Errandonnee: Bikes, Grilled Cheese, Pie, Puppy, and Owl

Well, it was a nearly nice day here in DC with temperatures in the 50s and light winds. Light rain was the only thing keeping me from celebrating. I rode 29 miles, mostly in the Fort Hunt and Woodlawn areas before finding myself at the gym. After a half hour of weight lifting, I rode home. Lunch was followed by a lame attempt at listening to a podcast. When I awoke it was time to leave for the Crystal City garage bike races.

The 11 1/2 mile ride in the rain was not unpleasant. Faint praise, I know.

Shortly after arriving at the garage, I had a grilled cheese sandwich with guacamole and jalapenos peppers. I somehow managed to refrain from ordering another. Maybe it was because of the cherry pie I had for desert.

Bob “Don’t call me Rachel” Cannon and his wife Elizabeth brought three dogs that were being put up for adoption. One was a mere puppy. I would have taken a picture but it broke the cute-o-meter on my iPhone.

Then the races began. Every time I see people racing bikes all I can think of his “You have to be insane to do this.” I stood with Laura from the Washington Area Bicyclists Association. She was checking out the scene with the intent of racing next week. Let’s just say that Laura appears to be a few spokes shy of a wheel. (Hey, pretty cool name for a blog!)

After the races I rode home. About halfway there I rode the long wooden bridge on the Mount Vernon Trail behind the Slaters Lane apartment building. As I turned a corner I saw something standing on the railing of the bridge. It was an owl looking right at me. He was over a foot tall and seemed unconcerned with my presence.

Errand No. 10: Arts and Entertainment

Destination: Crystal City, Virginia

Observation: Pie+Grilled Cheese+Owl+puppies+garage bicycle races = successful hump day

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This one took 23 miles to do. Total miles for the Errrandonnee so far is 127.5.

Racing Underground

The weather isn’t so great around here in March so somebody came up with the idea of having indoor bike races in an underground parking garage in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington Virginia. I finally got around to checking this out tonight. There were three races. The first race is for novices. They ride whatever the want and go as fast or as slow as they want. One of the participants in this race wore what I wish I had wore at every Halloween party for the last 27 years.

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You can’t see it very well but the man in white is wearing a t-shirt that says “Cutters” across the front. The shirt and helmet exactly match the Cutters team at the Little Indy 500 in Breaking Away.  I didn’t check out his bike but I doubt it was a Roadmaster. Regardless, we are still a little disturbed by the developments in the middle east.

Note how the bicyclists race against the arrow indicating they are renegades who have no respect for authority.

I don’t know have any idea what the orange figure and X on the floor mean. You all should submit creative explanations in the comments section.

One of the other racers wore a donut costume, including sprinkles. He’s in pink, second from right in the front row at the start of the race below.

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The next race was the women’s race. The intensity level went up a few notches. The final race was the men’s race. The intensity went up again, in large part because the speed went up. I saw two crashes in the men’s race. Both men got up and jumped back on their bikes. I left before it was over. I couldn’t get on an elevator because EMTs were transporting a woman who apparently crashed. (She was awake and alert. Probably a case of garage rash.)

While the racers did their thing, the onlookers enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches, pie, and beverages. (I saw wine, beer, and cider. I would imaging that some non-alcoholic liquids were available as well.) It was noisy. There was an announcer, ventilation fans, music, and cheering. It was cold, thanks to the ventilation fans. But mostly it was a bit of zany fun on a chilly evening in early March.

The races in the garage beneath 201 12th Street. It’s at the northern most end of Crystal City.  Check it out next Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m.