining lightly. My head was clearing from the beer. Now I was just dead tired. Only 14 miles to go.

Pedal. Pedal.

Watch out for that fox!

Watch out for that rabbit!

Watch out for that deer!

And here I was worried about cars in the city. The damned wildlife nearly got me.

I made it home around midnight.

After six hours of sleep, I rode to work today.

I am on my way home.

By way of the Third Thursday Happy Hour in Shirlington.