I haven’t blogged in nearly four weeks. It was not for lack of trying. It’s been a rather emotional month.
Insurrection, Impeachment, and Inauguration
First, I was in a rage about the attack on the Capitol. I wrote several posts about it only to scrap them. I suppose I should consider the writing therapeutic.
What I can’t get my head around is why over 70 million people twice voted for a scumbag charlatan. What part of bankrupting casinos, stiffing contractors and others who worked for him, and tanking an entire football league didn’t these people understand? And all that was before he ran for president giving speeches that were hate fests. Then add his contempt for the rule of law, people of color, and the Constitution. Hel-lo!
Next there was the impeachment. At least we now know who in Congress deserves to be sent home in two years. What part about inciting a mob that kills a police officer, infects dozens more with a deadly virus, kills and injures many more, and trashes our Capitol building was hard to understand? What part about hunting down the Vice President and the Speaker of the House to kidnap or kill them seemed okay? Oh and lets not forget that the president deservedly got his ass kicked in the election and convinced millions that he was a victim of fraud. Poor Donald.
The inauguration was such a relief. What a change from “American carnage”. Gaga, JLo, and Garth getting upstaged by Amanda Gorman’s magnificent poem. “I’m walking to work.” The best damned fireworks display I’ve ever seen. (Too bad I wasn’t there in person but it was the lack of people on the Mall that allowed the fireworks people to go completely bananas.) I thought the whole day was such a relief. Everyone involved should be given an award. As for the 25,000 National Guard troops and miles of fences and barricades in DC? What an embarrassment. Hats off to the guard not to mention the Metropolitan Police (DC’s police department) who came to the rescue at the Capitol and worked 12-hour shifts for weeks.
For me, the biggest symbol of change was the removal of the white wall that was put up around the White House. It was a national disgrace. At least Mexico paid for it.
I had hopes to get vaccinated soon as the age for getting on the priority list dropped to 65. Yesterday Virginia announced it has a shortage of vaccine. It looks like I won’t get jabbed for many weeks. So much for baseball games and bike tours in the Spring. I’ll be keeping my distance. I have had very few interactions with people outside my immediate family this winter. I stopped doing Zoom get togethers months ago when I found them to be frustrating and annoying. Don’t even think about coming near me without a mask on. Inside or out. And as for my anti-vaxing friend: it was nice knowing you.
I have continued to ride nearly every day, 600 miles for the month. A few weeks ago I decided to put the CrossCheck on a diet. During event rides in and near DC, people IDed me by the huge Carradice bag hanging from my saddle. It expands to double its normal size, but I had grown tired of the leather straps and metal buckles. They are a pain to open and close. I took it off and replaced it with a lighter Arkel TailRider rack bag. The TailRider uses zippers and a velcro flap so access is much easier. It has a less capacity but if I need to carry more I can slap on a pannier easily because the rack has two tiers of horizontal bars at the top (the upper bar is obscured by the TailRider).
I have had a habit of putting old tires from The Mule on the CrossCheck. These are Schwable Marathon Plus tires. They last forever and have taken me on over 10,000 miles of bike tours without a flat. The protection comes at a cost: they are very heavy and don’t roll particularly well. Also, they are stiff and very hard to mount. The rear tire on the CrossCheck must have had over 6.000 miles on it. It’s tread was worn away, I swapped out the Marathon Pluses for a pair of Schwalbe Mondials. They have decent flat protection but weigh half a pound less each. And they go on and off easily.
I am not in the habit of weighing myself but I am pretty sure that I’ve dropped a few pounds since Christmas. I haven’t had a beer in over a month. (I drank one Corona and was cured. Skunk beer.) And we are nearly all out of Christmas goodies. (Mrs. Rootchopper makes shortbread cookies with Hershey Kisses in the middle. Resistance was futile.)
I also took the CrossCheck to a bike shop and for a new chain and cassette. I was lucky they had the parts. I was even luckier that they could do the work while I waited. Thanks Conte’s of Old Town Alexandria
My last few rides on the CrossCheck have been fantastic. I can tell just by gliding that the new tires are a vast improvement. Going up hills is also much less of a chore. I can’t wait to get it out on the road for a long ride in the country.