Atypical Saturday

I went to Friday Coffee Club for the first time since March yesterday. Friday Coffee Club is a gathering a bike commuters in DC. Friday Coffee Club embodies why I love living in DC. It has so many interesting people from so many different walks of life. In it’s early days, a number of attendees were 20-s0mething women, some in grad school, some just getting started in the workaday world. Laura was one of them.

When I first met her, Laura was a working graphic artist. This led somehow to a job as a vice president at an Internet-based marketing firm. The grind ultimately left her ground down. Six months ago she threw in the towel on office life and made the rather brave jump to becoming a full-time artist.

Today she had some of her works on exhibit at Latela gallery in the Brookland Art Walk. Mrs. Rootchopper, our daughter, and I drove up to DC to check it out.

Laura – Infinitely more talented than your average Rootchopper

I haven’t seen Laura in many months but she, with her green highlighted hair, welcomed me with open arms. (Why didn’t I take a picture? I am a moron. The picture on the right is from her website.)

We talked about her work, how she has to balance her artistic muse with commercial concerns. Marketing. Websites. Balancing what formats sell with the cost of investing in materials and equipment. Being an artist is a lot more complicated than I realized.

Laura is obviously so talented. I don’t have the artist’s gene so I am in awe of anybody who can create like she can. More importantly, she seems pretty happy.

In addition to artworks she makes of her own choosing, Laura creates works on commission. Do you have a mute wall that needs to speak? Is a friend or family member getting married or moving into a new place? Check out Laura’s website for details.

 

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.